4 Tips for putting together a Virtual Team poised for Success
4 Tips for putting together a Virtual Team poised for Success
Brought to you by Rosy King @ Corporate Training Options
Here’s 4 tips for putting together a virtual team, irrespective of size, which will have endless possibilities for your organisation.
During the past six months, micro businesses, medium businesses and large corporations in Australia and throughout the world have all scrambled to set up virtual teams. Most of us have had to do it out of necessity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. With a secure, high performing virtual team of your own, you’ll now be able to:
- Improve business systems
- Utilise new technology
- Increase sales
- Reduce operating costs
- And more
However, if not done with the proper care or consideration, forming a virtual team can cause upsets! There’s a lot to take into account if you want to step into a streamlined virtual team with success.
Here are our top 4 tips for putting together a virtual team, that’s organised, well run and successful.
Tip 1 – Forming Your Virtual Team
Here begins the foundation of your virtual team, and the foundation of your successes. In this step, you’re establishing the fundamental aspects of your team. If you want an easily managed group with minimal hiccups (who doesn’t), it all starts here!
Getting all the bases covered first and foremost is going to help you and your team as you progress. A rocky foundation is a big reason why some virtual teams fail to flourish.
Because let’s face it – It’s no good getting two weeks into your project and discovering one team member has accidentally misinterpreted a particular task due to language barriers, cultural differences or a simple misunderstanding.
Here’s what you can do:
Get familiar with everyone’s priorities
What is everyone’s focus? Do their goals align with each other? If there’s anything ultimately left field, it’s essential to make sure everyone is working cohesively.
What’s everyone commonly using to communicate within this virtual team? Is everyone able to consistently access this point? Everyone needs to be on the same playing field to avoid any discrepancies, so it’s essential to hash this out from the get-go.
Identify any cultural differences within your team
Communication is key. If there are any boundaries at all, it’s crucial to make these known before any project begins.
Cultural differences can stem beyond simple language barriers. They can mean that one team member has a different view on working roles, social structures, project status, and personal boundaries. This is when you need to get to the nitty-gritty and set out some rules that make everyone happy.
Create your team culture
It’s crucial each team member feels part of your team to create a positive virtual team culture. Creating a culture that’s trusting, accepting, inspiring and motivating is just as important as office working environments. It’s all about making each team member feel comfortable, to maximise your results.
Trust is a big part of team culture. Why? Because a lack of trust can lead to failed projects. If all team members trust one another, they can feel secure knowing each task will be completed as assigned, alleviating stresses and concerns.
So, start building these relationships here in step one. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make down the line.
Tip 2 – Create Your Virtual Tech Environment
Now you’ve done some groundwork; it’s time to fine-tune the technical elements of your virtual team.
Choose your tech
Technology is the essence of a virtual team, and it’s quite important to take this step with a lot of consideration. It’s no good having team members running completely different operating systems. This will incur the dreaded file incompatibilities, communication errors, unreliable networks, slow computers, and network traffic.
To avoid this, make sure everybody’s running the same system, and the teams’ technology of choice is consistent across the board. For instance, if you decide that Microsoft Teams is going to be your platform for chat, online meetings and sharing files, then everyone needs a licence, the software loaded on their computers and other devices, and general training in the use of the MS Teams tools.
Train your team
Not everyone in your group will have the same skill levels, so every member must have training on all elements involved in your virtual systems. Allowing each team member to have access to training is essential for practice, growth and success.
Tip 3 – Manage Responses to External Sources of Change
External influences are not unique to in-house office teams. They’re just as common in a virtual team. Within both, there are things you can control and things you can’t.
A few pointers to take here include:
Appoint a virtual ambassador
It’s essential to define a team ambassador who will handle, reach out and have involvement with, managing any external changes that affect your team. It’s all about keeping your team afloat and in-check.
Be prepared to manage changes
If you’re able to smooth over any sudden changes that occur – you’re winning. Team members can experience each influence differently, so your team ambassador needs to handle changes, if and when they occur.
Tip 4 – Ensure your Virtual Team is Set for Success
Once you’ve built the basics, established roles, streamlined communication and you have projects underway – it’s a must for your team leader to continue to keep an eye on how well the team is functioning.
Manage your teams’ performance
By keeping a consistent track on how things are running, team leaders will be able to identify any problems early and nip them in the bud before they get out of hand. Any problems identified within or by your team, should always get resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Celebrate your successes!
Implementing clear goals and achieving them is a great way to set an embracive cultural environment within your virtual team. Celebrate your wins and successes as a team, and recognise and thank those individuals in your team who have contributed to team wins.
Giving continuous feedback to each team member along the way is another way of making everyone feel comfortable, trusted and appreciated. Those things can easily get swept under the rug when it comes to working remotely. So, keep feedback a priority.
Regularly Check Health and Wellbeing
Remember to take into account that not everyone in your virtual team has worked from home before. They therefore may not be used to the isolation of not being in an office full of co-workers. Or, in reverse, they could be in lockdown with their whole family, plus the dog and cat. So it’s important to regularly ask – “Are you okay”? “Is everything going well for you working from home?” “Is there anything I can help with – even just a chat or a shoulder to cry on”.
It’s extremely important to regularly check on the wellbeing of your virtual team, to ensure they are coping well with their remote working environment. If you find they do need support, please reach out to them immediately, and offer it. If you don’t have the skills they need, there may be someone else who does, within or even outside your organisation. Please refer them to your team member as quickly as possible, as the well being of your team members must always be a priority.
Is Setting Up a Work From Home Virtual Team Difficult?
If you have little or no experience in setting up or working with virtual teams, there are quite a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Corporate Training Options can provide you with guidance and support if you need it.
If you need more tips for putting together a virtual team, CTO facilitators have expertise in setting up virtual teams for businesses of all sizes. Our training courses, webinars and 25+ year’s experience means we’ll deliver positive results for you when you’re ready to learn more about how to set up a virtual team.
So contact CTO for friendly, professional advice. We’ll discuss your specific needs and tailor a training course to suit your requirements.
Why Choose Corporate Training Options?
- Your Trainers are certified experts who are real-world practitioners
- The courses are interactive, well organised and fun – making it easier for you to learn
- Small classes mean each trainee will receive individual attention and can be confident about the skills gained
- Our complimentary trainer consultation before your training ensures your objectives will be met
- CTO is a Business Excellence Award-winning company
About Corporate Training Options
Corporate Training Options is Australia’s leading professional development training company, incorporated in 1992 and Australian owned. In that time, we have facilitated & run over 100,000 training courses Australia wide.
CTO training provides a cost-effective way of ensuring you and your staff is presenting your best image to the world.
CTO Professional Development and IT Training courses are customised to meet your requirements, and your training is provided on-site, on dates, which suit you.
We specialise in skills to help you run your organisation more efficiently, and promote growth for your team:
- Leadership & Management
- Strategic Business Planning
- Project Management
- Marketing & Sales
- Customer Service & Relationship Management
- Business Administration
- Finance & Accounting
- People & Culture
- Computer Training
- Personal Development
Each CTO trainer has specific areas of expertise.
This enables them to provide invaluable assistance to corporations like yours, seeking to maximise your investment in your teams and your technology.
So if you’re ready to upgrade your skills, or you wish to tackle some new challenges, contact Corporate Training Options today for friendly, professional advice. We’ll discuss your specific needs, and tailor a training course to suit your requirements.