The secret of Successful Management of Global Virtual Teams explained in five steps

May 18th, 2017 by ali Leave a reply »

Interaction through screens is in many regards totally different fromcommunication during the traditional meetings in the boss office. Globalism and multiculturalism makes the thing even more complicated. So, building a new culture on working remotely is the golden path to success for virtual team managers.

According to the 4th Biennial Global Virtual Teams Survey Report (https://www.rw-3.com/blog/trends-in-global-virtual-teams) , a surprising 58% of respondents consider his or her team leader incompetent and not adequate to lead a multicultural team. Conversely, 96 % of respondents that were identifiedas leaders regard themselves as good virtual team managers. There is an outstanding discrepancy between the perceptions of the two groups of respondents, which should lead us to reflect of how challenging and tricky managing global virtual teams is.

For this reason, this task should be never underrated. Managers must accept the fact that interaction through screens is different from the traditional meetings in the boss office. Therefore, when the time to shift to virtual conferences comes in your organization, it is necessary to build a corporate culture on working remotely that takes into due account the differences between virtual and real life communication.

Luckily, today’s managers can learn from almost a decade of experience of pioneering firms that havebeen utilizing virtual teams before them. In the following of the article, I am outlining some guidelines derived from common experience to build a successful strategy for virtual team managers that can be applied right by now.

First, Set the necessary standards which your team members have to comply with and the workflows of the common, repeated tasks.

When entering a new team, everybody brings with oneself one’s own way of doing and working. In real life, firms train their staffs to their missions, values and procedures, in order to standardize their workforce. In virtual life, the problem is pretty much the same. The discomfort is that your collaborators are remote. However, you need to set standards and procedures and train your team to comply with them even when working through screens. Instead of residential training periods at the headquarters, you will provide your remote collaborators with webinars and remote training.

Second, Decide which communication tool to use for what.

The lack of attention on petty details often causes big disasters. One aspect to take care of is how to use each individual communication tool that is available for your team members. In fact, usually remote workers utilize multiple media to communicate with you and each other that range from emergency phone calls to skype chats and virtual conferences with the whole team. A best practice is to decide which communication tool to use for what, in order to avoid confusion and unify processes.

Third, Have regular meetings with the whole team.

What really makes the difference between virtual and real teams is the difficulty to keep the cohesion and the sense of identity of your remote workers. For this reason, the meetings of the team as a whole are extremely important, as they are only way to create a sense of participation to the organization. Have them periodically and frequently. Use product like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting that provides you with a rich set of tools to make your virtual conferences engaging and interesting.

Fourth, Use project management tools.They will help you to easily manage deadlines and to schedule the steps of each project. Other tools that have been proved to be highly effective in managing remote workers are applications like Google Drive that allow you and your team members to share documents and work on them all together.

Last but not least: Set a working language and be very clear. Virtual communication is not as immediate and natural as real life. Another issue is that there may be a lapse of time between a question and an answer, like in the case of email exchanges. This makes communication in virtual workplaces even less intuitive. Another great problem is the multicultural and linguistic differences.  This is the reason why it is important to get across clear messages in a virtual environment. Don’t take anything for granted, and repeat silly but important details as deadlines, times of online rendezvous, scheduled tasks, directions to log in and participate to virtual conferences.

In conclusion, the secret to successfully manage a global virtual team is nothing less than the adaptation of the traditional management techniques to the specificity of communication in a virtual environment. To discover more about this topic, please visit R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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