3 Tips for Managing Your Remote Team

3 Tips for Managing Your Remote Team

In response to COVID-19, more and more businesses are temporarily closing their offices and moving their employees to working remotely.  With the abrupt change of circumstances, abundance of new and unforeseen challenges and general feeling of uncertainty, it can become overwhelming.

Fortunately, managing a remote team doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. There is a wealth of resources at your disposal to make sure your business runs as smoothly as possible. We’ve taken the liberty of compiling key pieces of information that will help you effectively manage your team.

Assembling a Team (or Teams)

Working remotely changes how the entire business is going to be run for the foreseeable future.

Start by assembling a team- or teams, depending on the needs of your business — that can strategize a plan for business operations. It’s essential to clarify the best structure for your team and their needs. 

Who should be on this team? Your company size will determine who should be on this specific team or ‘task force’. Usually upper-level management and the human resource department will come up with new policies and procedures for new types of protocol and it will work down into specific departments within the organization.

Once your team is assembled, consider the following questions:

  • What methods or tools will you use to keep everyone in contact?
  • Is there a better time for the team, or teams, to meet every day or week?
  • How frequently should we plan meetings to move projects forward?
  • What important deadlines must be met, and how will you communicate those deadlines effectively?
  • How will you allocate the possibly limited resources on-hand to whomever might need them?

These are all important topics to address and it’s essential that your team is aware of the expectations while working remotely. Every business is going to have unique answers to this set of questions. Answers will vary based on specific needs, projects, industries, and so on. Successful managers have structured and predictable check ins set up for remote employees so that their concerns or challenges can be heard. Remember, people are your greatest asset within your organization. Having a dedicated team during this time will help you – and your team – feel confident moving forward.

Keeping in Touch Through Technology

As they say, communication is key. The world is incredibly connected using modern technology. There are many great tools and products that can help your team stay connected virtually. Scheduling meetings through video, audio and chat collaboration platforms such as Skype, Asana, Slack, GoToMeeting, Zoom, or Google Hangouts offer an easy way to gather everyone in the team, group, or possibly even company in the same place.

Try to choose communication options that have mobile applications available. This can make it even easier for those that have smartphones to communicate through one easily-accessible resource.

In addition, make sure there is a readily available directory of email addresses and phone numbers that is distributed company wide.

If it’s an option, have employees set up their office phones to forward any calls to their personal phone. This will ensure that no business-related calls slip through the cracks.

Maintaining Morale

No doubt about it, these are challenging times we’re facing. Working from home can be a big adjustment for some employees especially on top of other concerns and uncertainties we are facing. People have different work styles. People need time to process the current situation.

Some employees will thrive on working alone, while others will feel that the social distance is hindering their motivation or productivity.

Offer virtual activities so that your employees can get their daily dose of human interaction. Have a FaceTime lunch meeting with an employee each day of the week. Offer a fun virtual game before or after a meeting. Run a virtual contest. There are still things you can do to promote your company culture.

Lastly, try to encourage discussion between employees about their workload and how they’re managing to tackle it from home. Letting everyone more openly discuss their strategies opens the floodgates for new ideas and more effective ways to tackle new challenges.

3 Essential Questions Before Transitioning Back to Work

3 Essential Questions Before Transitioning Back to Work

June 24, 2020

As restrictions continue to lift from coronavirus, companies across the country are beginning to think about what a return to the office will look like. Understandably, leaders are faced with challenges as they think about approaches to re-opening office spaces and must proceed very slowly to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Before planning and implementing a safe and phased transition to get your team back to the office, we encourage you to ask yourself these three essential questions. Deep and careful reflection of these questions will help shape the plan that’s best for you and your organization.

How do my employees feel?

It’s essential to understand this before determining when and how to transition back to work. Determining where your employees’ sentiments on COVID-19, returning to work, productivity, and physiological health will help you to keep a pulse on how to go about integrating office life back into the ‘new’ normal.

Give your employees a series of surveys to gauge the overall sentiment. Are your employees comfortable returning to the office? What resource limitation and/or personal challenges are they having while working from home? Ask how you can support them upon return.

There are a ton of different surveys available to distribute to your team. Here’s a great survey example from SHRM.

Where does my business stand?

By now, you are aware of how your business has been impacted by COVID-19. You’ve  likely grown, maintained, or lost business due to the global pandemic. Handling your current situation is critical before moving forward with a back to work plan. Considering the long-term effects of the pandemic on your industry, business and market will determine how you should proceed.

Have you been forced to furlough or lay off people on your team?

Are the cost-cuttings measures you’ve implemented a short-term or long-term solution?

Are you offering compensation or added benefits to retain employees who have taken on extra responsibilities?

Can we sustain what we are currently doing for the next 3 months, 6 months, year?

Your answers to these questions are a good indication of whether the timing is right to begin thinking of a transition plan. It’s okay to keep on the same path if you need more time to see how your business will continue to be impacted.

Where do we go from here?

After you’ve assessed your current situation, give yourself and your team a plan and short-term benchmarks to keep on track.

If a new office set-up, new guidelines, new phased onsite schedule is needed, have a few goals set. Don’t be afraid to alter your plans and roll with the uncertainty that these times bring. Each day the situation evolves, and you may need to pivot in accordance, so be ready! Perhaps, the most critical piece of the plan is your contingency plan. If a second wave happens or a suspected case is found in your office, you will need to act quickly to keep employees safe.

Here are some more practical planning topics for the transition back:

  • Physical office setup
  • Arrival and departure times
  • Protocol with screening questions, temperature, mask use
  • Cleaning regimen
  • Shared workspace use

Remember to overly communicate with your team during this time and maintain proper social distancing guidelines at the office when you finally implement your back to work transition.

Accountants One is here to answer any of your questions regarding identifying, hiring and retaining top talent for your organization.

If you have had to lay off permanent employees, but still need work done in your Accounting or Finance department, we have contractors available immediately. Using contractors in this market gives companies greater flexibility and cost-savings for the same workload. Please call us at 770-395-6969 with any questions.

Executive Recruiting Strategy – Live Session

Executive Recruiting Strategy – Live Session

Executive Recruiting Strategy Session

Executive Recruiting Strategies During The COVID-19 Pandemic

What good will come from the pandemic?

Where do you want to be in 6 months?

Is today the day to start your search for your next great Accounting or Financial leader?

These are three essential business questions in today’s market.

Peter Drucker said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

How can we help create the future you want? At the end of the day, in any economy, your company is only as good as its people. How can you strengthen your organization during this time?

Executive Recruiting Strategies for the Pandemic

Dan Erling, Executive Recruiter, CEO of Accountants One, Author, and Hiring Consultant, is offering a 20-minute virtual Strategy Session designed to fire up your thinking on talent.

Dan has 22 years of recruiting experience with companies ranging from the largest public companies in the world, to small companies hiring their first CFO. Dan is also the author of MATCH: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time.

Most importantly, Accountants One has a track record of hiring success – last year Dan’s firm boasted a 93% success rate. In previous years, the success rate has been as high as 98% and has never dropped below 91% — Dan’s best practices work!

In this confidential 20-minute Strategy Session designed for CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Business Leaders, Dan will walk through a series of questions.

Areas of focus include….

  • Creating your (CFO, Controller, VP Finance, etc.) wish list
  • The three most important questions you can ask yourself
  • Aligning your hire with your culture in order to propel you forward
  • Leveraging your competitive advantage
  • Next steps – making it happen

Questions? Contact Tori Wheeler at Accountants One at 704-243-5759 or toriwheeler@accountantsone.com.

We encourage you to submit questions that interest you both in advance and during the session.  If you’d like to pre-submit a question, please email Tori.

This 20-minute strategy session will provide all the tools needed to plan and execute a transformational hire. Getting the right people is more critical than ever before!

 

Upcoming Sessions

No upcoming sessions

Recording available!

 

Speaker
Dan Erling

Guide to Successful Interviewing

Guide to Successful Interviewing

Prior to every interview your recruiter will go over in detail such areas as corporate culture, company benefits and salary. This sheet covers some additional items to keep in mind.

Before

  • Research the company
  • Prepare several good questions
  • Know how to get there — if necessary, make a trial run
  • Dress for success — and the level you wish to achieve
  • Refrain from:
    • Wearing perfume or cologne
    • Chewing gum
    • Anything else that may be a distraction or disruption
  • Arrive early
  • Turn off pager and/or cell phone
  • In a folder or briefcase:
    • Have several clean copies of your resume
    • A list of business references — to submit if requested
    • Any letters of recommendation — to submit if requested

During

  • Pay attention to your demeanor during the interview:
    • Keep hands out of your pockets
    • Make eye contact
    • Have a positive and upbeat attitude
    • Avoid nervous habits (e.g., nail biting, clicking of pens)
  • Listen to what the interviewer is saying, and respond accordingly
  • Remember to highlight the areas your recruiter advised you to
  • Focus the initial interview on what you can bring to the company

After

  • Call Accountants One immediately and tell us how it went!
  • Send a handwritten Thank You card to the person who interviewed you
Resign with Grace (your career may depend on it)

Resign with Grace (your career may depend on it)

The impression you leave during your resignation process can have a significant impact on your future recommendations. In this age of mergers and emails, the business community is getting smaller and more connected everyday. Negative impressions can easily be passed through the grapevine. Your boss today may be your vendor tomorrow.
Resign only after receiving and accepting a written job offer

  • If you are job hunting while still employed, keep it quiet:
  • Only in rare cases should you tell your boss:
  • when you both agree that the company holds no future for you.
  • when you are moving to and seeking a job in another city.
  • Arrange interviews during lunch, or before or after work.
  • Check if your company has regulations specifying how much notice is required.
  • Prepare a letter of resignation:
  • explain your reason for leaving.
  • suggest a termination date.
  • express appreciation to your boss and the company for the help and opportunities you have received.
  • Arrange a meeting with your supervisor when you have decided on the date you will leave.
  • Verbally inform him/her of your decision and present your letter of resignation.
  • Providing a two-week notice is preferred, executives may need to provide a month in which to find a replacement.
  • You may be asked to help interview replacement candidates, usually alongside a company executive. Do so with a positive attitude, no matter what your reason for leaving. Keep your statements short and positive.

How to Resign

  • Don’t use a job offer as a means of manipulating your employer into giving you a raise.
  • Don’t speak against the company you are leaving, either within it or outside. Don’t burn your bridges behind you. You never know when you’ll need to be in touch with your former employer so don’t burn your bridges behind you.
  • Don’t brag about your new job to your coworkers.
  • Don’t let your job performance slide; continue to be cooperative and hardworking.
  • Don’t tell company secrets after you leave.
  • These suggestions will help ensure a smooth departure and positive recommendations.

Sample Letter of Resignation

January 1, 2014
Ms. Jane Doe
ABC Company
123 Main Street
Anywhere, GA 30001

Dear Ms. Doe:
I have accepted an offer with another firm and have decided to tender my resignation effective today, with my final day being Friday, January 12, 2014. It has been a pleasure working with you, and representing ABC as your Accounting Manager. I thank you for all you have done for me.

Please contact me at any time if I can be of any assistance in helping with a smooth transition.

Sincerely,
(Name)

Thoughts on Counteroffers

Thoughts on Counteroffers

During our history, Accountants One has seen many counteroffers and there have been very few instances where a counteroffer has proven to be a sensible career move. In fact, our belief is that most counteroffers are simply stall tactics. The only time when a counteroffer is legitimate is when it addresses the precise issue(s) that let an employee to investigate a new opportunity in the first place.

Companies extend counter offers for a number of reasons. Among these are:

  • Morale suffers when people quit
  • Companies like to brag about retention rates and lack of turnover
  • Departments slow down due to a vacant position
  • Resignations look bad on a manager’s record
  • The cost of recruiting a new employee is expensive
  • The vacation schedule can be devastated

We have seen many reactions to a resignation. Here are some of the comments that are designed to keep an employee in place:

  • “We were about to give you a promotion. Let’s discuss it before you make a final decision.”
  • “Before you make this public, the V.P. would like to take you to dinner.”
  • “Who are you going to work for?” – to be followed by negative comments on the company.
  • “We’ll meet the increase in salary, plus $10K.”

Human nature comes into play here making the separation very hard. First, change is difficult. The employee who has put in their notice is facing the unknown and faces the tendency to stay with what is safe. Second, managers react out of the fear of loss and the fear of looking poorly for allowing an employee to leave vs. letting someone go. Therefore, to avoid the natural inclination of accepting a counteroffer consider the following:

  • The best reason to look for a new job is never money. If you stay with your current position because of money, the root of the problem will not have been addressed.
  • Once you try to resign, your loyalty will be forever questioned.
  • Over the long haul, your counteroffer will be taken out of your earnings.
  • If the company falls upon hard times, you will be the first one out the door.
  • Often times, upon accepting a counteroffer, the company will have already started looking for your replacement.
  • An oft-quoted statistic states that 80% of all employees who accept a company’s counteroffer end up leaving (voluntarily or involuntarily) within 6 to 9 months.

So, how do you avoid the pitfall of the counteroffer? Here are the steps that we recommend at Accountants One.

  • Start with a resignation letter.
  • Do not delay – Waiting to turn in a notice is very stressful for you and your family. It is best to give your resignation letter on the day of your decision. Once you have it behind you you’ll be able to get on with your life.
  • Remain professional – Keep your eyes on what motivated you to make the decision to move on. Don’t let personal relationships hold you in a position that you have “grown” out of. And remember, there is no compelling reason to tell your existing employer where you are going to work.
  • Request confidentiality – Start by turning in your resignation to the appropriate manager, and then tell only those who will be effected by your absence. This makes your departure much less hectic.
  • Demand professionalism – Decent and well-managed companies don’t make counteroffers. Their policies are fair and equitable. Most see counteroffers as coercion. Help the managers to remember this fact. But also remember, that sometimes in stressful situations, people can tend to make poor decisions.