Last Updated on 22 May 2023
The world of work has changed significantly in recent years, with the rise of technology and the internet making it easier than ever for companies to work with distributed teams. A distributed team is a group of individuals who work together on a project or task, but are located in different geographic locations. This can include remote workers, freelancers, and contractors. While distributed teams offer many benefits, such as access to a wider talent pool and reduced overhead costs, managing a distributed team can be challenging. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best practices for building a high-performing distributed team.
1. Hire the Right People
The first step in building a high-performing distributed team is to hire the right people. When you’re working with a remote team, it’s important to look for individuals who are self-motivated, independent, and proactive. These traits are essential for success in a distributed work environment. When interviewing candidates, ask questions that will help you determine their ability to work independently and manage their time effectively.
It’s also important to look for individuals who are comfortable with technology and have experience working remotely. Ask candidates about their experience with remote work, and how they stay organized and productive when working from home. Look for individuals who have a track record of delivering high-quality work on time, and who are able to communicate effectively through written and verbal channels.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Once you’ve hired your team, it’s important to set clear expectations from the outset. This includes outlining your company’s vision, mission, and values, as well as defining each team member’s role and responsibilities. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines, communication protocols, and performance metrics. This will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that there are no misunderstandings down the line.
It’s also important to set expectations around work hours and availability. When working with a distributed team, it’s important to establish guidelines around when team members are expected to be available for meetings and communication. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings around availability.
3. Use the Right Tools
Communication is key when it comes to managing a distributed team. Make sure you’re using the right tools to facilitate communication and collaboration. This includes tools for video conferencing, instant messaging, project management, and file sharing. There are many great tools available on the market, so do your research and find the ones that work best for your team.
When selecting tools, it’s important to consider the needs of your team. For example, if you have team members in different time zones, you may need to select tools that allow for asynchronous communication. Similarly, if you have team members who are visual learners, you may want to select tools that allow for the sharing of diagrams and visual aids.
4. Foster a Strong Company Culture
Just because your team is distributed doesn’t mean you can’t have a strong company culture. In fact, it’s even more important to foster a sense of belonging and community when your team is spread out across different locations. Make sure you’re regularly communicating with your team and providing opportunities for team building and socialization. This might include virtual happy hours, team lunches, or even in-person retreats if possible.
It’s also important to establish a set of shared values and goals that everyone on the team can rally around. This will help create a sense of purpose and direction, and will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
5. Encourage Continuous Learning
One of the benefits of working in a distributed team is that you have access to a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. Encourage your team members to share their knowledge and expertise with one another and provide opportunities for continuous learning. This might include online courses, webinars, or even mentorship programs.
It’s also important to encourage your team members to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments. This will help ensure that your team is always at the forefront of innovation and is able to deliver high-quality work that meets the needs of your clients.
6. Provide Regular Feedback
Providing regular feedback is essential for helping your team members grow and develop. Make sure you’re regularly checking in with your team members and providing constructive feedback on their performance. This will help them understand what they’re doing well and where they need to improve.
When providing feedback, it’s important to be specific and provide examples. For example, instead of saying “your work needs improvement”, provide specific feedback on what the team member could do differently to improve their work. It’s also important to provide feedback in a timely manner, so that team members can make adjustments and improve their performance.
7. Celebrate Successes
Finally, make sure you’re celebrating your team’s successes. When your team is distributed, it can be easy to overlook the small wins. Make sure you’re taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate each team member’s achievements. This will help boost morale and keep your team motivated.
When celebrating successes, it’s important to be specific and highlight the contributions of each team member. This will help ensure that everyone feels valued and appreciated, and will help foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
Building a high-performing distributed team requires careful planning, clear communication, and a strong company culture. By following the best practices outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your team is working towards the same goals and achieving success together, no matter where they’re located. Remember to hire the right people, set clear expectations, use the right tools, foster a strong company culture, encourage continuous learning, provide regular feedback, and celebrate successes. With these practices in place, your distributed team will be well-positioned to deliver high-quality work and achieve success.