Managing a marketing team is no small feat. Often as a manager, it’s your job to ensure your team is working efficiently and delivering high-quality content in a timely manner. Because of the fast-paced environment, it can helpful to be in an office and have the opportunity to collaborate in real-time. Unfortunately, with the emergence of COVID-19, an office is a luxury that many managers no longer have.
Recently, we virtually sat down with 12 marketing professionals to ask them how they’re successfully managing remote teams during this time. They shared some easy tips that anyone can incorporate into their remote schedule.
Make Time for Checking In
The luxury of being in an office and working alongside each other is knowing what everyone is up to. You can glance at computer screens, engage in water-cooler talk and get updates daily about what everyone is working on. Working remotely doesn’t give you such a luxury. Make sure when managing your team remotely, you check in often. You can do so through video calls, emails or IMing. However you do it, don’t lose touch with your team.
–Denise Gredler, Found and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ
Make Schedules Visible to All Team Members
Keep a running schedule of who’s working on what day at any given time. Whether you use a software or a shared spreadsheet, keeping track of what tasks your team is currently working on will assist you in making decisions about deadlines and assignments as you move forward. Making the schedule accessible to everyone on your team will also assist in ensuring clear communication.
–Vanessa Molica, Founder of The Lash Professional
Create checkpoints for your team to submit their work at certain intervals. Checkpoints allow you to sit down and sift through the in-process deliverables and status updates to make sure everyone is working efficiently and that projects are on schedule. This also gives you an opportunity to give feedback before anything goes too far.
–Ryan Nouis, Founder of TruPath
Consistency in Schedules
The best way to manage a remote team is to make sure that everyone has a consistent schedule. This doesn’t just mean you log on and off at the same time every day. It means you’re creating blocks of time that are dedicated to particular activities such as answering emails, attending meetings, or even eating lunch. Doing so helps your teammates know when you’re available and ready to collaborate.
–Nikitha Lokareddy, Director of Client Communications at Markitors
Run Effective Meetings
Your one-on-one and team meetings are your biggest opportunity to align strategy and priorities while communicating and building trust with your team to learn more about how each individual is feeling. This doesn’t mean you should only communicate through meetings, but you should make the time to sync with everyone on your team on a recurring cadence.
–Hiba Amin, Marketing Manager at Soapbox
Whether you put together a joint email chain or spend 20 minutes on a quick call on a Monday, this is a great way to do a pulse check. Have each person highlight their project to-dos and ask what they’re most excited to be doing this week. It sets the right tone and let’s everyone have insight into what the team is collectively working on.
—Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer
Set Light Targets
Nobody wants to be micromanaged, but it’s difficult to monitor progress when your entire team is out of office. A great way to combat this is by setting achievable targets across the day, week, or month. If done correctly, this should motivate your team to work hard and meet those goals.
–Liam Quinn, Head of Marketing at Reach interactive
Time Tracking Tools
The best way to manage a remote marketing team is to use a time-tracking tool. Time tracking tools boost the productivity of remote marketing teams by over 20%. They also make it easier for you to see what your team members are doing at work. A good time-tracking tool also helps you monitor and evaluate the productivity of your teams. With a payroll module, you can easily generate accurate billing information for each team member so that you can pay for the exact hours each team member worked.
–Chioma Iwunze, Content Marketing Analyst at Time Doctor
Over communicate on expectations, deadlines, and context. Your employees won’t be able to read your body language as well remotely, which means it’s even more critical that you outline what you want, why you want it, and when you want it by. Be clear on things like how often you want updates and by what channel. Set them up for success.
–Sydney Stern Miller, Marketing Lead at Tech Talent South
Guide Instead of Manage
I don’t like to use the term “manage”. I prefer the term “guide” because being a manager is more about leading than it is managing. Direct reports look for guidance on things as it relates to their role, not on how they do their job. Being remote should welcome the opportunity for leaders (managers) to step up and lead their team. It starts with things like empowering them with the things they need to be successful or being transparent about how the business is affected (or not) by COVID-19. It’s laying the foundation of how to communicate with the rest of the team and setting guidelines for what to do when feeling a certain type of way.
–Janelle Amos, Revenue Marketing Manager at Betterworks
Trust Your Team
Trust is the most important part of managing a remote team. Trust your judgement; you hired and/or continue to employ these people for a reason. Trust that they have the company’s growth in mind and that they’re doing the absolute best they can juggling demands during the pandemic. If you can’t trust them, they’re not right for your team inside or out of the office.
–Chryssa Rich, Director of Marketing at Primary Health Medical Group
Lead From the Front Lines
This approach means doing the same type of work that you ask of your people. If they write articles, you write articles. If they do customer research, you do customer research. When you do this work, you show your remote team not only that the work is valuable but that it’s valued, which is a massive boost to engagement and productivity. Unrelated, but recommended: work in four-week cycles. By setting clear priorities for the month and having these items as must-dos, you ensure the business keeps moving in the right direction.
–Michael Alexis, CEO of Teambuilding
This article has been provided by Markitors, a digital marketing company located in Arizona.