YEC Women Q&A: How To Successfully Manage A Remote Team

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By Natalie MacNeil (Co-Founder, YEC Women) The following answers are provided by YEC Women. Co-Founded by Natalie MacNeil and Scott Gerber, YEC Women is an initiative of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

Q: For my new startup, I have partnered with talented people all over the country. What tips do you have for managing a successful remote team?

Annie Wang (Co-Founder & CTO, Her Campus) answers "lay a foundation."

"To avoid miscommunications and confusions that may result from being remote and unable to check in constantly, write up a comprehensive, checklist-based guide for your remote partners. Laying this solid foundation will make your phone and skype calls, and email communications much more efficient in the future."

Lea Woodward (Creator, Inspiring Ventures) answers "meet face-to-face."

"Somewhat contradictory, one of the most effective ways to manage a remote team is to organize meet-ups, if at all possible -- either as a group or individually. While getting to know someone online is entirely possible, nothing can replace spending actual face time with new partners. It can prevent misunderstandings and give you insights you'll struggle to get from a purely online relationship."

Stephanie Kaplan (Co-Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Her Campus) answers "create a consistent communication schedule."

"Reliably email your team or individual team members on the same day(s) of each week... so that they come to understand the way your company is structured, when deadlines are, what happens when, etc. Do not deviate from this system. This creates stability and structure where there would seemingly be none."

Vanessa Van Petten (CEO & Author, Science Of People) answers "understand motivation,"

"If you have a team you must know how to keep them driven. Bosses can help their employees feel as motivated for the company's success as the founders. Shockingly, this is not with monetary rewards. Main principles are encouraging autonomy, rewarding with praise instead of money, and using carrots & sticks wisely."

Lisa Nicole Bell (CEO, Inspired Life Media Group) answers "delegate a communications manager."

"Choose one person to oversee the flow of communications to avoid fragmentation. Even if you're using a project management application, one person needs to ensure that all of the people in the partnership are plugged in and on task."

Vanessa Nornberg (Owner & President, Metal Mafia) answers "personally responsible equals fully engaged."

"Set specific deadlines, and make all team members aware of them. Publish updates, and include every team member in the list, showing whether projects are bein completing as expected. Require delinquent team members to explain to the rest of the team the delay and how it's being remedied, as well as the new completion date. "

This post was originally posted at The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Natalie MacNeil is an Emmy Award winning Producer at the digital media company she co-founded, Imaginarius. She passionately works to get more women into business in her role as Co-Founder of YEC Women with Scott Gerber and through her blog, She Takes on the World. Natalie is frequently quoted and interviewed in the media discussing entrepreneurship, personal branding for women, and new media. Follow her on Twitter at @nataliemacneil.