How To Manage A Virtual Team Effectively And Efficiently
Managers are increasingly having to organise and work with a Team that is seldom, if ever, physically together given that the rise of remote working is gathering pace and is likely to become the norm for many workers.
This creates a number of challenges, not least of which is the critical need to make sure that staff deliver against the background that because they are not physically with you it is very hard to see progress and outcomes regarding allocated tasks and responsibilities.
So, what to do? Perhaps considering the following points might help:
- If at all possible, at the formation stage of the group, try to get everyone together for a “Hello Session”. If this is just not physically possible set up some form of electronic meeting/Skype so at least all can establish some communication process.
- Build TRUST at every opportunity: you need to hold the Team together so that people link well, can rely upon each other, are comfortable and feel able to open up to each other when needed.
- Recruit with care: make sure that you bring in people who can communicate in the right way and at the right time. These skills are essential!
- NEVER rely upon email: this is a good medium BUT use a range of technologies that supplement each other and offer a reliable and effective network of communication strategies.
- Encourage some dissent and disagreement: make sure that staff in the Team are able and comfortable in speaking out and raising issues.
- Measure outcomes carefully: this should be your real focus rather than being obsessed with time management.
- Find a realistic and a personal way to appraise performance and avoid just sending comments by email.
Over time these skills will become part of your managerial approach and will separate you from the managers who can only manage physical teams.
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