Since COVID-19 hit the world, businesses have realized the need for creating teams that can work virtually. Most businesses now are asking, ‘How businesses can create effective teams?’ These are teams where people work online through software, and they are expected to deliver the same or better results than they do when in an office. It might seem challenging to create a team online and ensure that it is effective because everyone is working from a different location.
How will I assign tasks to the members? How will I know when everyone is free, so we can have a meeting? What if it doesn’t work? These are some of the questions entrepreneurs are struggling to answer. Still, it should not be hard to get the answers when you have a strategy and a system of ensuring your team works efficiently. Find out the strategies you can use to build a robust virtual team below.
Define roles and responsibilities of each member
You should make roles clear the same way you do with group tasks in school. When assigned an assignment, the group leader assigns tasks to each member. The division of work eliminates confusion, and you won’t hear a member asking, “How do I write my paper?” The same should be applied in business. Once you have all the members you need for a project, start assigning tasks.
Determine who will be in charge of managing social media for the company. Is it one person, or will you have someone to do the graphics and content while the other one posts and responds to messages and comments? Also, will you have an administrative assistant to keep tabs of how many hours everyone is working and to prepare documents and tasks for members?
Once you have defined roles, you should call a meeting and introduce the team members to each other. Give everyone a chance to talk, and then assign tasks to members. Make sure everyone understands their roles so that you don’t experience conflicts.
Establish processes and guidelines for everyone to follow
It is very easy for the idea of virtual working to collapse when you don’t have a process and guidelines. In a physical office, you always create rules that people have to follow as soon as they report to work until they leave at 5. Don’t ignore this as it is also critical in virtual teams.
You have to define the process of delivering work. How will the employees deliver files? Should they send them as Google docs or MS word files? Also, if they have questions, whom do they ask? These are some of the questions you will be answering by creating a process.
Evaluate the process regularly to find out whether it is working as you expected. Make necessary changes when there is a need for adjustments to make things more efficient. You can ask the team members to give feedback so that you ensure the process is friendly to everyone. Remember, a good leader is participative and involves employees in making decisions because they are the ones running daily operations.
Conduct weekly meetings
When working from home, people might feel as though they have lost touch with one another. All they see is a screen labeled names of the other members, yet they never speak to each other directly. To ensure everyone is on the same page and to uplift team spirit, you should organize weekly meetings.
Let everyone be available for a video or audio call where you discuss issues and update everyone about the aim of the project. When people interact with each other directly, they will feel that they are part of a big team where they are expected to deliver good results. In case of issues that team members had experienced, they will also be free to let you know so you can discuss the way forward.
You may carry out the meetings once, twice, or as many times as your company demands. Support members who cannot make it to the meeting by briefing them on how the meeting went so that they may feel that their role is also important. The next time, they will make an effort to avail themselves of the meeting.
Applause members for their achievements
Business owners forget to applause team members when they are working from home, yet it is important to recognize everyone’s effort. It may raise their motivation levels to achieve better results in the future. Therefore, never forget to tell the members when they have done well.
In conclusion, building an effective virtual team is not a walk in the park. It involves a lot more than just adding members to a zoom group and telling them what to do. You must first assign responsibilities and make it clear who is in charge of doing what. Then you should develop policies that guide how people work so that there is no confusion. Remember to applause members when they have done well and call them for weekly meetings to check on how everyone is doing their work.