Are you ready for long-term remote management? While some companies focused on making remote teams in the short term throughout the last year, 84% of current employees prefer working remotely and expect this perk to stick around. Remote work is here to stay, and naturally, it’s time to update your management skills to better suit the virtual workplace. Read on for Caliper’s 7 cardinal rules for effective remote management in the long-term.

1. Get Face to Face

The first rule of effective remote management: when in doubt, jump on a call.

More than half of human communication is nonverbal. And, we’ve all been guilty of misconstruing someone’s tone or intentions in an email or work chat. When you’re not physically in the office, maintaining visual clues, especially for uncharted projects and new processes, is essential. At the management level, this could mean delineating tasks effectively. But arguably, more importantly, this means your ability to gauge morale, levels of burnout, and your team’s reaction to instruction or company news.

At the first sign of confusion, encourage your team to jump on a call and set the precedent of cameras turned on. Identifying and addressing any concerning nonverbal cues is your opportunity to fix disengagement before it gets worse.

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2. Make Room For Small Talk

Out of respect for everyone’s time and unique workload, it can be easy to make video calls short and sweet. Sometimes it’s best to focus on the task at hand. However, if that’s all every video call is, you’re avoiding a critical part of management. 70% of employees say friends at work are the most crucial element to happy working life. But not only is it beneficial to give your team room to bond —it’s in your best interest to build rapport with each member of your team. Rapport between team members and management will help you work through problems together, learn to identify those nonverbal cues, and build trust.

3. Maintain An Open Door Policy For Check-Ins

The shift from in-office to remote work removed something that can’t be replaced — the ability to notice when a coworker or leader has the downtime and presence to ‘pop in’ and casually bring up thoughts, concerns, and general questions. The virtual workplace is ripe for potential feedback or even innovation to go unnoticed.

Tip: Block out a weekly one-hour window on your calendar for casual check-ins with your team. No need to make it a requirement —encourage your team to schedule a check-in, even if just to say ‘Hi.’

4. Increase Recognition

Gartner expert, Brian Kropp, says that employees’ desire for being recognized for their contributions increases by 30% during periods of disruption. Employees need recognition for their efforts in the remote landscape to maintain engagement and alignment with overarching company goals. Maintain consistent recognition for individual efforts both publicly, and during one on one check-ins so they know their work doesn’t go unnoticed.

#RemoteEmployees not only want a flexible schedule, they want flexibility in their learning and development. @CaliperCorp shares their rules for effectively managing remote workers on the blog: Click To Tweet

5. Focus Outputs, Not Processes

76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours. Employees are happy to stay at a company that works around their personal life. That means the ability to pick the kids up from school, make it to appointments, and tweak their schedules to reflect their most productive hours.

Flexible, remote work allows employees to work at their ideal workspace and speed. Some people work slow and steady on their deliverables, and others work in sprints. With remote management, focus on deliverables rather than employees’ journey to get there, as it likely looks different for everyone.

6. Reinforce Culture and Values

Your team should feel the company’s values through their in-home workspace. Your culture should be conveyed through each email, video call, and announcement. Company culture can often be a top priority for job seekers. And when a candidate can choose to work nearly anywhere from the comfort of their home, offering a fun culture is in your best interest if you want to stay competitive in the talent market.

Further, this alignment results in more positive business outcomes. By clearly defining and reinforcing your culture and values through management, remote employees are likely to feel more engaged, motivated, and aligned with organizational stretch goals.

7. Offer Competency-Based Training

When managing remote workers, maintaining employee engagement is key. And, 80% of employees say learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged at work. Remote employees not only want a flexible schedule, but they also want flexibility in their learning and development.

With competency-based training, companies can provide a self-paced model where learners aren’t restricted to deadlines or one-size-fits-all content to digest. Instead, they get snackable microlearning that targets specific skills with a self-paced model so that remote teams can improve their unique skills at their own pace.

The Caliper Precision Series is designed to fuel your organization’s skill development with a self-paced and coaching-enabled eLearning experience. It’s dynamically configurable, enabling managers to customize the curriculum to an employee’s needs. To see how Caliper can supercharge your employee development strategies in a remote landscape, schedule a demo today, or reach out to one of our experts to learn more.