Hero - Assembling Remote Teams, Part 2: Performance Management

Assembling Remote Teams, Part 2: Performance Management

In part one, Ray covered two learnings from his experience building and leading remote and distributed teams: Building the Foundation and Scaling Across Teams. In this second (and final) part, Ray covers performance management and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing Remote Team Performance

Whether in recruiting or ongoing performance management of team members, being part of a remote team is not for everyone. There are some core skills we look for at Tugboat Logic:

  • A passion for the corporate mission.
  • The ability to prioritize work and adapt in a dynamic environment.
  • The confidence to collaborate and communicate. Frequently.
  • To be results-oriented with an “execution first” mindset.
  • To have a strong work ethic with self-direction.

From the companies’ perspective, there are key activities and attributes that must be made available to support the health and happiness of the remote team:

  1. Consistency in applying performance measurement and KPI expectations. The leadership team needs to establish equal opportunities for growth and advancement regardless of location.
  2. Executives need to recognize and reward consistently while proactively reaching out to people regularly to create a sense of teamwork and community
  3. Every effort has to be made to over-communicate and share expectations throughout the organization to reach every team member.

Some Final Observations

The COVID-19 pandemic has already taught us some valuable lessons about managing a workforce across two countries and two time zones, and this last set of observations can set you up for success:

  1. Organizational resilience: With severe travel restrictions that can cut you off from your team physically at any moment and for a prolonged period, ensure remote teams are self-sufficient with resources, support and decision making capacity that best serve their growth and development.
  2. Cross-pollination: Actively develop and assign key leadership roles equally across your organization regardless of location. Ensure that a cross section of employees are involved in candidate reviews to reinforce confidence in team development.
  3. Diverse and inclusive workforce: One of the most surprising and positive aspects of having a remote team is the opportunity to bring new perspectives into the company drawn from a local workforce that leverage a different cultural or socio-economic context.

Here in Silicon Valley, we pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive community. But, the reality is that when everyone you hire looks and sounds like your existing team, there really isn’t much diversity in your company culture or decision making. Recruiting and building a high performance remote team can be the best thing you do for the success of your organization.