Working with remote teams can sometimes be difficult, especially when first starting out. But contrary to popular belief, it is still possible to get to the same level of productivity and efficiency with a remote team as with an in-office team. Hence, here’s everything you need to know about remote marketing team management.
Table of Contents
Take Care of Hiring and Onboarding Remotely
First and foremost, you need to take care of the hiring and onboarding processes that will need to be done remotely. Of course, you can invite candidates for remote positions for an interview into the office, but not everyone will be able to come, especially if you are hiring internationally. This is why you need to plan how you will be managing the hiring and onboarding processes remotely.
Keep in mind that hiring the wrong people for your remote team can lead to more problems in the long run. This is why you need to have certain standards that you would want your candidates to meet. In addition to that, monitoring how well they are able to communicate with you during the hiring process can give you an idea of how good of a remote worker they will be. All these small details can be a great indicator of what you can expect from them.
Here are some things to do for your remote onboarding process:
- Pre-Onboarding: Post Job Offers, Interview Candidates, Choose New Employees
- Orientation: Provide Guidelines for Their Job, Explain Their Role, Introduce Them to The Team
- First Assignments: Give First Assignments for Testing, Review Their Performance, Set Goals for The Nearest Future
- Ongoing Support: Monitor Their Performance, Encourage Bonding with The Team, Set Up Their Working Hours
Make A Set of Detailed Guidelines
The next thing you need to do is make a set of detailed guidelines. These are technically a part of the onboarding process, but because the guidelines will be used even after that, it’s worth making them a separate step in your planning process. In addition to that, you will need to set goals for your new employees as well as set goals regularly for your remote team. These will help you define the direction you want the team to be working in.
If you are just at the set-up stage of your business, you might want to first check out some additional resources to help you find a sense of direction. For example, How to Find Top Ecommerce Niches can help you determine what your B2B online store should specialize in if you are still trying to figure this out. This will help you define goals better and be more objective along the way.
Schedule and Plan Virtual Meetings
Scheduling and planning virtual meetings will probably be one of the most difficult aspects of managing your remote team. Not only does it take some time to figure out when everyone is available (considering that you might have team members living in different time zones), but it will also take time for everyone to learn how to use the software for virtual meetings correctly and fix errors quickly if they happen during the meeting.
This is why you should always have an outline or a plan for every meeting. What topics do you want to cover first and what next? What do you want to discuss more and what can you skip altogether? What can be sent as an email or a chat message and what needs to be discussed during the meeting? Asking these questions can help you plan your virtual meetings better and make them more productive.
Set Up Channels for Easy Communication
Speaking of communication, you need to set up channels for easy communication beforehand. For your first contact with candidates, you can check out How to Create an Email Marketing Plan to craft email replies for when you want to reject the candidate or accept them. But once the hiring stage is over, you will need to introduce your new employee to other channels of communication.
Emails are a must for sending important and lengthy announcements and sharing files (but for sharing files, you can also use Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Docs/Sheets/Slides). For daily communication, it’s best to choose a professional messaging platform like Slack which will allow you to send and received messages instantly. And for virtual meetings, anything from Zoom to Skype to Google Teams can work fine.
Develop an Inviting Company Culture
Even though you will be working with a remote team, it is still crucial to remember that you need to have an inviting company culture that will keep up a good atmosphere or mood among your team members. Here are some things to consider:
- Creativity: Encourage creativity among your team members by giving them more autonomy for creative decisions.
- Empathy: Promote empathy between team members and yourself to establish an emotional bond.
- Inclusion: Make sure that everyone feels included in the team as well as valued, heard, and appreciated.
- Accountability: Keep employees responsible and accountable for their actions, whether good or bad.
- Check-Ins: Regularly check-in on every team member separately to know how well they are doing both emotionally and productivity-wise.
Remember Time Zones and Boundaries
As mentioned earlier, to schedule virtual meetings properly, you will need to keep in mind the time zones and make sure that everyone is available at the time of the meeting. However, it’s also worth remembering about time zones in day-to-day performance. A good idea would be to have every team member add their working hours and time zone in their Slack bio.
At the same time, you have to remember about personal boundaries of every team member. Even though you will all be working in a team, discussing private matters needs to be done individually, but it’s best not to discuss personal things at work at all. That being said, if you see an employee struggling, reach out to them and see how you can help.
Select and Implement Digital Productivity Tools
Digital productivity tools have been around for a while, so why not use them? The effectiveness and efficiency of remote teams are constantly being stressed, but productivity is what really can improve them. By the way, Entrepreneur’s article Why Founders Should Focus on Productivity covers the topic extensively.
Digital productivity tools can help manage time better, schedule meetings easier, help employees get more breaks without decreasing their productivity, and so on. For example, even simply using a project management platform like Trello or Asana can help remote team members cooperate easier. And a digital calendar with all the important upcoming dates can help regulate and organize events.
Find and Use Opportunities for Bonding
As I mentioned above, developing an inviting company culture is one of the most important aspects of keeping your remote team happy, satisfied, and consistently productive. But one of the most important ways to develop a culture like that is by actively finding and using opportunities for bonding. It doesn’t have to be something particularly big, but you need to engage in such team building activities regularly to make them work.
For example, a virtual movie night every Friday evening can help everyone relax after work and hang out together. A virtual meeting during the lunch break when everyone exercises before eating can promote a healthier lifestyle among your remote employees and help them get to know each other better. Indeed, encouraging communication during breaks can make your team members bond easier and faster.
Monitor Performance and Praise Achievements
In addition to team building and bonding, another crucial aspect of an inviting company culture is the feeling of appreciation and recognition you every team member should be experiencing. For instance, Forbes’ article Recognition In The Workplace can be a good read on the topic.
Of course, there will be victories that could be attributed to your entire virtual team such as the sales success of the past month, but it’s important to find something valuable on an individual level and praise these achievements of your employees. Monitor each person’s performance separately and inform them when you see them growing professionally and becoming a more productive and experienced specialist. They will appreciate your praise.
Encourage Collaboration Between Teams
Last but not least, encouraging collaboration between the different teams you manage is also a good way to improve communication and develop company culture. For example, if you are managing the marketing, sales, and customer service remote teams, they will probably need to cooperate in some way at least from time to time. Your job is to encourage them to communicate more often to improve the results of their joined efforts.
In addition to that, the team-building and bonding activities your marketing remote team engages in can be done along with other remote teams, especially if all the teams are quite small and combining them for a single virtual meeting on a lunch break won’t be much of an issue. In other words, anything can work – you just need to find the approach and a way to execute your plans for uniting the different remote teams.
To wrap up, the process of setting up communication and planning everything might be a little tedious, but once it is all set and done, you will be able to manage your remote teams as effortlessly as you manage your in-house teams.
Author: Jamie Fry
Purposeful and promising author. At this moment he is working at writing services review companies, as Online Writers Rating and Writing Judge and enhances his blogging skills. Confidently goes to his goal. He has a talent for writing original content. The main conviction in his life: «To be the best in the field in which you are developing». Always in search of fresh ideas.