Remote work has become essential in the new normal, but even if we didn’t have a pandemic on our hands to force us to work from home, there is no denying that remote work brings some notable benefits to your startup. For one, remote work allows you to lead a digital workforce and hire talented individuals from anywhere in the world. And secondly, remote work allows you to better manage your payroll processes and find more affordable talent quickly. But that’s just the beginning, as effective remote team management allows you to easily focus on the vital few and take your company forward as a whole.
That said, remote work does pose some unique challenges, like how can you communicate efficiently and effectively now that you’re not working under the same roof? Communication is essential for your startup’s survival in the new normal, so today we are going over the five key tips you need to use to improve communication and collaboration with remote employees.
Repetition is the way to mutual understanding
As a leader, you have every right to think that saying something once gets the message across, or that sending out a memo to your team is enough to get everyone on board with the new policies or ways of doing things. Alas, your employees are only human, and humans sometimes don’t get exactly what you mean on the first try – especially when you’re communicating digitally, which can make the transfer of information somewhat tricky. To make sure things get done in a timely manner and that everyone knows exactly what you wanted to say at that morning team meeting, simply repeat yourself.
It might sound a bit over-simplistic, but in reality, people sometimes just need you to reiterate what you originally said, just to make sure that your message sticks. Keep in mind that some employees on that video call won’t say that they didn’t understand you 100% just because they don’t want to keep the meeting from moving forward, or maybe they’re just introverts sitting on the sidelines. So, make their lives a bit easier by simply repeating yourself, and then send out an email summarizing everything when the meeting is done – this method can also be beneficial for improving your relationship with remote workers.
Building a strong communication hierarchy
In remote teams, miscommunication can happen a lot more frequently than if you were all huddled together in the same conference room. What’s more, if you don’t have a clear communication hierarchy in place, you can expect information to start flowing around from inbox to inbox, never really reaching the person it’s supposed to. Why? Because people have no idea whom they report to or whom they should be communicating with, and so everything ends up in your inbox. Mind you, nobody will dare to speak up until you do something about it.
This is no way to run an efficient remote team, so be sure to craft a communication hierarchy. This is a simple process where you identify the horizontal and vertical lines of communication in your business, and then assign communication lanes to all teams and their leaders. The employees report to their leaders and colleagues, the leaders report and communicate with you, and so on.
Integrating a cost-effective communication solution
Of course, digital transformation is an essential component of startup success in the modern world, and especially in the new normal where remote work has become the preferred business model. You need a unified communication platform that allows you to communicate affordably on numerous channels, like VoIP.
Voice over internet protocol is a cloud-based phone system that comes with many digital features. For example, some of the leading VoIP providers emphasize mobile optimization and communication and uses dedicated apps along with conferencing tools to create a seamless experience for all employees no matter where they are. This allows you to communicate with everyone while on the go, which is great for leaders and employees who are always networking and running to meetings across town.
Communicating via video and chat on a daily basis
Speaking of communicating with everyone on the go, it shouldn’t matter where you are or how busy your schedule is, you should always find the time for at least one team meeting, preferably in the morning. Communicating with your team(s) on a daily basis is essential for productivity and making sure that everyone is on top of their game.
If you really want to make sure everyone is keeping track of the latest developments, you can organize team-specific meetings throughout the day. It will also give you a chance to connect with your employees and improve team morale over the long term.
Keep in touch while having the employee’s wellbeing in mind
Lastly, it is imperative that you communicate with your employees not about work, but about them and their needs. Employee wellbeing is essential during these trying times, and it’s up to you as the leader to make sure your employees are happy. Be sure to schedule one-on-one calls with everyone to catch up, ask them what they need and how they’re feeling, and if there is anything you can do to make their time working from home more productive and rewarding.
For many startups, transitioning to remote work can seem like an insurmountable task. Be sure to use these tips to make this change as smooth as possible to ensure better communication in order to facilitate growth and success in the new normal.