If you are leading a team virtually, you might be finding some difficulty because you cannot see them every day. It can get difficult to communicate with team members via e-mail or messages. However, there are skills that you should learn that are not so different from traditional leadership.
What is Virtual Leadership?
Virtual leadership is a form of leadership in which teams are managed remotely. When it comes to leading a team virtually, there is some similarity to traditional leadership. However, a virtual leader needs to have the skill of understanding when is the appropriate time to have a voice or video call with an employee and when things can be resolved via messaging or e-mailing. Additionally, virtual leaders need to be tech-savvy when it comes to team management tools to keep track of goals and a project’s progress. Not to mention, a virtual leader needs to find the perfect balance between keeping track of employees’ work and not micromanaging too much.
Essential Virtual Leadership Skills
When it comes to leading a team virtually, there is a set of skills that are very important to have. You will need to be a good communicator, understand that employees do not want to have meetings that seem to be unnecessary, and develop a trusting relationship with your team. Additionally, you will need to track goals, fulfill their needs to be more productive, and recognize their achievements to keep them motivated.
Communicate & Use the Appropriate Channels
The most important skill a leader should have is communication. If a leader cannot properly and clearly communicate with his or her team, it can lead to a lot of complications and a decrease in a team’s efficiency. This skill is even more important when it comes to leading a team virtually. This is because you lose face to face interaction when working remotely. This can lead to employees misunderstanding your tone in an e-mail or message. Additionally, if you do not have good written communication skills, employees can even misunderstand an important assignment or urgent task.
When communicating with your virtual team, it is important to also use the appropriate channels. Additionally, you should set expectations on how each channel of communication is to be used. This allows the entire team to clearly understand when it is most appropriate to message, e-mail, call, or set up a meeting.
Have Meetings Only When Necessary
Have you ever heard: “This meeting could’ve been an e-mail”? Nobody wants employees who have a good flow when working to disrupt it and go to a meeting that they do not have to participate in. Making an employee waste an hour of their day to be at a meeting can make them feel stressed and lead to a decrease in productivity. Therefore, when setting up a meeting, make sure to organize it in a way that only the people who need to be there are invited. You can always send an e-mail to the rest of the team with what was talked about.
Trust is a very important aspect to have in a team. Not only should your team trust you to lead them to success, but they should also trust each other. This allows team members to discuss among themselves any issues they might be having with a project. Additionally, team members who trust one another are more likely to work together towards the goals set by you.
To build this trust, you need to encourage open dialogue and make yourself accessible. Encouraging open dialogue allows you to build an open and honest relationship with your team. This allows team members to feel more comfortable around you and you don’t have to micromanage anyone. For this, you should give members the space to give candid feedback without judgment or reprimand. Additionally, a good leader is someone available and accessible to all team members. Unfortunately, this can be difficult with a virtual team. Therefore, you need to be even attentive to making sure that the gap between team leader and members is closed.
Motivate Your Team
Working from home has its perks. However, it can be very difficult for employees to feel motivated. Therefore, it is important that a team leader can keep employees motivated and help them feel empowered. When it comes to motivating a team, encouraging virtual collaboration is your best bet. There are many team-building activities online that you can implement. Additionally, to help your team feel empowered, you should give them the freedom to make decisions and support them.
Set & Monitor Goals
Another good way to keep your team motivated is by setting goals. Goals allow employees to have a clear understanding of what they have to do. Many online tools allow you to set goals for projects and monitor them. Additionally, this practice is helpful for you to keep track of a project without having to constantly check in on team members.
When your team members are doing a good job, it is important to recognize it. This will keep them motivated to continue to work hard and encourage other team members to work as hard to get the achievement as well. It is not because your team is virtual that they do not want to feel appreciated. Therefore, if you see growth and hard work, you should recognize it and invest in the member’s talents and abilities. You can always enroll a hard-working employee in a training or mentoring program to learn new skills or improve existing ones.
Provide Resources to Increase Productivity
People tend to have different environments that make them feel most productive. While some team members might work best at home, others might need to go to an office. Luckily, a business centre allows you to help both types of team members. With a business centre, you can rent an office for only the members that prefer to commute to work and you do not have to deal with all the expenses of renting an entire building. Additionally, business centres like Astra, have boardrooms that allow you to have in-person meetings, if necessary. Not to mention, if you have a client that wants to meet the team in person, Astra Business Centre can help you. We offer premium suites and private offices that are fully furnished and feature free high-speed internet. Contact us if you want to learn more about our business center.