7 Tips for Hardwood Lumber Business Leaders in Managing Remote Teams Today

The last few years have certainly been challenging for business leaders. And for those of us in the hardwood lumber industry, it has been no different.

One of the interesting situations we all have had to deal with is the rise of remote workers. Now more than ever, it seems companies have embraced the idea of employees working remotely. We see it in positions like our foresters, green lumber buyers, hardwood sales managers, and even some of our back-office operations such as accounting and information technology. That has not always been the case for hardwood lumber manufacturers.managingremoteteams

So in addition to the comments, we provided several months back on Tips on Managing A Remote Workforce, here are a few practical tactics we find helpful for ensuring our remote employees stay engaged and effective.

1. Check-in with your employees daily

This may seem obvious, but it is essential for maintaining a streamlined process with your employees and keeping them dedicated to the tasks at hand. Phone calls, texts, or email might be an option, but considering Zoom and platforms that allow for face-to-face interaction while we are working remotely is important to keep those connections ongoing.

2. Create an ongoing communication stream

As employees are away, it is crucial that you always maintain communication to keep your team ahead on tasks, share end goals, ask questions, and collaborate.


3. Control expectations

This may seem like a no brainer, but with the big changes many companies have undergone and continue to face due to the pandemic, it is crucial for your employees to continue to focus on the tasks at hand without feeling overwhelmed and keep clear motivation which inevitably leads to better performance and less stressed employees. Keeping the energy focused with clear expectations and organization will keep your employees’ energy focused and keep the priority on the tasks that matter. 

4. Provide resources and remain flexible

As with any organization, making sure your employees have access to the training and resources they need to be successful is vital. Every employee you have is different and their situation will be different. It is very important that leaders understand everyone has a unique situation with its own challenges. With remote work and employees having to find and come up with the resources they need at home to work efficiently, providing resources such as laptops, access to better Wi-Fi, and tools to help with remote working can be a great incentive as well to ensure success for your employees.


5. Encourage social interaction 

A great way to encourage and excite your employees is to host events that promote social interaction among one another. Make them fun! This provides opportunities for your employees to foster relationships and make deeper connections with their coworkers.

6. Always show empathy

As a leader, one of the greatest things you can do for your employees is to show empathy. Take time to hear the concerns and thoughts of your team and acknowledge their struggles. Your team is looking up to you now more than ever, and it is important to show them that you care and are prepared for whatever it is that comes and help however you can. If you remain a calm and empathetic leader, you will lead a team of calm, and motivated employees.

7.  Mentor your employees

Lastly, don’t just govern your team, mentor them. Mentoring and coaching allow your employees to realize their potential through one-on-one interactions with you where they can feel heard and rise to their full potential.

When using some of these approaches we have found it requires a patient leader who can take the care, time, and attention to bring out the most success from their team.

What have you found helpful when managing remote employees? Let us know. We would love to hear from you!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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