Technology has made it easier than ever to set up multiple offices around the country, but it also presents new challenges for business leaders: how to build and sustain a positive and productive company culture while managing geographically dispersed teams.

When managing offices in multiple locations, the difference between success and failure often can be traced to the commitment that leaders have in fostering a company culture that embraces open, honest communication, accountability and alignment. Here’s how you do it.

1 – Hire right.

When hiring (or promoting from within) to manage remote office locations, make sure candidates have what it takes to work independently and in a less traditionally structured environment. The nature of working remotely requires team members to be self-starters. They also need to have the knowledge and confidence to solve challenges on their own because they won’t be able to walk into your office for guidance.

2 – Loosen the reins.

As a leader, you’re ultimately responsible for the success of your team. But once you’ve hired your team, you have to release control and let team members do their jobs. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to set goals, and identify steps required to accomplish those goals, but resist the temptation to micromanage. Warren Buffett said it best: “Hire well. Manage little.” This will afford you time to focus on other projects. Not only that, the trust you show will breed loyalty in your team.

3 – Conduct daily team meetings.

Daily huddles provide team members with the opportunity to quickly share their meeting schedules and news that the whole team should hear. Each person individual and company quarterly goals and note the top priority for the day. Just because you have an office in another state doesn’t mean those team members shouldn’t participate. Morning meetings, even via videoconference, can build team spirit, share information, foster accountability and provide quick solutions.

4 – Don’t neglect one-on-one meetings.

No matter the size of your organization or the number of remote locations, it’s essential for each team member to have one-on-one time with a manager or leader. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, so hold these meetings at least monthly and preferably biweekly. Implement a system that allows supervisors to track the progress of team members’ work, provide a listening ear for any concerns and help them set goals.

5 – Publicly recognize achievements.

As leaders, it’s up to us to encourage team members to be the best they can be and to recognize excellent work. Research has shown a direct correlation between workplace appreciation and productivity and engagement. A Salesforce study found that team members who feel their voices are heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Create an online kudos board with an app like TINYpulse where you and fellow team members recognize peers for their accomplishments.

Article written by Andy Bailey, founder, CEO and lead business coach at Petra, an organization dedicated to helping business owners across the world achieve levels of success that never thought possible.  

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