In today's fast-paced business environment, many teams are forced to work in virtual spaces.
In this article, we'll look at the characteristics of productive teams, challenges facing virtual teams and how to overcome them.
Characteristics of productive teams
When building a team, you need to think about the characteristics of productive teams.
You can't just grab people in different departments and expect them to work together.
You need to have a sense of purpose, as well as efficient communication between your employees.
For example, if you're working on a project that requires collaboration between sales and marketing staffs, it's important for both teams to be able to communicate effectively with one another over digital communication like Slack or Teams.
Not having a shared communication platform is not the only challenge for virtual teams.
This is not the only aspect you have to consider.
You also have to think about
Challenges of leading virtual teams and how to overcome them
Virtual teams face a number of challenges that you may not encounter with traditional teams.
Challenge #1 Communication
The first, and most important, is the topic I have already touched upon briefly - communication.
Each team member has to know not only how to use the tools within the organization, but also what the way of communication is.
Let's say the development department has an async communication style, meaning feedback regarding messages is not expected asap, but marketing has a feedback window of 1 hour.
If these two departments are not aligned on the grounds of communication this can lead to many misunderstandings.
Challenge #2 Trust
Without structured processes and interactions within the organization, it can be difficult for virtual members to build trust—trust that each member is pulling their weight and contributing to the team's success in a meaningful way.
This is especially true for new hires.
Teams also need to have shared vision and purpose to ensure they're all moving toward the same goal.
Additionally, setting clear expectations of roles and responsibilities will help keep each member focused on what they should be doing—not only in their own work but also as part of the team's overall objectives.
Finally: make sure your strategy aligns with everyone else's goals.
There is nothing more frustrating that setting goals for your team that do not align with each and every persons personal goal.
Yes, you have an overall vision for the goal, but each team member has an individual goal too.
As you can see, this bring me to the next aspect.
Effective communication is a critical skill for leaders in modern times.
As you have noticed by now, Communication is key to building a successful team.
Let's read that again in a red highlited color to show you how important this is.
In many cases, that means getting out of the way so that your team members can communicate effectively with one another.
Yes, talking less, listening more, just like Simon Sinek explaines
Whether you're giving feedback or receiving it from your employees, effective communication starts with active listening.
There are many different ways business leaders can better understand their staff members' needs and wants through effective communication.
What do you think is one of the most essential skill for any leader today?
Ok, now that you know how important listening is, what do you think is yet another essential skill for any leader today?
I'll tell you:
Knowing how to ask questions without sounding critical or judgmental.
Now you know how to communicate perfectly with your team.
Next, you should think about how to form your dream squad.
To get your team working together more effectively, try some team-building exercises
Maybe not include fire.
Team-building exercises are a great way to get your team working together more effectively.
If you want to do it right, there are a few things you'll need to consider before putting them into practice:
3 Things to keep in mind about team building
- Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of each exercise is, and how it will help improve communication between members on your team. This will make it easier for participants to understand where they fit into these exercises, as well as why they're participating in them in the first place!
- Make sure all of your employees are available for the team building exercise if its at a fixed time that is. You don't want any one person left out because they had other plans, or were busy finishing up an important project at the last minute.
- Try async team building to me more inclusive to your teams schedule and you can create and maintain relationships with your remote team without having to plan a huge event at a fixed date.
- Don't forget about downtime between activities—you should also plan breaks so everyone can recharge their batteries after all this hard work has been done!
Need inspiration? Read this guide on virtual team building
But there is more to consider in order to form your ideal team.
Give each other room to grow
It’s important to recognize each person's strengths and weaknesses. Your team members will be more engaged in their work if they feel empowered, respected and trusted by the team leader or manager.
Here is how you can give your team member room o grow:
Encourage people to take on new challenges.
Rather than seeing them as threats, consider these opportunities as an opportunity for growth for everyone involved.
When people are given a chance to step up their game (and maybe even fail), it shows that you have faith in them as professionals who can handle more responsibility and workloads without burning out or getting overwhelmed with stress levels rising higher than necessary due to working too hard under poor conditions
Be transparent about the goal
- Be clear about your goals. If you're not sure of your target and the areas where you want to improve, what's the point? It's important that you're all on the same page when it comes to what each person is trying to achieve.
- Set expectations: Make sure everyone knows what their role is and what they are expected to deliver. This will help keep morale high and provide guidance when things go awry or if staff have questions about their work responsibilities.
- Be transparent about progress: You should always be open with each other as well as consumers, partners and colleagues so they know how things are going or if there has been a change in direction or strategy. This also encourages feedback from others which can help identify potential problems before they become serious issues further down the line
Your next steps in business will likely require you to evolve with the teams of people that you work with
As your business grows, the need for a team of people around you will become more apparent. You may find that your next steps in business will require you to evolve with the teams of people that you work with.
Your team needs to consist of individuals from different cultures, generations and backgrounds. You want to bring together a group of people who are willing and able to help each other accomplish tasks related to your company’s goals. This includes working within different industries as well as outside of them (those who have not been educated in business).
Perhaps your team isn't working as well as you'd like it to.
Before making any changes to the members of your team, try analysing what's currently working and what's not.
It might be obvious that you need to make some adjustments, or perhaps it might not.
Either way, you want to at least make sure that you're aware of the issues before you go in guns blazing.
And when those times do come up, try not to be too quick in making those changes.
You want to make sure that they are going to be good ones—that they will actually improve the team as a whole.
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