Use these tools to increase your team’s synergy and productivity
In any capacity, coordinating a team has its many challenges.
The constant balancing act of various personalities, communication approaches, and work styles can throw managers and owners for a loop. Even for a team that works side-by-side every day, there’s always a possibility that one misstep in the operation snowballs into missed deadlines and huge messes. For a remote team, those messes can feel even more disconcerting without the opportunity to problem-solve in a shared office.
So, how can a remote team navigate these challenges? Start with communication.
Talk to your team
The very people at the heart of what your business does everyday should be at the forefront of conversation regarding how to make it better. And once that conversation begins it should not stop. As soon as old challenges are solved, new ones can arise, and solving them can happen once when every person in your company feels that they have a voice that will be listened to. Create multiple opportunities for your team to provide feedback on what is working, what could work better, and what isn’t working at all.
And give your team multiple channels for saying so. Mode of communication is just as vital as the message itself, as what translates well over Zoom may not be understood as well over email, and vice versa. There will be times when email communication isn’t appropriate, and times when Slack, or Zoom won’t be either.
Integrate the right virtual tools for your business
While technology is a great gift in helping us better manage our lives, it can also be tricky to figure out. Difficulties understanding and using technology can keep team members from opening, or even, downloading applications. In keeping everyone connected to the same streams, work can be better done in tandem.
Google Drive is a top tier tool for this because it offers multiple apps in one place, and can be integrated with other applications like Slack and Zoom. In addition to being able to collaborate on documents in real time, Gmail in Google Drive offers teams the ability to create a shared inbox. Slack also offers a similar feature for its channels, spaces where all status updates, meeting notes, discussions, files and feedback for a specific project are accessible.
But sometimes keeping communication flowing isn’t as big of a problem as is staying on top of deadlines. In that case, there are many project management tools at your disposal:
- Basecamp, a PM tool that breaks up your work into separate projects containing everything related to the work at hand: all the people involved, every discussion, every document, file, task, important date.
- DailyBot for Slack, enabling team members to send daily reports to managers on what’s currently being worked on, what was worked on the previous day, and how people are feeling about it. This can be an extremely valuable tool for teams operating on different time zones who don’t have the option to have daily, stand-up meetings.
- IDoneThis, offering in-depth, status updates and progress reports in one location, similar to DailyBot for Slack.
But, while these tools can solve many of your team’s problems, long-lasting elevation is determined by the team’s leader.
Keep investing in creating the best work environment possible
Are you giving your team clear instructions for each project, and enough time to deliver? How do you respond when your team needs guidance? Are you checking in enough with each team member? What is your leadership style, and how would your team rate it?
The answers to these ‘little’ questions are what sets sufficient managers and owners from great ones. Instead of running to suggest all of the ways your team can ‘work harder,’ look into the mirror (many, many times), and seriously ask yourself:
”Have I provided the right tools and the proper training?”
“If I were in their shoes, would I like my leadership style?”
“Do I lead efficiently?”
And, “what does my team gain from my leadership?”
Getting honest with yourself about where you fall short is necessary to becoming the ideal leader every remote worker dreams of having. Furthermore, the answers to these ‘little’ questions culminate into the big picture: a team will only work as well as its manager does in managing it.
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