Managing a remote team comes with specific challenges. Although it is common for digital marketing professionals to work remotely now, there is always a place for improvement. Even if you are already a self-made digital marketing expert in remote management, there are ways to upgrade your team’s performance, engagement, and satisfaction.
This guide will cover the most efficient ways to increase a remote marketing team’s productivity.
Challenges of managing a remote team
First of all, it is crucial to define what challenges you might be dealing with. Of course, every brand and team is unique. However, management faces some common obstacles when working with remote employees.
- Availability of the right tools and devices for a great performance from home
- Fewer options for communication and interaction
- Adjustment to a new work environment for a team that used to work from the office
- Proper goal setting and performance monitoring
- Keeping employees engaged and satisfied with their careers
- Lack of workplace communication among professionals
Also, technical concerns like cyber security need to be addressed. It’s difficult to track individual performance and productivity remotely. Employees and management might lack face-to-face interactions, which can result in miscommunication and lower inner motivation.
How to boost the productivity of a remote digital marketing team
Hire the right people
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, yet it never loses relevance. Your team is only as good as every professional in it. That’s why it is essential to find suitable specialists with specific skills and experience.
It is also crucial to have a diverse team. Here are the main reasons why diversity is beneficial for a marketing team:
- It boosts the team’s performance
- It promotes more creativity
- It encourages more versatile and problem-solving ideas
- It builds the brand’s reputation and healthier corporate culture
- It gives cultural insights, which is essential for international companies
- It diversifies the skill set of your team.
With highly-qualified and motivated professionals on your side, it is going to be much easier to reach the company’s goals.
Set transparent expectations
Remote work requires both structure and flexibility. The structure is needed to set clear goals, expectations, and deadlines. Flexibility gives employees more freedom to express their creativity.
The baseline for productivity is having a transparent schedule with your team’s goals. They need to be specific, relevant, achievable, and time-bound. Divide them into long-term objectives, weekly goals, and daily tasks. Whether you work on an hourly basis or during office hours, employees need to know what they are expected to do and when.
The most important information should be visible to all team members. It can be placed on a shared board or portal where everyone can see it.
Implement digital marketing and collaboration tools
As all team members are working remotely, the internet is the main source of communication and interaction. Plenty of tools and apps ensure smooth processes, from Slack and Jira to Trello. Figure out what software your team would need and implement it in the daily routine.
Such solutions can help with the following:
- Having weekly or daily online meetings
- Keeping constant communication between specialists
- Tracking individual and group performance
- Keeping tabs on projects
- Managing specific marketing tasks (email campaigns, social media posts, paid ads, etc.)
- Delegating and assigning tasks
- Making reports
- Managing sick leaves and vacations, etc
Implementation of the right software creates a more transparent environment and promotes easier performance monitoring. For example, you can create a ticket with a task, assign it to a professional, and see the progress as it unfolds.
You can separate the tools your team uses into several categories, such as:
- Task Allocation
- Collaborative software
Look into what functionality various solutions have to offer. It is a good idea to have at most 2-3 tools you constantly use not to overload the work process. If employees have to log into 15 different accounts, it might be redundant and time-consuming.
Feedback is incredibly important for any specialist. When working remotely, it gains even more significance as there is a lack of face-to-face communication.
Recognition of team and individual efforts is a foundation of employee satisfaction, motivation, and talent retention. Give credit where credit is due and reward great performance. You might incorporate regular feedback meetings virtually or simply acknowledge everyone’s effort in weekly meetings or emails.
It might be beneficial to create a reward system with a gamification element. This works great not only for digital marketing but for any team. This gives specialists even more inner motivation to succeed and perform. And it helps establish corporate culture as well as give more employment advantages.
Another powerful way to give regular feedback is through performance goals. Set the goals for the team and/or individuals for a specific period. A company can create a job outline and a particular grading system that helps employees and managers evaluate performance. This way, everyone can see how they are doing individually and what aspects they need to improve.
Work with smaller teams
Smaller teams are easier to manage, for sure. Furthermore, people working in small groups are more likely to form emotional bonds with each other. This ensures a better flow of ideas and a healthier corporate environment.
If you have a large digital marketing team, it might be a good idea to divide it into smaller groups working on specific project parts. It makes communication more direct and manageable. In addition, it is more comfortable for everyone in a group.
Promoting ecological communication and giving everyone a safe space to share their ideas and propositions is important. Brainstorming sessions could be a great practice for that. Make sure you set an expectation of openness and no criticism while everyone gives ideas. Work on narrowing down the most promising ones together.
Promote regular interactions
One of the major downsides of remote work is the feeling of isolation a lot of employees might be dealing with. Although your employees might prefer to work from home, they still need to feel connected to the company and the team.
To achieve stronger emotional bonds and more engagement, you can try different things, namely:
- Establish weekly virtual meetings
- Create a virtual break room where employees can chat
- Offer co-working space for a couple of days a week or a month
- Incorporate online training sessions for the team
- Try virtual team-building activities
- Devote time to connect with each of the team members regularly
Often, even something as simple as asking, “how was your weekend?” and “how is your cat doing?” can be an ice-breaker. Emotional connection is vital for motivation, productivity, and loyalty. It is also important for creating and maintaining a comfortable and friendly work environment.
Do not micromanage
Micromanagement is a sure way to ruin trustful relations within the team. Tasks and deadlines should be clear, but it is essential to give professionals space to be independent. It promotes more productivity and creativity. Also, it increases productivity as people do not have to consult with you on each little action they take. The tasks and deadlines should be clear, but it is essential to give professionals space to be independent.
Drawing a line between regular communication and micromanagement can be tricky. If you tend to check up on your employees every 15 minutes, they might feel annoyed and controlled too much. At the same time, a manager should be reachable in case of an emergency.
Try to get feedback and input from your team on communication or how often you should have virtual meetings. Make sure all the meetings are necessary, structured, and efficient. Make sure you have an agenda you share with employees to stick to. Resolve the urgent issues first and keep an eye on pending questions.
Agile methodology is most commonly used in IT. But if you adopt it as a mindset, it works amazingly with digital marketing as well. The Agile work process is built on several principles, such as:
- Learning cycles
Adaptability is a cornerstone for successful marketing as the digital environment is under constant change. It means always having value in mind when creating a proposition for clients. It also means performing regular checkups to review the efficiency of particular strategies and actions.
An Agile mindset helps professionals work as a team on a common goal with growth in mind. It promotes collaboration among all members in terms of what can be done better and how you can achieve new objectives. You can also adopt daily scrums from Agile methodology to ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what to focus on today.
Scrums do not usually take more than 15 minutes. You can talk about what was done yesterday and what is on today’s agenda. Also, you need to address any obstacles a team might face and how to work with them. Also, it can be a perfect time for specialists to ask questions, clarify tasks, or offer help to colleagues.
Although managing a remote digital marketing team might seem difficult at times, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools, an agile mindset, and an efficient communication strategy, the team can achieve all of the company’s goals and beyond. Try implementing these practices in your routine to boost employees’ productivity.