As of June 2020, about 40% of the labor force was working from home. If you’re a manager who is used to leading teams in person, remote work can be challenging. Virtual teams can experience setbacks in productivity, especially under stressful circumstances like a global pandemic. However, as a manager, you can help guide your team through these challenges.
Measuring performance, taking steps to boost morale, and devising actionable strategies to overcome challenges can help your team stay on track and thrive under the current conditions. Working with a team coach from Strong Training and Coaching can help. Here’s what we suggest:
How to Measure Team Effectiveness
That which can be measured can be improved. Start each project by establishing metrics for success. How will you know when your task is completed? How will you know if it’s successful? What are your goals? Share these objectives and metrics with your team, so they know what they’re aiming for.
Establish deadlines. Consult with members of your team to ensure that the deadlines you select are realistic under the circumstances. When factors outside of your control do not drive the deadline, allow your team members to provide input when you’re choosing the due date. If the project is multi-step, form milestones and deadlines for it, so your team will know that they’re on track as the task progresses. This will help members of your team pace their work and avoid a last-minute panic.
Explain to your team why you’ve chosen the deadlines and metrics that you’ve selected, so they understand where you’re coming from and how important it is to stay on track.
Devise Strategies to Improve Virtual Team Performance
Even with the milestones and deadlines in place, your team may need a boost midway through their project. When working remotely, some people can start to feel isolated, uncertain of their progress, and untethered from their team. Engage in virtual team building and training exercises to keep them on their toes.
- Schedule a virtual lunch hour or break together. Eat snacks, tell stories, chat.
- Play virtual games. Take time to engage in a few virtual games that can sharpen your team’s skills and give them a chance to enjoy themselves without worrying about meeting deadlines.
- Arrange for virtual employee training. Bring in speakers and trainers to help your team hone their skills and develop new ones to complete their projects. Are your team members struggling to master the software they need to engage in remote work? Do they need to develop particular skills for the current task? Give them the tools they need to be successful by bringing the training to them through a virtual platform.
Work on Leadership Team Development While Working From Home
You can be a good team leader, even over a virtual platform. If you’re new to this kind of management, you can benefit from the team building help and online virtual coaching from Strong Training and Coaching. Your virtual coach will teach you strategies to help develop empathy and understanding with your staff while gaining their confidence and trust.
Some tips to get started:
- Provide regular performance feedback. Your employees need to know when they’re doing a good job. Remote teams sometimes struggle to determine whether they’re on the right track. Providing regular performance feedback and team coaching will give your team members the information they need to improve.
- Have team meetings and one-on-one meetings. Remote teams don’t benefit from the impromptu meetings and discussions you might have engaged in when you were in the office. Make an effort to touch base with your team members in individual and group sessions regularly.
- Encourage team members to connect individually. Encourage members of your team to call each other when they have questions. Opening the lines of communication in your group can make working from home easier to do and less isolating.
Want more virtual team building suggestions? Contact Strong Training and Coaching. Our NYC professional coaching can help you identify problems, improve team performance, devise practical solutions to problems, and build on your strengths.