So here's the deal - I have a software engineering team I'm the lead of that is remote (different country and timezone - take strong note of this. Too many responses I think are from people envisioning a self contained single office. There are narrow windows I can communicate with my team.) and communication is a key apart of our success. The team is awesome and they work really hard for me and for us. The work they do is great and I'm proud to work with them; they are some of the best I have ever worked with.
However I have 1 small reoccuring issue with them that I have addressed kindly several times which still seems to be an issue. We have a central place where teams can communicate their daily progress. It takes all of 5-10 minutes daily to complete.
This helps me understand what the progress they made, issues, and where I need to pick up and continue. So for example, I might get a current code update from the repository and see very few if no files committed. It's not completely unforeseen, but I typically jump over to the 'daily progress' page hoping to see something like this:
Worked on Task 'x' but ran into an issue with 'y' and 'z'. Will look to see if 'a,b,c,' will fix it tomorrow. Could not commit this code because it would not build.
Easy enough! 3 sentences and I know exactly what's going on and can keep moving forward. The problem is when I get no communicated updates. Was there something wrong? Did someone call into work? Was there a build issue? etc. etc. Communication is key. I have meetings 2-3 days a week with them and making it 5 to get daily updates is not necessarily the answer.
My quandary exists because I have an excellent rapport with my team and they work really hard. I'm worried about putting on the pressure via "OK guys, we have talked about this 3-4 times before and I'm still not getting updates...." They are doing the hard part (great code) but missing on the easy part.
How do I approach this 1 more time (and yes I have contacted the PMs and management and they have had meetings on directing the team about what to do) without getting my team in trouble for forgetting to do some of the lesser basic tasks (yet still important to me)? I just don't want to mess up the good vibe we have getting the real work done.