Building Strong Remote Teams with Effective Delegation

  • April 20, 2023
  • 3 Min Read
Building Strong Remote Teams with Effective Delegation

Managing a team is no easy task even in a traditional office setting. But, the challenges are heightened in a remote setting when everyone does not work in the same space.

This makes us, is it possible to provide our best output while also enjoying the perks of remote work?

The short answer is yes. With smooth management, it is possible to realize our full potential. And to build strong remote teams, effective delegation is the critical foundation.

In this blog, we navigate how to embrace delegation to create a successful remote team.

Importance of effective delegation in remote settings

Remote working comes with a virtual distance we need to tackle. The virtual distance comes in the following three parts:

  • Physical distance: It means the geographical distance between the teams.

  • Operational distance: It refers to company policies that have the capacity to enhance or derail teamwork.

  • Emotional distance: It shows the strain on psychological bonds between team members and a lack of common purpose.

Managers who can conquer these distances can build strong remote teams. And effective delegation is a key strategy to overcome these challenges.

For instance, a manager can delegate a pivotal task with high impact, like connecting with the stakeholders. This can reduce the emotional distance as the employee will feel trusted if their manager gives them this opportunity.

New definition of delegation

In a remote work setup, the definition of delegation is upgraded. On the surface, it looks like simply assigning tasks and they will be done. However, the task of delegation has a more nuanced meaning to it now. It is a skill that proves to be essential for managers across remote teams.

The good news is we can practice and get better at the skill of delegation. Let’s proceed to understand how managers can practice delegation for successful teams.

Key elements of effective delegation in remote teams

There are five elements of delegation in virtual teams.

1. Visualize it

It is almost impossible to succeed alone. In fact, 74% of managers from Fortune 500 organizations support the statement that after a certain level, it is impossible to achieve success alone. Moreover, Aaron Kemmer, the co-founder of Magic and Made in Space said, "Empowering others and trusting them are more and more important attitudes. It takes some time to convince ourselves of this strategy, but ultimately it leads to a situation where leaders and team members are more productive and independent."

This goes to show we need to empower people and entrust them with responsibility

It can get tough in the beginning to let go of control. However, effective delegation is crucial for successful leadership. Moreover, it leads to a more productive and independent team.

Make a list of all the tasks you have to accomplish. Sort out the priority tasks that you need to work on yourself. And as for the rest of them, you can assign them to your team.

Tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Jira are useful to help manage workload. You can keep track of all tasks, their status, and more with these tools.

Many times, managers end up doing everything and have a lot on their plate. However, understanding core skills and skill gaps in the team helps in effective delegation.

2. Accept innovative approaches

Two people can and will have different ways of completing a task. This is not a bad thing at all. It can help you find faster and better ways to complete a task. Moreover, it creates a bigger team of people who can accomplish such tasks successfully.

You can define the necessary guidelines, expected outcomes, expectations, etc. where it is necessary. But, where there is scope for creativity, you can let go a bit.

This becomes a powerful motivator for your employees to push themselves and be better. And you, as a leader, have more and more skilled team members you can leverage for complicated tasks.

3. Clear and frequent communication

Successful delegation hinges on effective communication. When you are assigning a task to your team, ensure that you communicate all the necessary details. This helps avoid hiccups in the process.

Moreover, an important part of delegating is being present and not vanishing after assigning a task. While some tasks and more experienced members may be able to complete a task on their own after initial communication.

However, it is crucial to set up checkpoints wherever necessary. Your team members may need you in the middle of a process. Ensure that you’re there when they need assistance.

Clear communication helps your team learn more. And with your guidance, they can provide better quality output.

4. Productive work schedule

For a manager, their tasks are theirs, and the team’s tasks are also theirs. That means managers need to be present wherever their team needs help. And along with that, they have their own tasks.

So, it is crucial for managers to create a productive schedule. Otherwise working in a remote setting can soon become all about just attending meetings. Reserve time in your schedule that is meetings-free where you can do deep-focused work. You can reach out to your team or vice versa apart from that time.

5. Technology is your friend

Remote work is not easy without the proper team management and communication channels. Therefore, you need a product management application like Basecamp, Trello, etc. to track your progress. Choose the one that your team is comfortable with and will require less time to get used to.

These tools help you keep track of all tasks, and provide a communication platform. You can also use Zoom, Google Meet, and Gather, to connect with the team for meetings.

Moreover, you can create and record tutorials, and onboarding videos, and capture video testimonials and updates with tools like Feedspace.

These applications can significantly make remote work more productive and collaboration easier.

In conclusion

Effective delegation does not happen in a day. It will take practice and tweaking the processes to suit your team better.

Delegation helps both managers and the team. It helps managers be more productive and use their teams’ skills to their potential. Also, it helps the team to thrive in an environment supporting their growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

For a strong remote team, you require clear communication, set expectations, proper product management, and team management tools. Furthermore, feedback, team-building activities, and a sense of common purpose also help in strengthening a remote team.
The definition of delegation in remote work environments has evolved to emphasize trust, communication, and accountability, as managers delegate tasks while physically distant from their team members. Now, the aim of delegation is to empower and make the team more independent, freeing managers to do what they do best.
Delegation improves employee skills by empowering them to take on new responsibilities, gain experience, and develop problem-solving abilities, leading to personal and professional growth.
With delegation, managers can distribute tasks efficiently ensuring that the work is carried out effectively. It also helps the team to be more productive as there is less micromanagement.
Managers can identify tasks suitable for delegation by assessing complexity, urgency, employee skills, and the potential for learning and growth in the process.
Misinformation, inadequate sharing of information, unclear instructions, fewer follow-ups, and disconnect between the team and manager, are some of the hurdles that can hamper delegation in a remote setting..
Delegation allows managers to focus on high-impact tasks, while team members take ownership of their responsibilities. This leads to efficient and collaborative outcomes. Furthermore, it equips more and more team members to tackle difficult tasks, rather than the product manager having to chip in always. For example, a manager can delegate data analysis tasks to a skilled team member, freeing up their own time for strategic planning.

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