Previously, we discussed five of the best ways to enhance a virtual team’s effectiveness and we outlined the different activities you can carry out to implement them. Today, let’s dive into the remaining ways you can use to boost your team’s productivity.
6. Adopt Flexibilty
Working remotely has the advantage of being able to accommodate other essential tasks that team members must do. Since no time is lost in commuting to and from specific workplace, the time factor is also convenient.
Consider having a flexible organization structure for the virtual team. You can set a specific number of days/hours for team members to work per week. This holds the benefit of having a work-life balance. It also enables better conditions for teams to make collaborative effort.
7. Include Incentives and Benefits
Studies have shown that part time virtual workers, without motivation can easily have their attention diverted and ultimately, lead to some leaving; a great expense for when they are needed most. Some drop off or quit.
Offer payment for services rendered. This is a good way to build an understanding that your team is working not just to achieve but to earn for themselves. By understanding that their livelihood depends on their work, they will focus on making their efforts worth the payment.
Add incentives to motivate progress. A simple bonus to the team for a met deadline or a reward for reaching a certain target goes a long way to conditioning team performance.
Cultivate a culture of appreciation. Commend effort, record progress, give gifts for occasions and recognize achievements. When people are recognized for their effort in the team, it promotes respect for their roles and the discipline to maintain the set standard. It helps the team set individual goals from the perspective of team achievement. It also nurtures team bonds.
8. Have a Standard On-Boarding Process
When dealing with new members of a team, orientation is a key factor in aligning them to the goals to be achieved.
Choose a suitable way to make sure these members learn about the roles of people involved, the part they play, the work flow and the values upheld. It is through this that they will learn and adjust to working conditions in place. It helps them integrate to the virtual team and to assimilate the organization culture.
9. Plan for Face-to-Face Meetings
Do not underestimate the significance of having a physical meeting.
A recently published study in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that in face to face communication brain synchronization occurs. This increases with participants taking turns to talk as opposed to one person offering a monologue while the others pay attention.
Face to face communication builds trust and stronger connection in a team. Through non-verbal cues or body language, there’s a better understanding of how people feel.
Facial expression, inattentive posture and uncomfortable movements may not be seen in a virtual set up. In a physical set up, this could show lack of confidence, dissatisfaction, joy and confidence through non-verbal cues like gestures and facial expression. Members get to give instant response, discuss and ask without feeling limited. This approach also encourages participation.
10. Prioritize Communication
Encourage people to ask questions. Listen. Be considerate of any complaints, criticisms and compliments.
An effective virtual team Heavily relies on clear, continuous. From requests to performance reports, the daily running of activities must be made through clear channels of communication put in place. Technology right now has aided this with the rise of software and apps developed for video conferencing, project management and virtual work desks virtual teams can utilize to pass messages and converse.
You want a team where knowledge, experiences and feelings can be shared and ideas exchanged. Through this, mutual understanding is achieved. Misunderstandings fuel conflict in the team and strains working relations. It affects productivity and decreases the chances of success in achieving an effective virtual team. Simply put, everything can be enhanced or broken by this factor.
Sometimes, the message received doesn’t match what was meant. Make sure people have an environment where they can express what they mean. Encourage feedback and questions to bring about mutual understanding.
Not communicating also communicates something. Lack of response can easily be interpreted as consensus on a decision, non-verbal disagreement lack of concern or even an emergency. Lack of feedback from any member shouldn’t be brushed off. This would be a red flag. Do not quickly judge feedback or suggestions. You wouldn’t want to be judged either. Remember that not just content but feelings too are included in messages.
Ensuring a stable balance between the two eliminates the chance of confusion when relaying a message. Encourage people to be expressive but objective in order to communicate effectively. Once this is conditioned, the fact that members are not in physical contact is countered since your team’s communication dynamics will have evolved.
Hopefully, this article has changed your perspective of a functional virtual team in light of these practices shared above. Hiring a group of highly skilled and talented people doesn’t necessarily guarantee smooth sailing into the sunset for your virtual workspace. Focusing on the best ways of improving productivity is also necessary.
At DIRA HR Solutions, we offer a wide range of services to support your virtual team. From Recruitment and HR administration to advisory and performance management, we service your needs so you can work better. We believe that building work relations among members can optimize your virtual team’s performance level and having an overall satisfied workforce. In the long run, an effective virtual team will improve your Return on Investment (ROI). For more information, visit our website.