Everything is virtual in 2020 — catching up with friends, learning new skills, corporate seminars, and even weddings! Businesses too have shifted to remote work policy to safeguard employees from the Novel Coronavirus. Considering the fact that it has led to a better work-life balance for everyone, a lot of organizations are contemplating shifting permanently to the remote work culture.
Although employees are happier with the comfort that comes with the work-from-home culture, business owners and managers are facing the unique challenges of managing employees scattered in different geographical locations. Communicating virtually may be possible due to the various technical tools, but coordinating and getting work done from a virtual global team is a daunting task.
Here are some essential do’s and don’ts to help global team leaders effectively manage virtual team members:
- DO provide employees the right tools:
For successful communication and work coordination, virtual teams need the right digital tools. Equipping employees with the necessary communication tools ensure the successful execution of tasks. It also helps them communicate work progress to the managers.
Virtual teams also need collaboration and file-sharing tools to share crucial work information with team members. A collaboration tool like the document collaboration software seamlessly integrates with other tools along with the option to control who has access to what content.
- DON’T micromanage:
The worst way to manage a virtual global team is by micromanaging them. It is important to stay in touch with employees and understand their work progress, but doing it incessantly to confirm they are constantly into work is hardly ever helpful.
Setting unrealistic expectations and micromanaging leads to employees feeling frustrated which can lower their work morale. Don’t fret about every small detail and instead show faith in your employees to do their job well.
- DO clearly communicate goals and responsibilities :
A team without any goals will never produce great results. To effectively manage a virtual team and ensure good work productivity, managers must clearly define common project goals. This paints a clear picture and gives them direction.
It is equally important to communicate individual employee responsibilities to establish measurable performance goals. Communicating clearly with the virtual employees about their role in the team helps in avoiding any confusion about what is expected of them.
- DON’T forget to ask for opinion and feedback:
Managers should never disregard the importance of building an inclusive environment where virtual teams are encouraged to share their opinions. Having regular virtual team meetings keeps everyone on the same page and gives them a platform to contribute their ideas.
A big benefit of getting employee feedback is that it makes them feel that their opinion is being valued, which leads to higher employee engagement. This encourages employees to participate more which makes it easier to manage them.
- DO track their progress:
It is impossible to manage a virtual global team working in different time zones without knowing their work progress. Tracking their progress allows managers to assign them relevant tasks as well as allocate resources suitably.
Virtual team managers must track team progress to ensure work gets delivered as per the set deadlines. Also, it helps in highlighting employees with low productivity. Managers can then focus on them to help them schedule their work more efficiently in order to get better work results from them.
Managing virtual teams differs based on a manager’s leadership style. However, with the help of the above-mentioned do’s and don’ts it is possible to overcome the most basic challenges of managing global virtual employees and to optimize their productivity. Are you managing a virtual team? What are the strategies you have implemented to overcome the challenges of managing them? Let us know in the comments below.