Deepak Agarwal’s Tips for Managing Teams Across Countries and Continents
ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 31, 2020 / As COVID-19 continues to impact companies around the world, it's clear that working remotely may be the new norm. However, if working remotely isn't handled correctly, it can isolate your workforce and lead to declines in employee engagement and productivity. Taking the right steps to manage a remote team will ensure your employees stay protected and productive, regardless of what time zone they're in.
Like many successful entrepreneurs, Deepak "Dee" Agarwal had to grow and adapt his business to expand his team's size, while still striving to maintain engagement, organization and unity. Deepak Agarwal has founded several companies in the U.S. and abroad, spanning retail to business process outsourcing. With teams located across the globe, Dee has experienced many challenges when it comes to managing a remote workforce.
"It can be tough to create a productive work environment when business hours don't match," says Dee Agarwal. "But the fundamentals of management remain the same: create open channels of communication between you and your teams to allow key decisions to be made effectively."
The following are Deepak's top tips for managing teams across countries and continents.
1. Be Mindful of Your Team's Time Zone
Successfully managing a remote team means allocating employee resources efficiently. For global teams, implementing a rotating schedule to accommodate regular office hours for other time zones will reduce stagnation and sleep deprivation experienced by those working across regions. Additionally, if you have three teams across three different time zones, staggering eight-hour shifts will ensure that your business is operating around the clock, while being considerate of regular office hours for your teams' local time zones. Dee Agarwal notes, "Preventing workplace fatigue caused by scheduling conflicts will not only increase productivity but will also prevent absenteeism that can immobilize workflow."
Effective rotation programs can vary depending on the size of the organization. While larger companies are more likely to implement a job rotation program, global businesses of all sizes might want to consider the program as a contingency for when key employees are absent due to illness.
2. Empower Your Team When Working Remotely
When conducting team meetings with employees in different time zones, make sure to include everyone in the conversation so that individuals do not feel undervalued. Employees need to know they are part of the company's overall success. Without face-to-face communication it can become easy to forget to highlight individual achievements. Deepak Agarwal says, "Even if everyone doesn't have the opportunity to voice their opinion while working remotely, something as simple as an email of thanks or sharing the success of an individual can boost company morale tenfold."
3. Create Team Bonding Exercises
When regular team lunches, afterwork drinks, or annual retreats are not an option, there are still plenty of ways to keep employees feeling connected. For example, consider hosting a virtual trivia night or happy hour. Or have lunches catered to your teams' homes and enjoy it virtually. If you feel like your team's motivation is lagging, consider bringing in a motivational guest speaker.
"Anything that facilitates team communication is a positive," notes Dee Agarwal. "A happy, engaged and empowered team leads to success. Of course, it's important to make sure everyone is on board and to listen to your employees' suggestions before moving forward with team-building exercises."
4. Measure Your Team's Productivity
Tracking team productivity can be problematic when working remotely. Project management software such as Monday and Asana are useful tools to help ensure work is completed on time and up to standard. The software allows managers to check in on project progress, as well as input employee tasks in one central system. It also helps to show responsibilities, status, priority, as well as company-specific information. "A system that provides a quantitative way of evaluating productivity is key for managers working remotely," notes Dee Agarwal. "The software not only works as a motivational tool but can also provide a detailed explanation of key areas where employees can improve."
For more expert business insights from Deepak Agarwal, read Tips for Leading a Company in Times of Uncertainty.
SOURCE: Deepak Agarwal