Leading Virtual Team Towards Results
Business managers need to be clear and concise when it comes to their virtual teams. By understanding how to create successful virtual teams, business managers can ensure that their businesses are running smoothly. However, not all virtual teams are created equal. Every virtual team has team development aspects, and business managers need to know the difference between successful and unsuccessful virtual teams.
Managers can guide their virtual teams to success with a proactive, solid management style. To avoid challenges, all businesses should set guidelines meant to help guide virtual team members.
According to educator Jonathan Osler, communication should constantly be present in any good virtual team. To communicate properly with virtual teams, we must carefully consider the importance of each message and its context of delivery. When communicating with others in person, we take them at face value. The same is not true online. If the speaker needs to prioritize speed over sensitivity, leaders need to realize this before broaching topics that could be considered sensitive or sensitive for violence. There must also be a clear leader and followers when communicating in a virtual environment.
Furthermore, both the leader and the followers should hold each other accountable. Studies have shown that leaders can make a difference in a team’s success by only accepting positive feedback. For example, the leader should provide kickboxing lessons to help keep their virtual crew motivated when having a rough day. Without looking for feedback, both leaders and followers will be pessimistic, leading to community burnout and ineffective teamwork.
Moreover, managers should keep leaders and contributing members happy by addressing issues they want to resolve. Jonathan Osler says empowerment is important to all virtual teams and can be reached by sharing ownership, recognition, and rewards of success. For example, when a team member has developed a great idea, it is always good to let others know that they had one. The leader should also make sure everyone in the virtual team receives the credit for their work, not just themselves.
Every virtual team is made better once rewards are handed out, or at least someone on the team thinks, “Hey, look who I guess that list belongs to.” While these are often small gifts like Netflix gift cards or small coffee mugs, consider giving out larger prizes such as after-hours movie tickets or tickets to concerts as rewards of success can often go a long way towards boosting friendships within a virtual environment. Also, round up at least one person who has worked hard per day.
Establishing an effective program will boost morale and help members get motivated. As a virtual team leader, it is important to hold each member accountable and hand out credit once deserved, and make sure they know you are there for them as a leader when they need you the most. Lastly, communication among members will be better if they trust one another enough to talk honestly without fear of social punishment or conflict by their peers. Empowerment can be reached through being clear about communication and leadership roles, feedback when deserved, sharing of success, and rewards of success.