5 Tips To Help You Manage A Virtual Team
It has never been easier to go global. The internet has created sweeping changes in how we work – no matter where we are on the planet. But that also brings new challenges, such as effective employee management. Gone are the days when a boss can stick their head out of the office door and see their team working at their desks in front of them.
As business techniques change, your management style must too. Companies like Foothold America specialise in finding you the right people, but even the top employees need a good boss behind them. Here are five tips to help you get the most from your virtual team:
1:- Regular communication
This is, without doubt, a vital part of keeping your workforce effective and happy. If your team are scattered across the city, country or even planet then regular contact is important, be that via email, conference call or video link. This ensures everyone knows exactly what their focus is, what needs to be done and when.
If everyone is regularly updated with their short and long-term goals then there will be no room for excuses, no chance of anyone claiming they missed a deadline because instructions were confusing. If you have staff working in different time zones then make sure working hours overlap so there is a time when you can all be available to communicate as a group. Try to schedule regular meetings at regular times so everyone knows exactly when they are expected to be available.
2:- Explain tasks with clarity
The chances are your team will all be from a range of backgrounds and have different personalities. But few of them will take kindly to being micro-managed or just told to get on with a job. Often the best way to get optimal results is to let your staff show they have the skill sets to impress.
Explain what you want from the end product clearly and let them get to their final destination in their own way, earning themselves job satisfaction and returning eager to impress.
3:- Create the right environment
Different jobs require you to work in varied ways to produce great results. It would be unproductive to expect a team of internet creatives to operate in the same manner as a legal firm.
However, with every job, there are boundaries – whether it is behaviour, timekeeping or attire. Make sure that anyone who looks to blur the lines is reminded of this quickly to prevent anyone else following suit. The boundaries begin with you. You are the boss, so set the example for others to follow.
4:- Reward success
If somebody does a good job then let them – and everyone else – know it. Employees will react well to praise and, if they are available, incentives should spur others on to follow suit. Make sure you know the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team members. Also, praise them for impressing you in a part of the job which may not come as naturally to them as others.
5:- Work with the best people
People work differently and not everyone is cut out for working remotely. Some excel when given freedom but others take their foot off the gas or get distracted and don’t put in the hours they are claiming. When hiring, do your homework. Make sure you hire the type of person with a proven track record or the desire to work well as part of your team.