When you are managing a remote team it simply is not possible to manage every aspect of their work, gone are the days of just wandering over to a desk and peering over a shoulder, walking the floor to see how busy people are or turning up on site to do random checks.
Now is the time to be influencing your team rather than controlling, leading rather than micromanaging. What is essential here is for each piece of work to describe exactly what it is you want and when you want it by, what the outputs are and what you wanted to be handed over.
As a leader you need to be selling the company vision, the team vision and the reason for being there.
I often talk about the importance of creating and selling your vision and creating a team culture which aligned to the goals of the organisation and the team. It applies for remote management even more than when you are all in an office because without a vision, your team don’t know why they are there. They get lost, they become unproductive and they work on the wrong stuff!
You may be thinking ‘well I don’t set the strategy’ or 'I don’t create the company ‘vision’ so that’s not something I know how to do'.
As a leader – at whatever level – it is your job to articulate what the company wants you to do. So if you don’t know – find out!
Ask your boss – what key messages should I get across?
Look at your company website or intranet
Identify the key themes?
Look at Service Level Agreements, KPI's and other measures such as budget.
Now you have some key messages you can start to use in your team briefings and 121 conversations. Bring the messages to life and make it real for the team.