Here are a few tips on how to communicate and keep staff on track and accountable as well as focused.
Use Technology to Communicate
Most of our staff is under the age of 30. I have found that assuring that they have mobile access to tasking is key. We use TeamUp for our online tasking and scheduling app. Each staff member has a smartphone with enough data monthly to access work. I require that when projects are completed that they mark the item done or drag that item to the day they will work on it.
Use Video to Show How
When I have complicated tasks, I do a video explanation followed up by an email. Some of my staff like to closely follow the steps in the email and others get the gist of what to do by watching the video. As a good boss I know which of my staff members needs what and I try to supply the information in the way that I know will be the easiest for them to get and understand. My videos are typically 4 to 10 minutes long and show as a hands on what to do. The emails are detailed so staff can print it out and follow step by step.
Although work gets done, assuring that they note that something has been completed in TeamUp or doing the required follow-up email or text can be a challenge. I use SMS Scheduler to send out reminder text messages on an automated schedule to keep staff on notice that they need to do the final step which is to let me know what they have done. I have found that text is the best way to get the attention of younger staff and email the best way to get the attention of older staff. The automation of the text messages allows me to set the reminders up once but to send out on a repeating schedule.
Working with remote staff does have its own special challenges. We do try to get together periodically face to face to celebrate and train on more intensive subjects, but I have found that these several tactics have really helped my business to be effective and grow.