Working remotely is becoming the way of the world across many industries, including family day care where team members can be spread across multiple geographical locations.Running a business this way provides flexibility and allows for business growth, however, doing it effectively takes excellent leadership.
I am going to outline 5 strategies to help you master the art of becoming a successful remote leader.
- Encourage an inclusive culture
Working remotely can be isolating, and can make managing teams challenging. Each team member needs to feel valued for their contribution to the success of your business, and be recognised for their efforts.
Some strategies you can use are:
Distribute a newsletter to celebrate victories and milestones
Ask for input from each member on decisions that affect the business
Make use of technology (eg. have a group FB page)
Offer regular get-togethers where members can get to know each other and share their goals, skills, experiences and knowledge.
- Develop and refine your communication channels.
Being able to share your values, policies and procedures with your team is vital, and cannot be done without thoughtful and informative interactions at every level of your business.
The communication channels within a remote team must cater for both face-to-face and online exchanges between all team members. This is so issues can be dealt with quickly, and questions answered in a timely manner.
While you may not always be the first point of call for all staff in the day-to-day operations of your service, you need to be accessible to every single person in your business. Maintaining open communication channels will allow you to build reciprocal feelings of trust, so your team can approach you when they need to.
Phone calls, emails, or a text are simple ways to communicate with your team, as well as more formal situations like meetings and training sessions.
- Use staff inductions to set mutual boundaries and goals
Your staff induction process should clearly outline how you manage your team remotely, and detail what is expected of each person to make that work successfully. Additionally, staff inductions are when you should discuss the goals of the business and how they align with the goals of your new team member.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team will allow you to identify which areas you need to focus on with your remote business. For example, some members may need extra support with program planning, while others may need training in risk management.
- Ensure everyone is on the same page
A big challenge of working remotely from your team is making sure everyone understands your business philosophies and values. The key to making this happen is by having comprehensive policies and procedures in place, so that each member knows what is expected of them in any given situation. You can get the JPS Advisers comprehensive policies here, the policy handbook for employees here, or you can develop your own by using this template.
Your policies and procedures are the backbone of your business, and each team member must be able to interpret the legal jargon they may include. JPS Advisers have created The JPS Guide for Family Day Care Educators that are a breakdown of each policy and provides tips and recommendations to make following them easier.
Having each member of your remote team on the same page will ultimately result in the success or failure of your business.
- Build your skills in mentoring and monitoring
Last, by not least, you need to set clear metrics, milestones and outcomes for your remote team. The only way you are going to measure these are through monitoring and mentoring your staff. This will also help you identify and rectify gaps in training and identify strengths and opportunities for your business.
I’ve put together this pack you can use that includes tips and templates to get the most from your monitoring and mentoring sessions. You can grab it here.
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