If you’re a business owner with an offshore team, one of the biggest challenges is integrating remote employees while maintaining personal relationships, which is critical to your company’s success. In the face of a constantly evolving workforce landscape, here are five keys to being a great leader for your growing virtual team:

1. Do have an internal communication process.
Ensure you have a well-defined communication strategy for your remote team. Google Hangout, Skype and Podio are good examples of remote communication tools. For more sensitive data, set up private servers or company wikis. If you’re worried about leaks, work with your IT to create firewalls for documents that need managerial sign-off before being accessed.

2. Do not get lost in translation.
Consider which medium is best for delivering your messages. Regular check-ins can easily be done over the phone or email. Team meetings and strategy sessions are better suited for video conferencing with interactive tools. Important or negative news should be handled with the most personalized methods you have in place, particularly if travel is allowed.

3. Do not be a control freak, but do set clearly defined goals.
Micromanaging your outsourced employees will just lead to increased stress and low morale for your remote employees. Instead, establish clear expectations for your team, including timetables and well-defined deliverables as standards for evaluation and to ensure measurable progress.

4. Do give out employee perks.
Remote workers often feel isolated from the office culture. An easy and much-appreciated gesture is giving out quarterly prizes like gift cards or treating them to dinner at their favourite restaurant. It’s a nominal expense for the company but can go a long way to helping with employee retention.

5. Do not disregard the benefits of a traditional office space.
Apart from the obvious advantages (less diversions, more supervision, better facilities), office spaces help foster camaraderie among your remote staff as well as giving them the opportunity to form business relationships.

Here at Deployed, we provide fully equipped office spaces as well as end-to-end support for your virtual employees. This lets you avoid the distractions of dealing with IT, payroll, HR and other administrative tasks, freeing up your time to focus on what’s most important to you: managing and growing your business.

As a manager of an offshore team, do you make it a point to listen to your team’s feedback to quickly identify where problems exist and what solutions are available? Network with other bosses of remote employees and see how they handle the situation. And of course, keep tabs on all the new tools and virtual mediums that are constantly being developed to help online communities stay connected.

Arrange a confidential call or meeting today to learn more about building and managing your own dedicated virtual team.

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