Diverse locations, unified vision
Today we are fully immersed in a globalised world. While this can be advantageous for the growth of businesses, hybrid work and remote teams also introduce a new set of challenges for organisations to navigate.
As workplaces move away from single venues and set hours at the same time each day to teams in multiple locations across different countries and time zones, organisations and their leaders must create new ways of powering productivity, innovation, and collaboration. So how can team leaders and managers ensure staff feel involved and supported to perform at their best no matter where they are? While there are no hard and fast rules, magic silver bullet, or playbook with all the answers, it is possible to enhance company culture, foster innovation and preserve productivity while accommodating a multi-location team.
Cultivating and enhancing company culture
Transparency creates trust
Transparency is the foundation on which trust is built between organisations, managers, and teams. When every team member is aware of what is expected of them and the daily details of a project, the more involved everyone feels and the more inclined people will be to share new ideas, ask questions and raise concerns. Project management software and activity and task tools also make it easier to keep track of deadlines and who is responsible for which portion of a project.
Work hard and play hard
While geographically dispersed, multi-location teams can build solid relationships and foster a lively company culture through virtual social activities. These activities are more than a ‘nice to have’, they’re part and parcel of fostering a sense of belonging and boosting morale. Whether it’s a virtual trivia event, an online cooking class, or a team book club, these shared experiences can create a platform for employees to connect on a personal level and have fun.
Lean on two-way communication
To promote ongoing communication, it is crucial for managers and team leaders to be accessible to staff on a regular basis. Make use of team communication tools, such as Slack, Google Meet, and Trello. In general, clear and open communication creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas, which paves the way to creative thinking and innovation.
Practice the art of delegation
As a business scales, it’s essential that the management framework evolves in tandem. Never undervalue the potential that lies within your team. A multitude of responsibilities can be efficiently managed by the employees stationed at each site. Plus, empowering your team through delegation doesn't just lighten your load—it fuels their sense of belonging and commitment to the business, serving as a powerful motivator.
Different locations, same processes and systems
Despite the fact that various sites constitute a singular business and might execute identical tasks, each location will have its own unique character. The secret to effective management rests in uniformly executing and upholding the same standard operating protocols across every part of the business, no matter the location.
With fewer chances for impromptu face-to-face interactions, it’s vital to establish a semi-formal communication structure. Whether it’s to maintain active employee engagement, ensure each location's success, or provide timely support, a passive approach is unlikely to bring out the best in a team.
Use staff scheduling and management systems
The pivotal role of effective communication in managing staff across multiple locations cannot be overstated. Leveraging an online staff management system allows for constant connectivity, ensuring all team members stay informed at all times.
What not to do when managing your multi-location team
Don’t micromanage - Being overly controlling discourages team involvement and erodes trust.
Skip the negativity - Replace negative reinforcement with constructive feedback to boost team morale and productivity.
Don't hinder trust - A lack of trust stifles collaboration and creativity. Nurture a safe space to exchange ideas and creativity.
Don't muddle communication - Resolve conflicts effectively through open and honest conversation. Listen to all sides without being reactive and avoid knee-jerk emotional responses.
Don't be indecisive - Managers should exude confidence in decision-making. Indecision can undermine a leader’s credibility and derail a project.
A solid company culture that fosters innovation and preserves productivity will be instrumental in driving the success of multi-location teams and staying ahead in a rapidly changing world of work.