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An Engineering Manager’s Guide to Remote Teams Management

August 12, 2020
Linzi Nield
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COVID-19 has upended how many companies operate, with offices shuttered for the foreseeable future and employees working remotely. The sudden shift has left leaders scrambling to adapt their management strategies to remote work, and not everyone has a history of dealing with remote work’s challenges. 

Most leaders are tackling the challenges of remote work for the first time, with 77% of leaders reporting that they’ve never managed a fully remote team, and 89% having never managed a partially remote team, which means the majority of leaders are learning remote management strategies on the fly.

In order to maximize what your team can achieve with remote work, you need to put together a strategic remote management strategy — one that takes into account all the different aspects of being remote. After all, remote engineering comes with its own specific challenges, and employees will be better set up for success when their managers anticipate their needs. 

The Terminal Guide to Remote Teams Management is a resource that can help you tackle every aspect of leading and managing a remote engineering team. It outlines tried and true tactics to create structure around collaboration, communication, and trust-building for remote teams. 

The downloadable guide is divided into two sections, for engineering leaders, and engineering managers, and we encourage leaders to share this guide with their managers to help them develop effective remote management strategies. 

Here’s a preview of some of what you’ll learn in the guide:

Engineering Leaders:

  • How to hire remote engineers. In Terminal’s Engineer 2020 report, 9 out of 10 developers said that the interview process is fundamentally broken. But as a leader, you have the opportunity to fix the interview process by being intentional in how you approach it.
  • When to adjust salary for a remote engineer’s location. The average salary for a particular role will likely vary a lot between regions and it might be something you take into account when hiring. But what happens if one of your employees moves from one region to another? Do you adjust their salary, or keep it the same?
  • How to manage team communication. When it comes to remote work, clear communication is everything. That’s why one of the top responsibilities for remote leaders is to build an environment of seamless collaboration among their teams. 
  • Methods for empowering engineering managers. Successful engineering executives are always thinking about how to create an environment of ownership among their managers. In the world of remote work, be prepared to build deep levels of trust with your engineering managers and lean into the autonomy that comes with remote work. 

Engineering Managers:

  • Tips for new managers. Managers are often thrust into management without any formal training, leaving them to figure out how to be a good manager on the fly. The learning curve might feel steeper for remote managers, but there are some core principles you should follow to manage your remote team successfully. 
  • Strategies for building rapport. Loneliness is a big threat to remote work. 20% of remote employees say they struggle with feelings of isolation. Demonstrating genuine interest and care for your employees will motivate them, as well as make them more loyal and more receptive to feedback.
  • Advice for tracking performance. A common question new remote managers ask themselves is, “How will I know that my employees are working?” You should create a hands-off system for tracking performance.
  • Outlines for manager 1:1s. Employees who have regular 1:1 check-ins with their managers are 3x more likely to be engaged, so be sure to make time for them with everyone on your team at a regular cadence. 

Get the guide to develop your remote teams management strategy.

Becoming an expert at leading and managing a remote engineering team might involve more time and effort than managing an in-person team, but that extra energy comes with significant rewards. Not only will a happy remote team be more productive and loyal than a team in an office, but the skills you develop in setting your team up for success will make you a more effective leader, remote or in-office, for the rest of your career.

Are you an engineering leader or manager? Are you ready to develop your remote teams management strategy? Download our guide today to get in-depth information on all aspects of remote teams management.

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