It’s very important to learn how to become a better leader to remote employees- regardless whether you’re a business owner or a manager in the current scenario.Anyone living in India will know that soaring real estate prices render impossible for almost every business to open offices at several locations. Indeed, large corporations and banks are operating in some cities from rented premises available only on exorbitant rents.
Given this scenario, almost every business now hires remote employees. Thanks to economically priced high-speed Internet, computers and smartphones, hiring and managing remote employees is very easy.
At the same time, technology doesn’t mean that remote employees don’t require supervision, guidance or leadership. They need all these elements from their employer.
In this article, I’ll give you some vital tips on how to become a better leader to remote employees.
These tips on how to become a better leader to remote employees come from my personal experience of handing a large team located in various parts of the world and India. They might help you as well.
Understand Cultural Differences
Understanding and appreciating cultural differences is the first step towards being a better leader to remote employees. Regardless whether they’re in India or abroad, there’s a vast difference in cultures.
Hence, what we think as usual or acceptable form of behaviour could offend someone that comes from an altogether another culture.
Here’s a simple example: my Indian remote staff would approach any issues about money very cautiously. In stark contrast, foreign staff had no qualms about asking for hikes in salary or perks very directly.
While Indians indirectly hint they require a salary raise, foreigners highlight their contribution to the company as direct justification for an increment.
Hold Meaningful Video Conferences
Developing a bond with your remote employees is extremely vital. That inevitable sense of aloofness from the business owner or leadership tends to affect remote workers.
This breeds insecurity and imparts a general feeling that bosses aren’t concerned about their remote workers. Such emotions can adversely affect the performance of your remote team.
You can easily counter such scenarios. Video conferencing is your best tool to ensure your remote workers don’t feel that bosses are aloof or unreachable and they’re left on their own. Hold meaningful video conferences with your remote employees.
It could be anything from a small training session to solving their personal and professional issues. Or you can video conference with them just casually. This breaks the barriers that distance invariable creates.
Provide Effective Troubleshooting
Understandably, remote employees will encounter work related issues due to various reasons. Here I refer to the first tip- understanding different cultures. Because often, such issues arise due to cultural differences.
Effectively resolving issues of your remote employees and for example, their clients would require that cultural understanding. Because everyone reacts or responds differently to any given situation.
An essential trait of every leader is the ability to troubleshoot or solve problems effectively and to the best satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Because, an apparently minor issue today can burgeon into a major company that can threaten the very existence of your business or cost an entire regional market. Hence, you’ll have to serve as an excellent problem solver for your remote employees.
Update Remote Employees Frequently
One of the major problems that crops up while dealing with remote employees is disseminating information. You can send emails and Tweets or use online workplaces to keep remote employees posted about the latest information about the organization.
Regardless how trivial you may consider any information or development it might mean a lot to your remote employees.
Furthermore, update remote employees frequently about the status of their targets if any. If any remote employee is lagging, try and understand reasons for this slow growth and troubleshoot the issue immediately.
This helps remote employees to comprehend that you’re responsive and responsible leader. That you take the job seriously and they can rely upon your skills.
Pat on the Back
A pat on the back, word of appreciation or even an email honouring a remote employee for outstanding performance works miracles. It boosts the morale of remote workers and entices them to perform better. Appreciation also leads to healthy competition, which translates as higher productivity and increase in profits.
At the same time, remember to appreciate your remote workers in the presence of others through a video conferencing platform.
Or send a message of appreciation on an online workplace that others may view it as well. Lack of appreciation is a major killer of productivity and talent. You can overcome these and become a better leader of remote employees by using this simple tip.
It’s important to become a leader to remote employees nowadays as most companies are under expansion mode. Every leadership and interpersonal skill will prove handy to become that better leader your remote employees want.