In today’s increasingly remote work environment, it can often be more challenging to manage team members and projects smoothly. With 17% of remote work issues being attributed to communication gaps, managers must take key steps to facilitate effective communication and set clear expectations for their teams and the projects they’re responsible for.
Home-based and hybrid working models are here to stay, so those who are leading remote teams need to ensure their employees are fully supported when working remotely. Doing so often comes down to communicating goals, deadlines and ways to collaborate more clearly and effectively.
Leaders who manage virtual teams and invest more in communication strategies and tools can increase employee productivity rates by up to 25%.
Why investing more in communication is worth it
Over 4 million employees left their jobs in 2021 and retention rates are declining. Instilling effective communication among team members is one thing that leaders who are managing virtual teams can invest in to counteract this trend.
Managers who implement effective communication in remote settings are also 50% more likely to reduce employee turnover, meaning that investing in tactics and tools that promote communication will allow managers to better retain employees, improve working experiences and drive the success of their projects.
How to manage remote employees effectively
34% of employees are dissatisfied with the communications they receive while working. This reality is a bigger source of concern for remote employees, who report that a lack of communication and collaboration is one of the biggest challenges they experience when working. To improve remote work communication, leaders can look to incorporate these practices into their management processes:
- Provide meeting summaries: While meetings are a great way for managers to set priorities for the week, 55% of employees report that they get distracted by emails and other tasks during video meetings. Providing a meeting summary is one way to ensure that important details aren’t forgotten or missed during your presentations. Consider asking one of your team members to take notes that summarize key points and actions items discussed, to then send to their colleagues after a meeting.
- Schedule regular one-on-ones: Managers aren’t always face-to-face when managing remote employees, which can lead to feelings of isolation. 25% of employees report feeling lonely when working at home, so scheduling regular meetings is key to helping your team members feel more connected. One-on-one catchups can be held with cameras turned on through Zoom and other conferencing platforms to provide your employees with a sense of social interaction and the opportunity to share their priorities and ideas for the week. Make communications consistent by setting up one-on-one meetings as recurring events in your calendar.
- Use communication-enhancing technologies: Millennials, who in all make up 50 million of the US workforce, say that access to technology makes them more effective at work. With many video meetings being scheduled, consider making use of communication technologies like transcription to better engage with your employees during presentations and on-on-ones. Solutions like Verbit’s take word-for-word notes for live meetings held in platforms like Zoom and Microsoft teams, helping remove the need for your team members to write down rushed notes and better focus during meetings.
Tools proven to help remote teams succeed
In addition to implementing management tactics, consider making use of multiple communication tools to streamline your communication when supervising remote employees.
These are some of the top tools leaders can use to manage their virtual teams and projects more effectively:
- Instant messaging tools: IM tools can help managers communicate more easily with their employees. Tools like Slack and Google Chat allow for quick back and forth messaging and can be used on computers in both browsers and through desktop applications. Managers can also benefit from using mobile-first apps like WhatsApp to communicate quickly with employees and clients. More than 5 million businesses are using WhatsApp, benefitting from its features like labels and chat filters that allow remote workers to send messages via cellphone on-the-go.
- Accessibility & engagement tools: With virtual meetings on Zoom and WebEx as the norm for remote teams, ensuring employees are able to stay focused and retain the information being shared with them is key. Captioning and transcription, which not only serve the needs of employees with disabilities or hearing loss, can also be used to keep all employees more attentive. Transcripts offer employees word-for-word notes from virtual meetings that they can reference during and after them to act upon intel that was shared. Verbit is being used within Zoom and other platforms by many businesses who want to caption their webinars, meetings and events to make them accessible to employees and viewers, as well as keep everyone more engaged during remote meetings.
- Task management software: Management tools Asana and Basecamp are greatly helping remote teams collaborate and work together on projects with multiple stakeholders and tasks. Enlisting one of these project management tools can save your employees’ time and streamline communication processes. They promote more effective collaboration among virtual team members and allow managers to easily assign projects, set task deadlines to ensure they’re being met and organize priorities more efficiently.
Improve remote work & meetings with an essential partner
While there are a lot of things you can do on your own to lead your team remotely and deliver on projects, tools like Verbit’s can significantly help to keep employees connected and make meetings and takeaways more seamless to obtain.
Verbit’s video and meeting captions and transcripts can help to bridge communication gaps among remote team members, as well as support the needs of those with disabilities. To learn more about our useful word-for-word captioning and transcription technologies to enhance your virtual meeting communication and accessibility on platforms like Zoom, contact us today.