Allen Baird PhD
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Allen Baird PhD

Partner at Sensei
Allen Baird PhD is a trainer, writer and speaker from Northern Ireland. Professional influences? The work of Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Personal influences? Joseph Campbell and Nietzsche. Favourite business type books? Anything by Daniel Pink or Robert Greene. Major dislikes? Name dropping.
Allen Baird PhD
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Why bother managing remote teams at all? Remote teamwork brings its own motivation. Performing your tasks from your home, a café or the beach – what’s not to like? Any supervisory role isn’t so much to give motivation as to ensure that it isn’t removed!

But remote working can sometimes feel isolating and pressurised, despite the business case for remote teams. Here are some direct ways to help you in the task of managing remote teams and keeping them motivated.

  1. Take the lead – schedule chats proactively rather than wait for them to happen or only happen when something goes wrong
  2. Using multiple methods – not only use email and phone calls to communicate, but also Slack, Skype, video, whatever works
  3. Hold regular meetings – these meetings should include time with individuals as well as the team as a whole
  4. Keep information flowing – update team members about their progress and that of the project, but also big picture news about the company and industry
  5. Offer detailed feedback – the more immediate and specific the feedback, the more the motivation become intrinsic, like a game
  6. Use gamification techniques – gamification is an amazing, innovative way to keep remote teams motivated and challenged
  7. Share your wins – there’s little that’s more motivating to a team as word that things are going well
  8. Don’t forget to manage – managing remote teams need all the usual motivators, such as promotion, reviews and training opportunities
  9. Schedule coaching sessions – coaching isn’t for inductions only but also key for professional development and getting to know your team
  10. Create a community – use social networks like Jive and Yammer to create an online ‘watercooler’ effect
  11. Give public praise – appreciation and congratulation is sweeter for individuals when the whole team reads it, perhaps on Twitter
  12. Share real rewards – those in traditional offices enjoy many perks and presents that you need to creativity replicate for remote teams
  13. Pay on time – remote workers not only feel inconvenienced and disrespected but stressed and powerless when their pay doesn’t arrive on time
  14. Share the screen – technology allows for screen sharing during tasks, not simply about tasks
  15. Spend quality time – face and embrace the fact that it will take you more time to get to know your remote teams than it would regular teams
  16. Remain reasonably accessible – fix it so that your team members can contact you during working hours at any point, and outside those hours when appropriate
  17. Find the zones – schedule meetings times with an eye to differences in time zones so everyone feels it is fair
  18. Know your cultures – be aware of cultural differences and sensitivities since your team is potentially global

Read Lucy Elkin’s excellent article on How to Help Remote Team Members Stay Connected and Productive if you want to learn more. Contact us if you’d like to chat about how communicating better online can keep you with managing remote teams and keeping morale high. Even if those those teams are in a galaxy far, far away…