In the last post of this series, we talked about the necessity of determining the activities that will get you the results when you have a team working remotely. Without these activities, it’s difficult to determine success on a daily basis. In this post, we’ll dive into another key process that will help improve the performance of your remote team: the daily check-in.
One of the problems that arise when you have a remote team is communication. When working from home, it can be easy for an employee to become disengaged, especially if they aren’t used to working this way. They don’t have the energy that comes from having multiple people with a common objective working together in a workspace. There are distractions that can arise if they are in an environment that is their work and home.
This can create issues. Additionally, with COVID-19, they may have a more difficult time holding conversations with customers. It can become frustrating.
As a manager, it is extremely important that you keep your team engaged. We all need human contact, and in this age of social distancing, you have to find ways to “manufacture” face to face interactions. One way to do this is to conduct daily check-ins.
The purpose of this daily check-in is to allow each team member to talk about what they are going to accomplish in their day. Each employee talks about their plan for the day, the prospects they have working, and any appointments or conversations they have on their calendar, etc. Basically, they will be discussing the activities they will be focusing on to achieve their goals and objectives.
In order to conduct a successful daily check-in, you need to find a tool to allow you to communicate with your team face to face. You don’t need to spend money on this, but you want a video chat solution. The tool can be something as simple as Facetime or Google Hangouts. Or you may have something more sophisticated such as Zoom. Regardless of the tool you incorporate, make sure it is video-based, it helps to assemble your team virtually where they can all see each other.
Once you have found your video chat tool, schedule a brief check-in each morning before the team gets going. Schedule it for the same time every day, and make it mandatory. This shouldn’t be a long call. Depending on the size of your team, it can be a 15-minute conversation. Don’t make it longer than 30 minutes. This isn’t a meeting, but rather a check-in.
Allow each team member their chance to talk about their day. These check-ins can create some productive energy. You’ll have a team that is engaged and enthusiastic about their day. Employees will brainstorm and solve problems for each other. Most importantly, you’ll see their productivity improve.
The last component you need to implement to make this process successful is a sign-out email. Require each employee to send a brief (emphasis on brief) email at the end of their day recapping what they were able to accomplish. This completes the circuit with the daily check-in. These emails need to go to all members of the team, not just the manager. You want all employees to see each other’s daily recap. Comment on these when the opportunity arises. Maybe a team member crushed their plan, or you may have someone frustrated. This is your chance to be a leader to your team.
As stated earlier, humans need interaction. A daily check-in is a great way to keep your remote team engaged and focused on their goals.