Virtual work teams are changing the way we do business as we know it. Those who learn how to set up and successfully manage their remote teams are getting some profitable results. Is it easy to achieve? What challenges do managers face to get there? The company (a service specializing in writing various kinds of content and whose team works remotely) has prepared an article from which you will learn tips for creating and running agile virtual teams.

Remote work teams are becoming more common and benefit both parties. For example, companies have lower overhead costs and improve their cash flow, and remote workers enjoy the flexibility of working from home and becoming more productive. 

There are some challenges associated with managing remote employees; from a one-time process to the day-to-day management of employees. Hiring, training, and supervision are slower and more complicated when you are dealing with remote workers.

In addition, time zone differences can make it difficult to assemble the entire team. Organizational issues are common. However, the right strategy makes it easy to build and manage a virtual team.

Providing clear instructions and operational guidelines

Remote workers need to understand what their responsibilities are, and specific instructions are needed for projects. It is in each company’s best interest that their employees perform tasks in the proper order and as smoothly as possible.

When preparing standard operating procedures, divide them into two basic types of documents: general guidelines and step-by-step actions. For example, an SBS procedure is like a checklist that all employees must follow by heart and be held accountable. It is a “go-to type” document that should give immediate answers to employees.

The second type would be a general guide to work procedures pertaining to a single employee or selected team. It can be as long and detailed as you like because it is not meant to serve employees in their day-to-day work.

Written documents can be the basis for educational videos and presentations. Webinars are a great method for going through the process. The person presenting can follow the steps to minimize the risk of missing critical details. Listening while watching the implementation on the screen perfectly complements the written word. No time to create a presentation? Take advantage of help with powerpoint presentations and free up time for other important business tasks.

Everyone learns differently, but our brains are wired for visual interactions. Interactive education can shorten the learning curve, and today’s solutions often include different learning materials in one place.

Any virtual team manager must master the art of creating simple training materials.

Create a transparent, flexible work environment

Because it’s important to provide guidance to your remote team members, you still need to give them the flexibility to get their work done quickly on their terms.

For example, sales development reps must specify a certain number of calls and follow a sales script. However, they may need the freedom to choose the ideal time and personalize the script.

A combination of strict rules and creativity is the foundation of success.

When encouraging flexibility, managers also need to check in with employees. For example, you can implement a system that records sales performance so that operators are held accountable for their work.

Trust as compensation for distance

Team members will only rely on each other and cooperate effectively if they also trust each other. Because of distance and lack of personal communication, this factor is especially relevant. Therefore, purposefully build trust between individual employees. Such a trust-building measure might be, for example, accurate documentation of each individual work step, so that each employee can look back on the work and results of the other employee and begin to work on it.

Maximize technology

Technology allows teams to connect in near real-time and collaborate better when they can’t connect. Online meetings are useful for recruiting and interviewing. In addition, video presentations present a modern company.

Screen sharing and live video allow participants to communicate more effectively and make sure all team members are educated and informed. Businesses can easily customize and manage courses and allow employees to be proactive in addressing checkpoints through the learning portal.

Make training materials available on demand. This ensures that everyone receives the same content, but can view it on their own schedule. Again, if you don’t have time to write a handout, contact a professional writer. Write my essay discount code will come in handy. Online nursing paper writers are available to help you create high-quality narrowly focused training materials.

Regular oversight

Even if you want to avoid micromanaging remote employees, you shouldn’t give them complete freedom until you know they’re well-trained and working by the book.

When you supervise new employees, you may notice how different people approach the same tasks. For example, someone may add an unnecessary action to the process, while others may take a critical step because they don’t think it’s important.

Your control increases efficiency and quality of work.

Micromanage new hires carefully until you are confident in your abilities. They can evaluate the extra guidance and support you offer to get them up to speed.

When possible, use online meetings for course correction rather than the chat or email function. Written communication lacks emotion, and some things need to be said sensitively to avoid hurt feelings or misunderstandings.

Focus on continuous improvement

Managing remote teams requires patience and a detailed long-term strategy. Forget perfectionism and focus on small incremental improvements to succeed. Many successful companies have adopted Kaizen as a business philosophy. It is the Japanese term for continuous improvement, which focuses on finding new ways to improve existing processes.

Continuous improvement can help companies become more efficient. Empowering the entire team to drive business growth is one of the key concepts of Kaizen, as well as cost reduction, consistency, and other principles. 

When assembling a remote team brings significant benefits, there are also problems with which management must deal. These problems begin on the employee’s first day on the job, and they continue to change in varying degrees over the years.

If you are tasked with managing a virtual team through webinars, use these tips to improve your team’s productivity, efficiency, and overall success.

Prepare for mistakes

If you plan to hire someone remotely, be prepared for mistakes. Most people want to work from home, but most people aren’t good at it either. We’ve run into situations where really talented team members couldn’t work properly. It wasn’t because of their skills or interests, but because of their inability to work from home without supervision. From the moment this becomes clear, the exhausting attempts to control remote work usually begin. The manager tries to improve the situation, while in the meantime the employee constantly feels that nothing is working out.

In such situations, it is important to trust your intuition and not to stop. When working with a virtual team, take into account possible mistakes in advance and be prepared for disruption of deadlines and penalties.

Understand your employees

Employees do not always keep up with the growth of the company. Especially if yesterday you were a young startup, and today you are opening offices abroad. Knowledge of a foreign language, mastering of new tools, increased sales – the team expects unexpected new demands. 

Unfortunately, in such an environment, the company cannot afford to wait to train every employee. New specialists with more experience have to appear above the former managers.

To avoid conflict, find the person’s key need in advance. Some employees care more about the career ladder, others – a high salary, others – a direct link to the funder. 

The phrase “become the best specialist” is abstract. Build a line of understandable KPIs so that the employee understands where to go. Increase sales, master new hard skills – create conditions for motivation and growth. The success of the company depends on the entire team, not on individual employees. 

What to do when the company is growing rapidly

  1. Separate the workspace from the personal space. Use corporate messengers to negotiate with employees and RealTimeBoard to visualize tasks.
  2. Spell out the company’s principles and mission. The document will help you evaluate the soft skills of future employees, as well as hire the best top managers and executives.
  3. Eliminate conflicts while they are still in their infancy. Organize fun team events to introduce employees to each other. Games, giveaways can help bring a remote staff together.
  4. Train, not seek. Staff shortages will either slow you down or lead to crunches and layoffs. Create an in-house corporate university to fill mass positions. 
  5. Get to know your employees better. Fast company growth means hiring the best talent and demoting existing talent. Understand the key need of employees and build a line of understandable KPIs for growth within the company. 
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