Managing a virtual team is tough. It requires you to create and maintain a strong company culture remotely. Additionally, it requires you to use the right strategies so your team can stay productive. That said, here are five effective ways in which you can manage your virtual team.
Choose the right people
If you want to effectively manage your virtual team, you need to start with the people. Not everyone is cut out for remote work. As a leader you need to be able to identify the right candidates. Not only that, you may need to determine who’s the best fit without ever meeting them face to face.
Look for individuals who have experience working independently. It’s also a good idea to give them a few tasks to complete as a test. If you’re unsure about an individual, odds are they’re not a good fit. Instead of trying to train them, you’re better off moving on to the next candidate.
Schedule daily standups
A standup meeting refers to a short, usually 10-minute, meeting for the team to review progress. Typically, the team will take turns discussing which action items are complete and which are in progress. This is a great way to make sure each team member is staying on task. I recommend scheduling this meeting at the same time every morning.
Develop and implement systems
In any business, without proper systems in place the whole operation can fall apart. In a virtual team, each team member is off in their own world. Naturally they will develop their own processes that may not mesh well with the rest of the team. This makes it imperative to create standardized systems for your team.
To make things even clearer, you should document these processes and constantly refine them as your team works together. It’s fine if they change, however they need to be implemented and followed religiously.
Use video calls whenever possible
With so many video conferencing applications at our fingertips, it only makes sense to utilize them for virtual meetings. If you’re having a conference with your team, you should always use video calls whenever possible. First and foremost, video conferencing is more personal. Since you don’t get to see your team face to face in the office, you need to make the extra effort to see one another.
Additionally, you can pick up on nonverbal cues from your team. Often times body language is the best way to tell what someone is truly thinking or feeling. If you constantly have conferences over the phone, you’ll miss out on all of that.
Use the right tools
If you want to effectively manage your virtual team, you need to utilize the right tools. More specifically, you need to utilize cloud technologies. Whether it’s project management, invoicing, customer relations, or calendar management your team needs to be able to access these platforms from anywhere.
If you’re able to isolate workflows to a single platform it leaves much less room for confusion and requires a lot less micromanaging. Ideally you want your virtual team to be self sufficient. In order to accomplish this, you need to provide them with the right tools.
Hiring remote employees will become increasingly common as time goes on. With the right technology and the right strategies, you should be able to manage your team just fine. That said, make sure you use the five tips above so you can effectively manage your virtual team.