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Running Remote: Effective Team Management Checklist

Whether you’re chasing growth, maintaining it, or capitalizing on it, the need for effectively managing your team has never been greater in this remote-enabled world. As a former HR and People Operations Executive and Leadership Coach, I wanted to share a helpful team management checklist for managers and leaders as they navigate constant change.

Change in and of itself is complex, and there’s no doubt the level of change currently within businesses is transformational. Traversing a new way of operating requires creativity, resilience, and a growth mindset. Below are a few considerations for those who desire to truly lead during these unprecedented times.

The Remote Team Management Checklist:

Adjust Your New Hire Onboarding Program (if Necessary)

With companies continuing to hire in a fully remote environment, it’s worth examining whether your current onboarding process works for successfully assimilating your newest team members. It’s important to note that new hire onboarding is a joint accountability of HR/People Operations and Managers – too often the burden rests on the HR/People Operations Team and that’s where the process breaks down. With individuals making their decision to either stay or leave with a company within their first 90 days, getting onboarding right has never been more critical.

I’ve spoken with several companies over the last few months who found that the “old way” of onboarding simply wasn’t working. Their team members were feeling disconnected, isolated, and unsure of the direction for the company. A helpful leading indicator is a new hire survey at the 30/60/90 day marks to ensure team members have the support and resources they need to be effective in their role.

Not interested in running surveys? I can understand not wanting to inundate your employees with requests for feedback. You can also adopt a more personal approach and identify a mentor or buddy for the new hire to help serve as a guide through their first weeks and months with the company. Ensure employee accountability and commitment to this role and be sure to clearly articulate the importance of successful assimilation and integration.

Lead Inclusive Meetings

Teams have a tendency to operate in silos when shifting to remote work – only the responsible and accountable parties make it on meeting invites OR the team members with the most subject matter knowledge. The result of this approach can be failed new hire assimilation efforts, groupthink, and disjointed communication. If you’re working to integrate new team members or adopt new processes, ensure there is a healthy mix of diverse perspectives in those conversations.

Communicate Honestly (and Often)

Within an ever-changing world, teams are looking for open and honest communication about the direction of the company, remote support resources, and progress towards goals and objectives. Establishing a regular cadence of All Hands and departmental meetings can aid in reducing side conversations and speculations about the state of the business, new policies, and departmental achievements. IF your goal is to keep the team rowing in the same direction in this new remote world, communication is a critical piece of the puzzle.

This philosophy of course extends to your 1:1 conversations and smaller meetings. Reminding everyone of the mission and goals, and creating buy in, is critical to moving the business forward. Ensure you’re communicating with your team via diverse channels and forums, so everyone is on the same page.

Articulate Well-Defined Goals and Metrics

There’s nothing worse than having ambiguity around the goals for the company, departments, and individuals on your team. It’s essential to have a shared understanding and alignment on the direction everyone needs to head in. In the absence of clarity, chaos ensues and the last thing you need is your team unfocused. As a leader, be sure you’re articulating clear goals and expectations. Clear conceptual frameworks are necessary to ensure everyone stays focused on what you are trying to accomplish and doesn’t get distracted by lesser things.

Equally important is a clear framework for tracking goal progress to tangible metrics. Not only is measurement related to increased employee engagement, it’s an essential component of data-driven management. Imagine “temperature checking” whether your goals are on or off track or simply relying on your gut to tell you. In this new remote world, gut isn’t good enough.

Evaluate Performance Objectively

This one should be obvious, but I’ve spent several years in HR and People Operations roles and witnessed my share of subjective performance feedback conversations. When you have the metrics and measurement in place for your team, an objective conversation about performance is not only easier, it mitigates some of the natural bias we, as humans, bring to our life and our work.

When we’re working remotely, we inevitably don’t have full visibility into what each member of your team is doing. Rather than taking a micromanaging approach, set forth actionable goals and achievable metrics that your team feels motivated to tackle. Track these regularly in a tool that’s visible to your team. Have real-time conversations when goals shift off track or morph into something different. This is key to maintaining alignment and ensuring at the end of the quarter or year you’re evaluating performance based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities your team member brings to their role.

Fail Forward, Fail Fast

For many of the startups I’ve worked with, this is actually a core value. Whether it is or isn’t, the mindset of failing forward and failing fast is an essential one for startups to embrace. Success does not come from a perfectly linear trajectory. When you truly adopt this mindset, you intentionally create space for innovation, learning, and growth. You also create psychological safety and

In order to learn, team members cannot fear being belittled or marginalized when they ask naive questions, own up to mistakes, or present a minority viewpoint. Instead, they must be comfortable with occasional failure and understand how to embrace a growth mindset. This mindset also lends itself to building resilience so when you do experience failure, you move through challenges with a momentum that inspires your team, rather than deflating them.

Effectively Leverage Your Tools

There’s no doubt that as the world shifted to remote work, the number of tools your team was utilizing for measurement, tracking, and communication increased – significantly. Budgets were redirected from their previous allocation in order to fuel the evolution of productive teams across the globe. The question remains: how effectively are your teams leveraging the tools and are you realizing the value from your technology investments?

Of course, you could sit down with each of your managers or leaders and ask this question. But do they have an honest answer for you about the productivity their tools drive within their teams? Let me offer up an alternative approach to not only understanding the data your teams are generating but whether your tool investments are being fully utilized: Peoplelogic.ai. The team at Peoplelogic has crafted a thoughtful platform that gives you visibility into not only your team’s productivity but allows you to look forward and across your teams to make data-driven decisions that propel your business forward, rather than halt your growth. The platform’s predictive insights surface when your tools aren’t being utilized to their fullest potential and serves up recommendations that allow you to better manage your team.

If one thing is paramount right now, it’s visibility into the data your teams are generating…daily. This information allows you to lead from fact rather than feeling. Actions become proactive versus reactive. And growth becomes consistent, not stalled. See how your journey looks different with Peoplelogic.ai.

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