As businesses grow and expand globally, it is imperative that virtual teams are used. Having a virtual team can be just as difficult and rewarding to manage as a team you physically have around the office. Virtual teams have an added difficult of most, if not all, of your members being in different places around the globe.
Having every one on your team so spread out provides their manager with some unique challenges. Even though they can seem daunting, these factors are just as easy to control as if your team was right there with you.
Leading a virtual team should feel just as if your team is right in the office, so here are four key factors to lend a virtual team that you might want to consider.
Meetings are an important part of any team staying connected and everybody being on the same page. This is even more important for a virtual team, scheduling meetings regularly, at least once every week at the same time and day of the week will help your team create a routine and know what they will be able to bring up an issue that they might be having and just to brief your team on new developments.
Having a routine meeting will give your team some stability and reduce some stress. They will also help build a rapport with everyone on the team outside of emailing or other forms of communication.
Having a virtual team means that you’ll only be able to conduct virtual meeting; so you have to make sure that you have the best technology on the market for your team to be successful. Making sure that you choose the right software and web tools will ensure that your team can communicate with the right team member, and avoid any possible bad situations.
If some of your team members don’t know how to use some specific technology that you implement, then you can send them some tutorials for it and go over it with them. You should always make sure that everyone on your team understands how to use the software that you will use on a daily basis, and especially your videoconference software. You don’t want some of your team members not understanding how the software works and disrupting your weekly meetings.
Keeping your virtual team motivated is a big challenge. The more conventional method that you can utilize with a physical team won’t be as useful with a virtual team. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any ways to motivate your team, you can still show them status reports about the project that they’re working on, and keeping an open line of communication will always keep your team motivated. A great part of a virtual team is that once you have established a clear open communication, and discus about what needs to be done, keep up with deadline reminders, then your team can be self motivating.
As the leader, you will still need to be making sure that everything is running smoothly, but it will become easier as your team feels more confortable and stable. At the beginning, or even if your team as worked together for a while, you can introduce small games to build a rapport wit the team members, and keep everybody motivated to finish the project.
Sometimes it’s more beneficial to have a smaller virtual team.
If you have many different people on your team, it is much easier for problems to form and for those issues to fall through the cracks and create a rift within your team. You can stop this from happening by having a smaller team and making sure that everybody is always on the same page.