In our recent article — 4 Biggest Challenges CFOs Face Today — we discovered that one of the major issues for CFOs is hiring and retaining talents.
Is this challenge even greater for finance leaders that operate in a remote-first environment?
According to a recent G-P/Globalization Partners CFO survey, 92% of CFOs agree that a remote-first work policy helps retain and attract top talent.
It increases the chance for equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion because the geographic location is no longer a barrier.
The same survey shows that 80% of CFOs say that tapping into a more cost-effective, international talent pool equipped with the appropriate skills would be of interest to them.
Remote work offers a lot of advantages for both employees and organizations. Companies can reduce overhead costs and increase productivity, while employees can have greater flexibility and work-life balance. As the trend towards remote work continues to grow, CFOs need to develop strategies for managing remote employees effectively and reap the benefits of this growing trend.
So where to start?
Keep reading, because in this post we compiled a short guide to help you manage your remote team in 2023.
The CFOs Guide To Managing Remote Employees in 2023:
- Keep Communications Open
- Build Trust
- Set Expectations
- Encourage Collaboration
- Foster a Sense of Community
- Set up Regular Meetings
- Give Feedback
- Support Flexibility
- Encourage Self-Care
- Celebrate Successes
- Make Their Job Easier
Keep Communications Open
It goes without saying, the most important aspect of managing a remote team is communication. As a CFO, you are responsible for ensuring that financial communications are clear and concise and that the team has access to the information they need to make informed decisions. In a remote setting, this can be a challenge, as team members may be scattered across different time zones and unable to meet in person.
However, there are a few things that a CFO can do to keep communication open. Make sure employees have multiple ways to communicate with one another, whether it’s through chat, video conferencing, or email. Regular check-ins and updates can help ensure everyone is on the same page.
Trust is essential for effective communication and collaboration. Always try to be clear, concise, and honest with your team. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and build mutual respect.
It is important to be consistent in leadership style and decision-making, as this affects your credibility. You can also try to make an effort to connect with team members on a personal level through regular check-ins and team-building activities.
You need to set clear expectations with your remote team to ensure that everyone understands what they need to do and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
One way to do this is to schedule regular daily or weekly check-ins to help you stay up-to-date on what everyone is working on and identify any potential problems or roadblocks. Make sure to set clear deadlines for tasks and projects.
If you have any concerns about someone’s performance, be sure to address them directly and provide constructive feedback. By communicating effectively and setting realistic expectations, you can help your remote team members stay focused and productive.
With employees working from home it can be difficult to create a sense of team spirit and get people to work together towards common goals.
Encourage them to collaborate on projects whenever possible, and to share knowledge, ideas, and opinions.
Try to create opportunities for social interaction by scheduling regular video conference calls or by setting up an online chat channel where team members can interact on a more informal basis. This can help build team spirit and improve productivity.
Foster a Sense of Community
When people feel like they are part of a community, they are more likely to be engaged and invested in their work. One way to encourage a sense of community is to host regular social events. Have a monthly happy hour where employees can relax and get to know each other outside of work, or host an annual company retreat where they can focus on team-building exercises.
A remote team can feel isolated if not managed properly. Make sure employees have access to resources like online forums, social media groups, or Slack channels where they can connect and share ideas. It will give them a sense of belonging and make your team more successful as a result.
Set up Regular Meetings
Even if your team is located around the world, it’s still important to have regular virtual face-to-face meetings. These meetings can be used to discuss progress on projects, update everyone on company news, and address any issues that may have arisen.
Keep in touch with your remote employees regularly, even if there’s nothing urgent to report. Most companies use video conferencing tools like Zoom or Teams to hold regular team meetings. Additionally, you can make use of chat programs or group emails to provide updates and answer any questions that team members may have.
Providing your team with appropriate feedback is the only way to ensure that everyone is aware of their progress and knows what needs to be improved upon. You should be clear, concise, and argumentative when giving feedback to your remote team.
Without feedback, team members will not be able to improve their performance or correct any mistakes they may be making. Furthermore, a lack of feedback can lead to frustration and even resentment among the team. Take some time to give quality feedback and in return, you’ll get a productive team that runs smoothly and efficiently.
One of the benefits of working remotely is that employees have more flexibility when it comes to working hours and location. Encourage them to take advantage of this by working when they feel most productive and taking breaks when they need them. To keep things clear, establish specific hours during which the remote employee is expected to be available.
Ensure that your team has access to the resources they need to be successful. This includes providing adequate funding for equipment and software, as well as training to help them adjust to the new working arrangement. You should create clear guidelines around expenses so that employees know what they can and cannot claim.
With no physical office to go to and no specific working hours, it’s easy for remote employees to forget to take breaks or to get up and move around. Long hours, together with pressure about deadlines, lack of concentration, or feelings of isolation, can eventually lead to burnout.
3 Ways to Encourage Remote Employee’s Self-Care:
- Make sure that you have regular check-ins with each employee. This can be a great time to ask how they’re doing and if they’re taking care of themselves.
- Encourage your employees to take breaks throughout the day. They can use these break times to get up and move around, or even just to step away from their work for a few minutes.
- Make sure that your employees have access to resources that will help them stay healthy, both physically and mentally. You can offer employee benefits like mental health support or discounts on fitness memberships.
- Encourage them to take time for themselves outside of work by setting boundaries around work hours and taking time for exercise and relaxation.
A remote team can often feel invisible if not managed properly. Celebrate successes together as a team, whether it’s reaching a goal or simply completing a project on time. When things go well, take a moment to enjoy.
By taking the time to recognize the accomplishments of those who work under them, CFOs can help create a more positive and productive work environment. In addition, small gestures can go a long way toward fostering loyalty and morale among employees.
Make Their Job Easier
Use technology wisely. There are plenty of digital tools and different technologies out there that can help manage a remote team effectively.
Without it, there would be no remote work. Tools like Slack or Zoom can help with communication, and Asana or Trello can help with task management and collaboration. Some tools are mandatory for your business.
As a CFO, you play a huge role in the digital transformation of your company — it’s your responsibility to find and implement new technologies and measure results. One of the things you can implement quickly and instantly to improve your workforce productivity is an AP automation solution, like DOKKA. By eliminating most of the manual work related to invoice processing, approvals and archiving, you’ll be giving your team an extra hand in day to day operations.