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Virtual Leadership Effectiveness Case Study

Only 15% of virtual managers think they’re effective. Are you one of them?

Most managers of virtual teams have one thing in common: a crisis in confidence. According to recent research, only 15% rate themselves as highly effective, and just 53% feel they are moderately effective.

Their staff are slightly more generous, saying that 24% are very effective, which is better though hardly inspiring.

The reason for these lackluster statistics? Just 22% of people working on virtual teams receive training on how to work effectively in that environment.

This is an important issue that has real consequences for virtual teams, leading to miscommunication, inefficiencies and trust issues that can cut into if not completely obliterate the supposed benefits and cost savings that working virtually can provide.

In the virtual environment, nobody can see you smile – or hear your tone of voice, or pick up on any number of other cues we learn from birth. As a result, virtual managers and employees need a new communications toolkit designed for the virtual environment.

Real skills for virtual teams

What’s different in the virtual environment? Just about everything, really. From basic communication:

  • Clear and concise interactions over email, chat and web, video and conference calls
  • Learning how and when to use which collaboration technology to facilitate the right interaction at the right time
  • Remembering to explicitly include everyone during a virtual meeting whether they are in the same building or 3,000 miles apart, this can help combat the out-of-sight-out-of-mind effect

To virtual meetings:

  • Devote time to building sustainable and trusting relationships through something as simple as having everyone share a recent success or challenge they experienced – teams that spend just 15 minutes a day building  relationships have a 20% increase in performance over those that do
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  • Provide a visual map or representation of meeting participants, helping to ensure that remote attendees feel like they are part of the team and connected to the rest of the group

To basic team management:

  • Leverage technology to create an “open door policy” that signals your availability for impromptu virtual conversations
  • Be transparent, sharing updates with your virtual and face-to-face team members simultaneously; this keeps everyone feeling in the loop and equal regardless of their distance from one another
  • Demonstrate credibility, as people trust what they can see; when you are open and honest, others don’t have to guess what your intentions are

Great virtual managers understand that’s the unique challenges of the virtual environment can lead to serious issues including low morale, reduced productivity, feelings of isolation, and general dysfunction.

By taking the time to invest in virtual communication and management skills, they position themselves and their team for long-term success.

Incorporating virtual best practices

Few people are born with the knowledge and skills it takes to work in the virtual environment, which means investing in targeted virtual training is essential to drawing out the best in you and your virtual team.

Virtual Team Builders offers weekly Lunch and Learn training sessions with valuable tips and tricks that can put your team on the path to success – click here to learn more.

What challenges to you face on your virtual team? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #VirtualTeamTalk!

 

By : Virtual Teambuilders /June 03, 2019 /Virtual Leadership /0 Comment Read More

Virtual Team Resilience: The Manager’s Role

Virtual Team Resilience 600x242 - Virtual Team Resilience: The Manager’s Role

In virtual teams, managers play a central role in developing resilience – the ability to overcome setbacks and adapt to change. While virtual teams are just as capable of harmonious, productive work as their co-located counterparts, the physical distance between colleagues makes them more prone to misunderstandings and feelings of isolation.

But not to worry! As a manager of virtual employees, you have a huge amount of power to create an environment that fosters resilience, setting your team up for long-term success.

Building resilience in virtual teams

In particular, virtual managers hoping to build a resilient team need to:

– Set direction and structure

It is your responsibility to communicate directives from the executive level, providing strategic and big-picture guidance that helps employees understand their individual role and accountabilities. At the same time, business priorities often change, and you need to communicate this information to your team and help them implement the changes. By ensuring the lines of communication are open and everyone is in the loop, you increase your team’s confidence in their mission and set them up to achieve their goals.

– Take on the role of a supportive coach

People who thrive in virtual teams typically value having the latitude to do their job and make decisions independently. The key for virtual managers is to grant this latitude while still holding staff accountable, providing additional guidance as necessary. Strategies include:

o One-on-one touch points
o Regularly occurring virtual office hours for drop-in conversations
o Non-judgmental, constructive feedback that engages staff in problem-solving
o Framing challenges as part of mastering new skills
o Facilitating team discussions about lessons learned and the best way to move forward

– Encourage self-advocacy

Remind staff that they are not alone. If they encounter personal challenges, they can and should speak up! No manager is a mind-reader, particularly without the benefit of non-verbal cues, so it is essential that employees recognize their responsibility to tell you when they need clairifiction or assistance. What managers can do is ask open-ended questions and exhibit strong listening skills, making employees feel safe in disclosing any issues they are having.

By following these steps, virtual managers will maximize the resilience of their team, empowering remote employees to identify, address, and overcome new challenges as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Want to learn more about managing virtual teams? Try one-on-one mentoring with Virtual Team Builders and get expert, personalized strategies and techniques to manage your unique team.

By : Virtual Teambuilders /March 14, 2019 /Resiliency in a Virtual Environment, Virtual Managers /0 Comment Read More
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    Virtual Team Builders is a training and consulting company that caters to corporations and teams who depend on effective virtual collaboration to succeed. Our training is targeted towards the unique challenges faced by teams operating in a virtual environment; challenges that are present whether members work 90 feet apart or 3000 miles apart.  Read More