Managing any team is a perpetual challenge within itself in any industry. Throw in the virtual element and you’ve got another challenge altogether. While many aspects will largely remain the same, many elements will change the consequent dynamics and force you to tackle things differently.
Obviously, your first and most important step is building the best team with the right people. While many experts say that 2020 is the year for remote working options, it is not for everyone and does not suit everybody.
Managing a virtual team is easy with MyOutDesk Virtual Assistants. Schedule a Double My Business Strategy Session today to find out more.
Once you have found your winning team, you will face challenges that you would normally but also some you may not expect. So how do you ensure that you are leading your virtual team to success?
Establish Clear Communication
Leading a virtual team means that you do not have the normal means to communicate with your team, you can’t visit them in their office or cubicle or walk around and peak over their shoulder or even call them into your office, your communication will largely take place via the phone or over the internet. As you will largely be relying on technology, finding a system that will serve your needs the best is important. Aside from a platform where you can talk, you will need several other systems such as a project management platform, online document sharing platform and even chat. The great news is that there are many systems that offer all of that and more, you just need to do your research and find one that works for your business. Be careful when using chat as there is a huge possibility that your “tone” may be misread. Always be clear about what you expect and most of all listen and listen well.
Building relationships and loyalty can be much tougher with a virtual team. Since you largely work in separate spaces, you do not have the advantage of propinquity on your side. You need to find different ways to establish these connections and foster an environment of trust. Do not micromanage, checking in too much will send the message that you do not trust them and they in turn will get frustrated, you might even see a high turnover rate. Instead establish clear expectations and set deadlines and even create timelines and then allow your team to take ownership and responsibility of the parts that they play.
In the beginning, when you are building your team or when you have a new team member, you might want to use an activity tracker so you can have the peace of mind that each member of your team is using their time wisely. You can also reinstate it when you need to figure out why someone is lagging behind perhaps or if you have any doubts. You can also create trackers for various tasks and as we mentioned earlier, use a project management platform that clearly outlines each team member’s responsibilities. Through this platform they should also be able to check-off finished tasks, ask for help if they encounter and hurdles and keep everyone updated and informed about their progress.
Building trust requires engagement and building engagement with a virtual team can be difficult but it is not impossible. Most of the time, you don’t get the same opportunities in a remote environment for the team-building events or casual, watercooler conversations that help to build that engagement. You have to find other ways to promote teamwork and get people enthused about your company.
What you can do is create spaces and find time to create the engagement virtually.
- Encourage casual chat for down times in a separate thread or chat room.
- Schedule regular team meetings and huddles, make sure that some of them are non-work focused.
- Schedule one-on-one time with each member where you check-in on their general well-being.
It’s all about your company culture and how you can build this in your virtual space. It can be challenging but completely fulfilling at the same time. Are you ready to build a winning virtual team and lead them to victory? Book your Double MY Business Strategy Session today and let’s get you started!