Tips for Effectively Managing a Remote Workforce
More and more employees are working from remotely, whether that location be their own home or on a tropical exotic destinations like Thailand and the Caribbean.
The Internet has opened up more possibilities than ever before for workers who don’t want to be tied down to a cubicle.
However, remote workforces have created huge challenges for management and human resource teams. But don’t worry, you don’t have to force your employees back into the office and there are lots of ways to make working remotely easier and more beneficial.
Here are some top tips for effectively managing a remote workforce.
1. Use the Right Software
The first and most important thing to consider is to use the right human resources software. This is probably the most critical tip for human resource teams that are managing a remote workforce.
Without the right software, you’ll battle every aspect of your job at every turn. For example, you will need software that allows you to virtually onboard new employees. Of course, you can ask your new employees to come into the office for onboarding, but this isn’t always going to be feasible and probably not very desirable, either.
Virtual onboarding software for human resource teams will automate every step of the process so you’ll know which tasks every employee has already completed and which ones are still left for them to do. They can sign off on documents, watch videos, view interactive presentations, attend video conferences, shadow job roles, take quizzes, and receive certificates all in a remote setting.
Of course, onboarding software isn’t the only software you’ll need. At a minimum, you’ll also need internal communication software, employee engagement software, a secure human resources database software, and others. Some software will fill more than one of these needs, but be sure you take time to try out several products before making your selection to make sure it works for you.
2. Facilitate Communication
Communication is a real pain point for remote workforces and it falls to human resource professionals to facilitate it. As mentioned briefly above, internal communication software will help with this challenge, but you’ll also need to develop policies and procedures around communication to ensure everyone knows what to expect.
Formalizing the cadence of manager check-ins with employees, using video conferencing (and the software you’ll provide), and establishing regular office hours for managers and HR personnel can go a long way in improving remote communication between employees and their supervisors.
3. Train Managers to Work With Remote Employees
The key to ensuring that a distributed workforce is successful is to train managers and supervisors in the organization how to manage remote employees. They aren’t going to know how to do this instinctively because most of them aren’t used to this type of working arrangement and they can’t rely on their in-office management skills to get by.
Taking the time to properly train everyone who will be managing remote employees in how to engage, supervise, provide feedback to, and recognize those employees will majorly pay off down the road. Your employees will be happier and your managers will feel more successful because they will have the tools they need to ensure their success.
Human resources teams with remote workforces must be proactive in handling remote employees. This type of working arrangement needs to be thoughtfully and intentionally planned so that it doesn’t become just another failed experiment.