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10 HR Tips for Managing Remote Teams in the Caribbean

Managing remote teams can present unique challenges and opportunities. With the rise of remote work in Caribbean organizations, HR Practitioners are being tasked with either providing solutions to the unique challenges or capitalizing on the opportunities presented. Employee Management is critical for managing remote teams globally. It can be defined as the process of helping each employee to perform at his or her best each day so that the organization achieves its goals and remains competitive. The 10 tips below are being recommended to assist leadership teams in the Caribbean to manage the transition to the world of remote or hybrid work.

1. Acquire the Right Talent

Recruit persons who are the best fit for the organization’s culture. Organizational culture is defined as the values, behaviours, and practices that guide how things are done. It should be an important consideration in the Recruitment, Selection and Onboarding Process.

2. Ensure Equity and Inclusion of all Officers

  • Provide all team members with access to similar benefits, information, tools/resources and activities that are required to execute their jobs regardless of location or work groups.
  • Give employees the opportunity to participate in meetings and to voice their opinions and concerns.

3. Implement Check-In Meetings

Meetings are important to facilitate collaboration, connections and updates.

  • Schedule regular team/ department meetings to build camaraderie and trust within the team. For example, a manager can have short weekly video conferencing calls to check-in and receive updates or the team could also have daily structured check-ins.
  • Schedule staff meetings (for example quarterly) so that employees can hear from the company’s leadership team what is happening in the firm.
  • Introduce a camera on policy during meetings to foster connection between attendees, promote participation and engagement and pick up on non-verbal clues.

4. Build Connections

  • Organize sessions for non-business discussions, casual conversations, socials and team building.
  • Develop a space online where team members can share pictures, memes, stories, jokes.
  • Develop virtual engagement opportunities. For example, post a weekly trivia on Slack.

5. Review the current Performance Management Process

  • Set clear expectations and provide the resources to achieve them. Without clear expectations and the required monitoring and development activities, remote teams can easily lose track of what they should focus on.
  • Implement technology to keep track of work activities, projects, outputs, updates and results.
  • Reward, recognize and celebrate team members for their contributions.

6. Train Leaders to Manage Remote Teams

Equip the managers with the competencies to strive in a non-traditional work environment and to manage people and productivity across distance.

7. Manage how teams collaborate

  • Business correspondence, processes and policies should be documented, easily accessible and filed by team members to ensure an efficient work flow, collaboration and business continuity.
  • Leverage technology to manage virtual collaboration.

8. Review the current HR Services/Processes

  • Implement HR self service options.
  • Conduct check-ins (e.g. monthly) with new recruits as part of the Onboarding Programme.
  • Conduct temperature checks to ascertain areas for improvement or set up a virtual feedback system.
  • Design clear and accessible HR policies.
  • Pay employees on time, every time.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate

  • Establish and maintain communication rules/ protocols. All team members (leaders, HR, departments) must be accessible during the company’s business hours via all communication channels including phones, emails, messaging apps, video conferencing etc or communicate the best medium and time to reach them.
  • Document and communicate turnaround time and contact persons epecially for departments that offer services to internal customers. For example, if an employee requests a job letter, stamping of salary deduction forms, or experience compensation challenges, what is the process flow? Who should receive the request? What is the turn around time?
  • Provide frequent updates to team members to help them know what is happening in the company, the different departments/work groups and with team members and provide the opportunity for them to respond.

10. Promote Work Life Balance

Set boundaries and emphasize balance, rest and relaxation without judgment or being penalized.

Article written by Trudy Antonio, HR Practitioner and edited by Yolande Hylton, Management and HR Consultant

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