How Can You Effectively Manage a Remote HR Team?

How Can You Effectively Manage a Remote HR Team?

In the age of telecommuting, managing a remote HR team requires wisdom and adaptability. Drawing insights from the experiences of a Human Resources manager and a Director of HR, we’ve compiled six expert pieces of advice. From prioritizing clear communication to empowering your team through delegation, discover the strategies for leading your remote workforce effectively.

  • Prioritize Clear Communication and Check-Ins
  • Foster Connection with Transparent Channels
  • Set Expectations and Nurture Talent Remotely
  • Maintain Consistency with Structured Meetings
  • Balance One-on-Ones with Collaborative Tools
  • Empower Your Team and Delegate Tasks

Prioritize Clear Communication and Check-Ins

One piece of advice for effectively managing a remote HR team is to prioritize clear communication and establish regular check-ins. Since remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation or disconnection, maintaining open lines of communication is crucial for keeping the team engaged, informed, and aligned with organizational goals. Schedule regular virtual meetings, utilize collaboration tools for real-time communication, and encourage team members to share updates, challenges, and successes openly.

Additionally, ensure that team members have access to necessary resources and support to thrive in their roles while working remotely. By fostering transparent communication and providing ongoing support, you can help your remote HR team stay connected, motivated, and productive.

Sana IramSana Iram
Human Resources Manager – Strategic Corporate Communications

Foster Connection with Transparent Channels

Effective remote HR team management hinges on clear and consistent communication. Establishing transparent channels, such as regular video calls, instant messaging platforms, and project management tools, fosters a sense of connection and accountability within the team. Clearly outlining expectations, goals, and deadlines helps remote team members stay aligned and motivated.

Encouraging open dialogue, actively listening to team members’ concerns, and providing timely feedback are crucial components for success in managing a remote HR team. Remember, strong communication forms the foundation of a cohesive and high-performing remote team.

Jenny HeadJenny Head
Consultant, Head HR Recruiting & Consulting

Set Expectations and Nurture Talent Remotely

Managing a remote team doesn’t have to feel as intimidating as folks sometimes make it out to be. The basic tenets are the same: set (and reset) expectations, hold team members accountable to those expectations, and create a warm, nurturing experience that makes employees want to remain with the organization. Leaders looking to lean into the remote environment can find it a very rewarding vehicle to attract and retain talent.

It does require more intention than traditional in-person roles. For example, instead of walking up to an individual’s desk, you will now be chatting or calling them. Time zones, conflicting meetings, and general preferences for when work gets completed can all be obstacles in achieving that touchpoint. However, I see it as an opportunity. How often have we faced the momentary panic and sinking feeling that comes up when we are working hard on a project, nearing the finish line, and someone chooses to walk up and make conversation at a key moment of brainpower? Chances are we have all plastered a fake smile and encouraged further conversation at some point in our careers, all the while silently resenting the interruption in the background.

Remote work allows us to reflect on and consider our boundaries, and how we can support others in identifying and following their own. In doing so, we have a significant opportunity to lead with grace and form a more compassionate world.

Lia WilsonLia Wilson
Manager – HR Shared Services, Atlas Healthcare Partners

Maintain Consistency with Structured Meetings

Consistent dates/times are critical (recommend weekly), and start/stop on time. Have general housekeeping rules known ahead of time (e.g., one person speaks at a time). Have a warm greeting and create a brief icebreaker/interaction to lighten up the tone. Jump straight to business with a set agenda; employees should submit information ahead of time.

Review updates on prior issues, need-to-knows, and things upcoming, as well as problems to address (or table for follow-up). Ensure clear action items and to-dos. If possible, have a recording or transcripts to reference or share for those unable to attend. Always end with an encouraging word to champion the team.

Mary Hey
Director of HR & Administration, Oliver Gospel MIssion

Balance One-on-Ones with Collaborative Tools

From my experience, managing teams remotely, balanced and consistent communication is best for keeping things running smoothly. Training via video calls can be especially challenging for Human Resources managers, and it’s also easy to mis-communicate essential matters. This is why I’ve found pre-scheduled one-on-one weekly meetings with key staff members, along with monthly team meetings, to be one of the most effective modes of communication when working remotely.

One-on-ones enable you to review the most important tasks at hand without interruption, clarify any misunderstandings, and set goals on an individual level to keep employees motivated and optimize their performance. Other asynchronous communication tools, such as instant messaging apps, can be enough for regular updates and notifications, respecting your team’s privacy while they work from home and allowing them the flexibility expected of a remote arrangement. We’ve used email for non-urgent communication and Slack for daily collaboration while limiting meetings, and it helped prevent communication fatigue while saving valuable time.

Overall, a combination of email, collaborative platforms such as Slack or Asana, and the occasional pre-scheduled video meeting can streamline your communications enough to effectively lead a remote HR team.

Ben LamarcheBen Lamarche
General Manager, Lock Search Group

Empower Your Team and Delegate Tasks

The biggest game-changer for me with my remote HR team was letting go of micromanaging. It’s tempting to think, “I’ll just do it myself,” but trust me, it holds you back.

Instead, focus on trusting your team and delegating tasks. It might take some upfront time to teach them the ropes, but that investment pays off big time. The more you empower your team, the more freedom you have to tackle other strategic HR initiatives.

Kimberley Tyler-SmithKimberley Tyler-Smith
VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

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