Having a remote team has helped me grow my businesses in a scalable and cost-effective way. I’ve been able to tap into talent in a way that is beneficial for myself and the freelancers that have joined my team. As I’ve added more members to this remote team, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the same level of communication that I previously had with each member. Between travelling and my other responsibilities, the amount of time I have for each person has shrunk more than I wanted it to.
The need to maintain a good dialogue with my talented team is critical, however, in order to maintain or accelerate their productivity. That has led me to try different communication tactics to ensure the lines are open and I’m addressing each remote team member’s needs. These five tactics have helped us improve communication and productivity.
Keep Online And Mobile Channels Open
While there are obviously certain times of day when I have to set my Slack channel to “snooze”, I tend to leave it open and accessible to the entire team. They are located in various parts of the world, so different time zones mean they will reach out at hours that may not always align with my schedule. However, by keeping that channel open, I see all notifications of someone who needs my response or guidance much faster than I would if the message was emailed to me.
Delegate Specific Communication Needs
Having a communication channel like Slack also provides a way to open up the conversation to other senior members of the team who might be able to address a concern or question much sooner than I can. That’s why I’ve told all team members to contact certain people with specific concerns. It’s an approach that shows the remote team that it’s good to talk to each other and that I no longer hold all the answers.
For example, the remote team knows that if they have a log-in problem, they can check in with our chief technology officer. Or, if there is a product or feature question, a remote team member can reach out to members of the sales team. This gets their question answered and allows me to focus on other communication needs. It is also a way to start establishing a formal structure — necessary as the company grows.
Share Company Updates
With so much going on, it’s hard to remember what you have shared with the team and what you have forgotten to announce about the company’s growth and changes. It may sound unlikely, but as you grow, it happens. I’ve started creating a running list of changes and happenings each month that I put together in an email to share with the remote team. Entering these updates into a note app as soon as I think about or handle the changes enables me to simply copy and paste them into bullet points for each monthly company email.