One of the biggest challenges of leading distributed teams is fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie. When some employees are working in an office and others at home, it’s easy for remote employees to feel isolated or forgotten from important conversations. It’s also easy to fail to include remote employees when decisions are made in the office.
It’s these little communication details that trip-up most new managers and quickly erode trust. Whether you send out an end-of-day memo or a weekly team newsletter, it’s critical to make sure you’re communicating effectively.
Going beyond team communications, it’s also important for managers to take the time to build genuine relationships with their direct reports. Without a personal connection, it’s hard to establish trust and drive performance. Get to know what makes your employees tick, both professionally and personally. So often, one-on-ones with remote employees either get cancelled when things are busy in the office, or the manager uses the time on that call to catch up on other work, like email.
Instead, if you want to build meaningful connections, strive to be present – not only physically or virtually but attentively as well. Hosting one-on-one meetings via video instead of the phone can assist you in this, enabling you to appear face-to-face and give your undivided attention.
Meet in-person as well
Consider setting aside a budget to bring your distributed teams together once or twice every year – while the very mention of the word ‘teambuilding’ can send shudders down spines, the face to face interaction will be invaluable. When employees get to know each other on a more personal level, they’re more likely to perform at a higher level and pick up the slack for each other on a day-to-day basis.
Effective communication solves so many of the challenges involved in leading distributed teams.
But beyond the fundamentals, you need reliable technology that supports your communication needs. Thanks to 8×8 Video Meetings, that’s not only possible, but it’s also affordable. Join meetings with a single click from any compatible browser and still get a full-screen, high-definition experience.
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