With companies expanding all over the world at a rapid pace, it’s no longer possible to bring everybody to a central location to do work. More importantly, it’s no longer desirable. Cutting-edge companies need very particular skill sets to fill certain roles which may not be available in their local area.
Fortunately, technology has made it possible to manage people virtually. But the discipline is so new that few managers actually understand how to do it properly. So the question is: what do you need to know about being a manager in the cloud? Take a look at some of these tips.
Manage Employee Expectations
Part of the role of a manager is managing the expectations of others. Everybody wants to be CEO but, in reality, few people have the aptitude. When you’re not face-to-face with employees on a regular basis, however, it can be difficult to manage expectations. So what should virtual managers do?
The best approach is to be clear about what individuals in your team can achieve from the start. Clearly, if people are working from disparate locations scattered all over the world, then the opportunities for them to progress at company headquarters is somewhat limited. Just as in a regular brick-and-mortar office, being clear about things like pay-scaling is essential.
Resolve Conflicts Face To Face
Conflict resolution is incredibly important in any business. But when a business is conducted purely online, it can be an even greater challenge. People who take a masters in strategic leadership and management learn how important it is to resolve conflicts in person. But in an increasingly digital workplace, that is no longer possible.
Or is it? Thanks to apps like Zoom, it’s now easier than ever to host conversations face-to-face across multiple time zones. What’s even more impressive about many of these apps is that they allow you to hold conversations between multiple parties simultaneously. There’s something almost magical about face time, so use it.
Be Mindful Of Different Time Zones
One of the main reasons businesses operate virtually is because their key people are based in different time zones. As a result, managers who operate the cloud need to remain mindful of local times in different locations. For instance, it wouldn’t be fair to insist on 9 AM meeting every Monday morning if that meant that some of your workers had to get up at 4 am just to attend.
Always Be On Call
When people work by themselves, it can be isolating. One of the roles of a great manager, therefore, is to always be on call, providing them with the guidance they need to do their jobs properly. But they also have another role: keeping them engaged on a personal level. It’s one thing hiring somebody to perform a particular task for you, like keep the accounts. But it’s quite another to make them feel like a valued member of the team.
Thus, your job as a virtual manager should be to provide and facilitate daily social interactions. Ask your employees about how they’re feeling, what their mood is like, and whether there’s anything you can do to improve their working environment.