Managing a team is a challenge in itself. Managing a virtual team and increasing its effectiveness adds a whole new level of difficulty for the team leaders. They have to make sure all team members are working productively while maintaining a healthy work atmosphere and a high level of motivation. All of this is happening virtually, without live contact, or sharing a room physically. That’s why you need a specific set of skills to manage a virtual team.
If you need to build and manage a high-performing virtual team, but aren’t sure you’re up for the challenge, we’ve got your back. The guide below shares 7 essential tips for managing a virtual team’s effectiveness that delivers results and stays on top of any task.
Here’s how to manage a high-performing virtual team.
7 ways to increase virtual team effectiveness
1. Establish solid communication
Without solid communication, virtual team effectiveness drops to a low level.
This is why you first need to make sure you and your team have established strong, stable communication. That implies:
- being able to reach out to each other quickly and conveniently
- regularly communicating via chat, video, email, or otherwise
- staying connected at all times
- supporting each other during work hours
Choose the right means of communication and establish rules for communicating daily.
2. Delegate tasks
Your team needs guidance to perform well. They need someone to keep them all together and direct them towards their daily or weekly objectives.
Task delegation is a super important task that you need to handle. The more direct and precise your instructions are, the better your team will perform.
So, always try to:
- assign tasks and objectives clearly
- delegate what everyone’s supposed to do
- set your expectations high
- add instructions and explanations when needed
This doesn’t mean you should do the job for them. Just let them know precisely what you need from them to do, and monitor them while they’re working on it.
3. Set mutual goals
A virtual team’s effectiveness is difficult to manage because individual team members may feel distant, detached, or isolated from the rest of the team. Building that team spirit can be hard and that could negatively affect the performance of the team.
To keep everyone together and work on their mutual collaboration, include them all in setting goals for the company. Organize virtual meetings and discuss:
- what you want to achieve as a team
- how everyone can contribute
- what’s the best strategy to do it
Let everyone speak their mind and contribute. This way, when you set new goals, everyone in the team will be more motivated to work together and work hard.
Remember, you’re still the leader and in charge of gathering data and information, creating presentations, and doing market research to help set new goals. You can outsource research writing help from a “write my paper” writing company. You can use them for any other type of writing help- grammar check, proofreading, writing your personal statement, or putting together presentations for the team.
Just make sure you’re well prepared for holding each of these meetings.
4. Use team collaboration tools
You want to keep your team motivated and high-performing. But, without proper organization, no team can function successfully.
So, to avoid confusion, disorganization, or chaos, use a team collaboration tool you feel suits your needs.
These tools will help you:
- create work calendars and schedules for the team
- assign tasks and monitor their progress
- keep team members connected
- store important files, documents, and materials the team needs to access
- help them organize their work hours
A team collaboration tool can make a world of difference for your team, so explore your options.
5. Provide feedback regularly
You should never leave a team member in the dark about their performance and contribution to the team. Whether they’re doing a great job or not, you need to address it.
Giving regular feedback needs to be done two ways:
- individual feedback for each team member
- group feedback for the team performance
The group feedback is best conducted via a virtual meeting. You can hold it once a month and reflect on the previous period.
For individual feedback, try being less formal and make it a part of a regular weekly conversation with your team members. Let them know about the things they did right and the things that need improvement.
Your advice and guidance will boost their performance and create a powerful culture of appreciation. This way, your team members will be more confident about their work and will improve from week to week.
6. Respect the work hours
Most virtual teams have people from all over the globe working together. Remote work has brought together people from different continents and time zones.
This is why sometimes it can be hard to keep the team together. But, you can’t expect them to be online and available at all times.
Instead, you need to:
- schedule meetings and calls in advance to help them organize their time
- know when every team member starts and finishes work
- respect their free time
It would be a huge management mistake to disrespect their time. Try not to send your emails 24/7 or make unannounced calls, unless it’s something urgent or a top priority. Respect their work hours to keep them more productive and satisfied.
7. Get them the equipment
If your team doesn’t have the right equipment, they won’t be able to perform at the level you expect. But, you also can’t expect them to have all the tools and equipment they need and cover the expenses themselves.
So, give them a hand.
- cover the expenses of subscriptions to using tools, software, and programs they need
- help them buy laptops and other equipment they need
- cover their internet bills
You could loan them the money for the equipment and have them pay it out through monthly payments, or split the costs. You decide. Just make sure you have their back in getting everything they need to perform at the highest level.
To manage a virtual team effectiveness, you need to keep them close together and in constant communication. That requires you to monitor, track, and guide their progress while letting them know you’re there for them. You also have to delegate tasks, set goals, and give proper and regular feedback.
The 7 tips we’ve listed above will tell you exactly how to manage a high-performing and effective virtual team. Use them to improve your managing skills and make your team better every day.
Jessica Fender is an HR specialist with a long history of consulting, both with organizations and job seekers. She is also an editor at Writeload.