5 ways for effective management of distributed teams

Managing distributed teams is a tough task. It is easy to become isolated, experience communication issues, lose control over team's performance and their trust. However, with proper strategy and the right tools, this task can become not as challenging, as it seems to be and may lead to high performance and great results. In our post we decided to share 5 recommendations for effective management of distributed teams.

Schedule regular meetings and brainstorms

Regular meetings help to keep track of your team activity, be aware of all issues and challenges your team faces. The best example of proper communication between team members is scrum environment.

During such discussions you can check not only the progress of projects but also find out about issues and even prevent them. Properly built communication strategy can lead to the following improvements:

  • Increased trust and understanding
  • Better product or service quality
  • Higher team performance

Regular meetings help to monitor activity of your distributed teams, manage them efficiently and minimize employees' burnout.

Focus on results

Everybody knows that all managers expect good results from their teams. However, only effective management can increase productivity and efficiency. This does not mean that managers should trust employees blindly or offer various checklists and reports to fill out.

According to the survey on micromanagement conducted by Trinity Solutions it appeared that 69% of respondents said they considered changing jobs because of micromanagement and 71% noted that being micromanaged had interfered with their job performance.

Thus, you need to find the golden mean and manage your team wisely with proper level of trust and control. You can use task board to see the tasks your team members work on and monitor their progress without interrupting the working process or interfering with it.

From the other side, regular meetings and brainstorms will help you keep track of the activity and share your guidelines with team members.

Take advantage of the right communication and collaboration tools

The success of your distributed team depends on the environment they work in and the tools they use to communicate and collaborate. Virola Corporate Messenger is not a simple communication tool, it's a comprehensive collaboration suite which can be successfully used by distributed teams. It offers the following features and functionality:

  • Self-hosted solution: you can install everything on your dedicated server and keep your company data protected and secure.
  • Unlimited conversations and files storage: your team will not lose any data shared in chat. They can easily perform search and access needed information anytime.
  • Private and group chats: you can organize topic-based communication groups and let your team members communicate privately.
  • Flexible user permissions settings: you can control the chat groups creation and manage this yourself or let your Virola users create topic based and private chats.
  • Task board helps to monitor tasks and gives your team a possibility to use one tool both for communication and collaboration.
  • Audio and video meetings are essential for any distributed team. You can easily initiate them in group and private chats in Virola corporate messenger.

Trust your employees

There should be balance between trust and control. If there is too much control, your employees will lose their creativity and will work like robots. On the other side, when they feel you do not care, they will also do whatever they want and this as a result will make negative impact on their productivity.

Listen to your team members

High employees' turnover can be the result of the one-way communication hierarchy. If there is lack of communication between managers and their subordinates, a lot of work needs are left without attention. In fact, the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s salary. Thus, it is important to let your team share their concerns, ideas and give feedback.

You can create special topic-based chats where your team members can give their feedback and discuss possible improvements. Another way is to organize meetings after projects completion. In this case you will be able to listen to your team members, find out what went wrong and where you can improve based on their feedback.

The effectiveness of management of distributed teams depends on various facts. We covered the most important ones you should pay attention to. Always listen to your employees and show them that you really care not only about the level of productivity but also about their comfort and mental health.