Leading Your Company Through the Transition to Remote Teams
Change is always met by challenges. When outsourcing to remote teams, these challenges are two-fold. Firstly, your existing workers may be reluctant to accept your new remote teams. This could be for several reasons, fear of replacement chief among them. Secondly, a different management style is required for motivating and inspiring your remote teams.
Dealing with these two challenges requires decisive leadership, incorporating compassion, sensitivity, and understanding. This post is a guide to balancing the needs of your core-team with that of your newly outsourced remote teams.
Reassure Your Core Team
When there is a shift in company policy, employees need to be reassured that their jobs are safe. By introducing new remote teams, your current workers may feel as though they are being replaced, even if this is not the case. This may additionally be met with resistance from labor unions. Any animosity between your core team and your remote teams may lead to a breakdown in communication and workflow disruption.
Be Upfront About the Remote Teams
When you begin to consider outsourcing as an option for your business, hold a meeting with your major stakeholders. This includes shareholders, top management, and workers. It may be more fruitful to have a representative from each category of stakeholder as the meeting may become too large.
In this meeting, outline the functions you are wanting to outsource and what jobs, if any, will be affected by such a move. Allow them to raise questions and concerns.
After this meeting, you should be able to gauge the feelings of all the parties. This will help you to address grievances before the outsourcing process truly begins. It will also give you the chance to combat any labor union-related problems.
By informing all your major stakeholders at the very beginning of the outsourcing journey, you ensure that no one is blindsided. Minimizing any possible disruptions that may occur.
Focus on the Benefits of Remote Teams
When the company does well, your workers do well. Demonstrate to your employees how outsourcing is going to help the company. Highlight benefits such as increased productivity, ability to rapidly increase or decrease the size of the remote teams, and decreased costs.
Explain to them how these big picture benefits are going to help the company to grow and allow them to grow with you. By breaking it down, you are giving your employees ownership over the outsourcing process. Their buy-in is crucial to the overall success of this change.
Place a particular focus on how the outsourcing process is going to benefit your existing employees. Show them how having additional help will free up their time, allowing them to focus more on core functions such as sales – perhaps earning them more commission.
Make Sure Top Management are on Board
Another potential hurdle is getting the buy-in from employees in managerial positions. Many may feel that they will lose control of their departments if certain functions are outsourced.
It is important that you take these senior employees through the entire process. Place emphasis on the quality control measures that will be in place. When the senior staff is on board, it will be much easier to get their respective departments on board.
Leading Your Remote Teams
Working with remote teams requires a different type of leadership. The remote workers are still a part of your team and should be treated with the respect and dignity that the rest of your staff is. Depending on the outsourcing firm you are working with, you may require different levels of hands-on leadership.
With Noon Dalton we offer a range of outsourcing solutions. These include:
- Financial Functions such as loan underwriting, accounting and bookkeeping, and insurance processes.
- Recruiting Process Outsourcing and Human Resource Management
- Sales Support
- Call Center and Omni Channel Support
- Technological Support: Website and Application Development, and E-commerce functions.
- Data Entry, Processing, and Management
We develop outsourcing solutions that suit your individual needs. We will work with you to establish the level of control you require over the outsourcing process. No matter how hands-on your management style is, it is best to focus on the following leadership qualities.
Communicate With Your Remote Teams
No matter how involved you are in the process, communication is key. Ensure that your expectations are absolutely clear. Although this is true in every work setting, it is even more important when managing remote teams. The option to just go into the next office and check on the progress of a project is not there. This underpins the need to ensure that there are clear outcomes laid out at the beginning of a project.
If your team needs guidance on a particular task, it is important that they can get hold of the correct liaison at your firm. Set up lines for open communication between your firm and your remote teams. It should always be clear who they need to contact and how.
Recognize and Reward
Your remote teams exist outside of your normal work sphere. This can make motivating them a difficult task. A key method for employee motivation is recognition. Recognize members of your remote teams that are performing well and reward them. This reward need not be monetary or your traditional ‘set of steak knives’- a simple phone call can go a long way.
Utilize Technological Platforms
We no longer need to be in the same room to be together. The marvels of modern technology allow us to connect anytime, anywhere. Make sure that you have the correct technology available to optimize your workflow. This does not necessarily mean expensive software. A program as simple and freely available as Zoom or Google Docs can make all the difference to the productivity of your team.
Balance Flexibility and Fixed Deadlines
All leadership should come from a place of reason and compassion. Leading remote teams is no different. While it is important to lay down fixed deadlines – remember to bear time differences in mind. Often our remote teams are based in different states or even different countries. Remember to be reasonable in your requests.
For example, you are setting a staff meeting for 8 am your time, it may be midnight where your team is based. Try to be flexible – in this example, holding your staff meeting at 5 pm your time may make attendance easier for your remote teams.
Action Points for Remote Teams Outsourcing
- The decision to outsource affects all your stakeholders. It’s important to bring all your major players together as early in the outsourcing journey as possible.
- Recognize that change is difficult and it may take time for your core employees to adjust to the idea of remote teams. The idea may initially be a shock and make them fear for their jobs. Try to abate their fears by outlining the benefits of outsourcing for the business and for individual employees.
- Your managerial staff is essential to bring on board to ensure the overall success of the outsourcing journey. Reassure them by outlining the quality control processes available to them.
- Leadership should always be governed by both compassion and reason. When leading your remote teams, these qualities should always be at the forefront.
- Ensure that you have adequate communication with your remote teams. Support this by utilizing available technology.
- Recognize and reward excellence as a way to motivate your remote teams.
- Although you need to firm in setting deadlines, ensure you take the needs of your remote teams into account. Be reasonable and flexible in your requests.
Outsourcing to remote teams allows you to remain competitive. You can control costs while growing your workforce. While this change is excellent for your business, it can only be successful if everyone is on board. This outlines the importance of good leadership for both your core and remote teams.