Are you struggling to manage your virtual employees post-COVID-19? We all know that the virus sent the number of remote workers skyrocketing. But what’s less widely understood is how many businesses were moving to virtual teams even before the lockdowns took hold.
While nearly half of employees are still working from home post-pandemic, fully 17% of them were already completely remote before the virus hit. That means even before the nation went scrambling for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, savvy companies were recognizing the benefits of a hybrid — or even fully remote — workforce.
Business owners have realized that offering remote options allows them to hire the best team members regardless of their location. Plus, it has a demonstrable impact on employee morale, keeping teams happier and more efficient. And the benefits are proven; after investing in virtual teams, companies have enjoyed a 13.5% increase in efficiency.
Of course, it doesn’t come without challenges. But these difficulties are undoubtedly manageable — especially if you leverage the right partners and tools. Here are a few of the most common issues among those managing virtual employees.
Everyone has their preferred method of communication. Some people prefer phone calls, while others do better with an email or text. That’s true whether people are working in an office or from multiple locations. But a dispersed team can lead more quickly to breakdowns in communication — especially if there isn’t a defined process or structure in place. In a report from Buffer called “The 2021 State of Remote Work,” respondents answered that the single most significant work struggle amplified by the pandemic was communication and collaboration.
Leading a virtual team requires a strong manager to pull things together. Be sure your employees understand what the expected level of communication is. If someone encounters a problem, encourage collaboration and brainstorming the same way you would with an on-site team. It’s also a good idea to have set business hours when teams must all be online. In short, you need to properly manage the communication style of your entire group and build a structure that encourages cooperation.
MANAGING TEAM PERFORMANCE
Monitoring your team’s projects becomes more complicated when they’re scattered across the city or country. A lack of consistent oversight and direction can cause a project to come apart at the seams. That can translate into disappointed or even angry customers. If you’re struggling to get your team to complete tasks, it’s wise to stop and reevaluate everyone’s assignments. Generally, these hiccups come about when one employee is overburdened with work that could be delegated to others on the team.
By implementing comprehensive project management tools, you can assign tasks, set priorities, and more. This ensures tasks are completed on time, and there’s no confusion about who should be doing what.
HAVING THE RIGHT TOOLS
When you’re all working together in an office, it’s easier to see when technology is falling behind. But when employees are spread across multiple locations, it’s much harder to spot these gaps. It doesn’t take long for those problems to multiply and work to start falling through the cracks.
Ensuring access to the best equipment is a crucial component of helping your team thrive. Be sure to keep everyone’s technology up to date — even if you never see these tools being implemented firsthand due to someone’s location. By investing in the right tools, you ensure that your company is in the best position to deliver quality services.
What’s one common theme to all these issues?
They’re all easily manageable with ThinkHR from Health & Benefits Partners.
ThinkHR is an industry-leading HR software that gives you the tools and guidance to prepare for and manage these and more virtual employee-centric challenges.
ThinkHR gives employers access to advanced technology, authoritative content, and seasoned Live Advisors to help you prepare for and manage a wide range of HR-related issues, including:
- Assessing HR Risks/Costs/Opportunities
- Managing Employee Performance
- Managing Employee Discipline, Termination and Layoffs
- Hiring Great Employees
- Keeping and Motivating Great Employees
- Managing Employee Leave
- Leadership, Management, and HR Training
- Preventing Destructive Employee Lawsuits
ThinkHR provides access to accurate and reliable content, tools, and live support to take the stress out of managing virtual teams.
REAL ANSWERS FROM REAL EXPERTS
There’s no substitute for human experience and knowledge. ThinkHR provides unlimited, immediate access to certified, experienced advisors who will help navigate your people risk management issues.
TRAIN YOUR STAFF (AND YOURSELF)
With a substantial library of instructional training courses on topics such as compliance mandates, safety issues, and professional development, ThinkHR offers a full-featured learning management system using the industry’s most comprehensive training catalog.
A LIVING HANDBOOK
ThinkHR utilizes the industry’s only wizard-based handbook tool that covers all 50 states – complete with policy change alerts to ensure your handbook is always up-to-date, accurate, and protecting your business as effectively as possible.
CONTENT YOU CAN RELY ON
Fully integrated content combined with expert analysis of employment laws and regulations and best practice information will help you handle current issues and better prepare for future problems.
STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Our team of attorneys and experts monitor and anticipate future challenges and prepare you through email and CE-accredited webinars.
TOOLS, FORMS, AND TEMPLATES
Thousands of templates, tools, checklists, and policies make your job easier. Resources include FLSA classification, performance management, salary benchmarking, interactive audits, job description builder, and more.
Managing virtual teams requires focus and patience. And it’s a whole lot easier when you have the right tools at your disposal. Let ThinkHR and Health & Benefits Partners keep your team communicating, productive, and efficient — all while taking one more worry off your plate.
Contact us today to see for yourself how these proven, easy-to-implement tools can help your business goals.