- Keep connected when working remotely with regular team meetings and check-ins
- Make sure staff stay motivated through recognition and reward
- Look for ways to recreate your company culture and transmit key values virtually
While remote working offers a whole host of different benefits, managing such a team can come with its challenges – some struggling to keep staff on the right track with deadlines, working hours and workloads, while others find difficulties in keeping employees motivated and connected to the company.
Here, the virtual team building events experts at Steamed Egg explore some top tips for managing virtual teams…
Be Clear in Setting Expectations
Working virtually is unchartered territory for many and it requires definition both from the position of the employer and for team members. Being clear about expectations from the start is absolutely key. This includes working hours, opportunities to check in, workload and deadlines.
Setting regular check-ins can help ensure that employees are keeping up with their workload, staying motivated and juggling their responsibilities. By allocating designated check-in times, it sets clear boundaries and also shows your staff that you respect their time, rather than springing unexpected meetings on them.
Recognition and Reward
Just because you are not physically in the office does not mean that good work should be overlooked. A crucial aspect of management is acknowledging a job well done.
Acknowledgement of good work can be extremely motivating for staff. Not only does it value their work and make their contribution seem relevant, it also encourages staff to perform well and motivates them. This is especially important when managing a virtual team as remote working can often be very demotivating. Recognise work publicly in virtual meetings or through recognition emails.
By creating this recognition culture, it is a great way of engaging and encouraging staff. You can establish the type of behaviours that are rewarded and reinforce these positive behaviours. This also applies for reward, both monetary and promotion-based.
Staying together without being physically together is one of the main challenges faced by companies when managing a virtual workforce. Connecting with your staff and setting up “face-to-face” time adds a great deal of value. It helps you stay connected and also shows your team members that you care about them on both a personal and professional level. During times of physical separation, checking in with your staff helps them validate their work and reassures them that they are a valued member of the team.
On a larger scale, regular virtual meetings, video conferences and presentations are a way of bringing people together. A common part of office life is collaborations, meetings and spontaneous conversations. Without the office to facilitate these get-togethers, it is important to encourage this aspect of collaboration through remote working. Setting up virtual meetings, breakout rooms and a platform through which colleagues can communicate is invaluable for fostering a feeling of togetherness.
Skills and Development
Providing training to your virtual teams shows staff that you care about their professional development and is a good way of keeping employees motivated and engaged.
Opportunities for growth or chances for staff to develop new skills, be that through specific courses, webinars or training courses, can be very encouraging. In the monotony of working from home, it also adds new challenges and possibilities. Incorporating training sessions, where relevant, is a great way of managing virtual teams.
Remote Company Culture
When managing virtual teams, an important aspect is fostering a remote company culture. Think about how you are transmitting your company values as your staff are working from home. How are you maintaining your company culture?
Be creative when thinking of ways to help your employees feel culturally connected and maintain this aspect of your business. Lead by example and make sure that you are embodying company values whilst remote working.
Look for ways to implement the social aspect of the work and recreate, as much as possible, the aspects of company culture typically experienced when working from the office.