As the 21st century moves forward, many offices have transitioned to working either fully remotely or a hybrid model between remote work and in-office meetings. While the hybrid approach is inherently more flexible, it does require a co-located team, which may not always make it possible to recruit and retain top talent. If your organization is looking to expand its hiring prospects beyond the immediate area of your business location, then it may make sense to incorporate a more virtual structure. There are many advantages to working with virtual teams, although of course there are some advantages as well. With that in mind, here’s what you need to keep in mind when managing virtual teams in order to make sure that employees feel appreciated, engaged, and inspired.
Building Up Your Company Culture
Company culture is one of the least understood parts of management. Many managers don’t bother to set a company culture for their team, and many CEOs don’t bother with at as well. In an office, company culture may just be a free meal once a week and some pre-meetings banter, but with virtual teams, co-workers are inherently less connected. This makes it more incumbent on the manager or CEO to foster an inclusive and engaging company culture. In fact, there’s a strong correlation between making investments in company culture and an organization’s profit. This gives companies all the more reason to build up their company culture.
To do so virtually, there are a number of options available to managers and CEOs. Modern digital collaboration and video conferencing software like Slack and Zoom can certainty help here. You can start off-topic Slack channels to give employees room to chat, and also set up happy hours or other social meetups on Zoom. You can even send along small gift cards or other tokens of appreciation so people can share a meal or drink on these meetups.
Beyond these digital assets though, you also want to make sure that you take the time to build relationships with your team. If, for example, you are onboarding a new employee, you want to make sure that employee immediately feels welcome and included in your company. You can announce their employment on Slack, set up a meet and greet via Zoom, and make sure that they feel immediately welcomed into your organized.
Managing a virtual team is challenging, but with the aid of modern solutions, you can successfully build up your virtual team. When working with a virtual team, you need to make sure that they feel invested both in your company culture and in the values of your company. These values need to be exemplified by the CEO and management team, and remote working should be seen as an opportunity to create a more personalized experience around work. Given that everybody is now responsible for setting up their own workstation, there are many things that companies can do to increase the comfort and viability of their virtual teams. But that only starts with engaging with their remote workers and making them feel included and proud of the organized they work for.