7 Things To Keep in Mind When Building Remote Teams
What’s the secret to building remote teams that perform and stay for the long haul? Always use these 7 tips to recruit the right people and keep them happy.
Building remote teams that exceed expectations and stay for the long haul is the ultimate dream for remote managers and employers.
But if you’re new to the remote work model or you’re experimenting with virtual teams to complement your in-house crew, it may seem harder than it looks.
You may be struggling to find and hire the right people or have an unusually high turnover rate if you do onboard top talent.
So this guide has all the answers you’re looking for.
We’re taking a deep dive into the best ways to build a remote team that outperforms and happily sticks around.
7 Things to Keep in Mind When Building Remote Teams
Keep these seven tips in mind during your remote hiring and virtual onboarding process, and you’ll recruit the best candidates and prevent the burnout that frequently leads to high turnover rates:
1. Craft the Perfect Remote Job Ad
Finding the right team members starts with learning how to write a remote job listing that sells.
Sure, you could simply copy one of your standard job ads, post it, and call it a day.
But, as you may have noticed, this won’t help you land top talent. Further, it could lead to recruiting the wrong candidates, forcing you to start the hiring process all over again in a few months.
Your job ad will likely be a candidate’s first impression of your company, so it pays to spend some time getting this right.
Your listing should also entice job seekers and give them all the relevant details they’ll need to decide if this role’s the right fit.
So take a minute to think about what you’re really looking for in a remote candidate.
Braindump all the basic skills they should possess, what they’ll need to do on the daily, and the education and experience required to be successful in the position.
Once you have these notes down, you can start fine-tuning to build out your remote job ad. During this process, make sure to:
- Use searchable keywords for your job title. Avoid fun terms like “SEO Ninja” or “Design Unicorn” since job seekers won’t be searching for these.
- Include an emotive introduction that draws people into your position and makes them curious to learn more.
- Be specific in how you describe your ideal candidate. If you need people who are resourceful on their own or can wear many hats, say this upfront so you don’t waste anyone’s time.
- Share your company culture and story. Potential candidates need to see if your mission and values mesh with theirs (and you want this too!).
- Detail the job responsibilities and requirements. Even if it looks overwhelming, people should know what they’re getting into before they submit an application. Besides, you don’t want candidates who aren’t 100% capable of what you need accomplished.
Following all these steps should help you land more well-qualified candidates in your inbox, rather than those who only meet some traits on your wishlist.
Psst! Use this free remote job description template to craft the perfect job ad in less time!
If you’re struggling with high turnover rates and recruiting often, reworking your job ads should lessen both simultaneously.
2. Where You Post Your Remote Job Ad Matters
Even if you create a killer job ad after reading the first step, it won’t work nearly as well if you’re tapping into the wrong segment of job seekers.
For example, if you’re trying to source remote candidates from general job boards like LinkedIn, you’ll likely find yourself inundated with people who are applying to dozens of jobs just for the sake of doing so.
Further, if you’re specifically hiring a remote team, why would you go to a watering hole that mainly serves up in-house positions? Virtual employees with experience probably won’t be checking traditional job boards like this, so you’re only wasting time and money here.
Start being more strategic and post your job ad on a remote job board.
You’ll tap into a base of job seekers looking for and already equipped for this style of work. You’ll know they can handle working remotely, so you may even reduce training time and prevent certain hiccups that come with the virtual learning curve.
3. It Pays to Have Clear Policies in Place Ahead of Time
Once you find and recruit your new remote employees, make sure to go over your work policy, so they know exactly what’s expected of them.
Similar to having a work policy for in-house teams, creating a remote work policy that specifically outlines your expectations ensures everyone’s sticking to the rules, staying in line with your company culture, and keeping up with your high standards.
For example, if you want tasks turned around within seven days of assigning them, but you don’t specifically mention it, you can’t be upset when someone hands their work in 10 days later.
When everyone follows the same rules and expectations, you’ll build a solid remote team that outperforms rather than one that’s confused or always on-edge about what they need to do.
4. Use Remote Tools and Software to Your Advantage
A team of remote employees needs to stay in touch and on the same page if they’re ever going to collaborate and work as one. This is especially true if you hire talent in different countries and time zones.
Cloud-based software and tools keep everyone in the loop and on schedule.
At the very least, choose one communication tool (such as Slack) and one project management tool (such as Trello or Asana) to get started. The former will keep communication strong, while the latter will allow everyone to see what needs to be done on their end.
Get your new hires familiar with these tools during your onboarding process, and you’ll create a well-oiled machine.
5. Adopt an Asynchronous Style of Communication
Before you go blowing up your remote team members’ communication channels, consider adopting an asynchronous communication style.
Put simply, asynchronous communication is less about babysitting and more about giving people autonomy.
Rather than having to hover and over-communicate, your team members will have enough details to get their job done and work on their tasks when it’s best for them.
This reduces the potential for micromanaging from afar, keeping remote employees happy and more likely to stick around.
If remote communication isn’t your forte, consider visiting these helpful guides on the topic next:
- Everything You Need To Know About Asynchronous Communication
- 5 Tips for Communicating Effectively On A Remote Team
- 3 Communication Examples That Strong Remote Teams Always Implement
A team that communicates well reduces the chances of errors, missed deadlines, and details slipping through the cracks.
6. Don’t Forget to Foster Personal Development
Encouraging personal development is one of the best tips for fostering loyal remote employees. And when you take an interest in helping your team develop their skills further, you also benefit from their newfound knowledge and confidence.
A good employee may do this on their own. But an even better employer will provide the tools and resources to sharpen their team’s crafts and help them develop in their career.
Investing in and improving your team doesn’t have to be expensive.
You can accomplish a lot in one-on-one sessions that last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour each week. Or consider offering affordable online courses from places like Udemy to help your team learn independently.
Remember, boosting each employee’s skills improves your team and helps your company reach new heights. So whatever you do spend will be well worth it.
7. Carve Out Time to Get to Know the People On Your Team
Don’t underestimate the power of getting to know your team on a deeper, non-work-related level when it comes to building a cohesive unit.
While you want your team to perform well, only focusing on deadlines, performance metrics, and output will lead to burnout.
When this happens, your team will quickly lose sight of why they’re working with you. These feelings then increase resentment and contribute to employee turnover.
You can avoid burnout by offering weekly virtual happy hours in your communication programs. People can meet up online, hang out together, and chat about non-work-related interests to connect.
You can also build camaraderie by scheduling mid-week breaks to chat for a certain amount of time (such as 15 to 20 minutes). Take these designated water cooler breaks to welcome new coworkers, talk about binge-worthy shows, or laugh at your fur babies.
By weaving in set meeting times, people can look forward to taking a mental break, and they’ll be less likely to chat during work hours.
You should also consider incorporating virtual team-building activities to further strengthen the team’s bond from afar.
Final Thoughts On Building Remote Teams
Before reading this guide, you may have just assumed that building a remote team was as simple as hiring employees in-house.
While it’s technically similar, these seven tips will help you tackle some of the nuances associated with recruiting and keeping the best remote employees specifically.
Follow all these suggestions, and you’ll build a team that’s productive, happy to be there, and stays for the long haul. Then you’ll have less employee turnover, and your remote company will run more smoothly as a result.
Save these tips, and learn how to manage your virtual team by visiting this guide next!
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