Effective Leadership in a Virtual Workforce
How to Keep Your Team Productive When Working Remotely
During the pandemic, entire workforces were migrated from the physical to the virtual. We expected to be back at work within a month at most and hoped for as little hiccups as possible. It turns out that we had high hopes…
Yet, despite the working from home fails, we fostered on. Many companies have maintained this virtual workspace and plan to make it a permanent internal process.
For owners and managers, it has become crucial to adapt leadership strategies to keep employees engaged and performing well.
How is Leadership Different in a Virtual Workspace?
Well, first of all, it takes us all down a peg or two. Even highly esteemed lawyers in the most important of meetings can derail the entire intention of the call with just one sheer mistake…
It’s important to acknowledge that you are working in a completely new reality with its own challenges. This also means that your standard management practices and rules should not go out the window. On the contrary, your team needs some kind of consistency to stay sane.
As a bonus, it challenges you, the leader, to take these traditional concepts and implement them in a far more elevated way. In this article we cover some pro tips on how to refocus your team towards success.
Concentration at a Venue vs Online
One of the biggest challenges of leading a virtual team is keeping your understanding intact. Even your most valuable employees could prove to be difficult because of circumstance out of their control.
When working in a virtual forum, having meetings or presentations on a whim without practice and detailed planning can be a recipe for failure.
It’s vital to pay attention to detail and be certain that your entire team is on the same page with your goals and expectations. The two most important things you can do here are:
1. Plan far in advance
2. Practice presentation a few times before your big meetings.
If the presentation is far too important, rather consider making it an in-person event. This ensures less chance for distractions and mistakes and an increased chance of a better rapport with your team and clients.
Alternatively, team up with an events venue and have your team all present from the same venue and broadcast it to your client virtually.
Refocus Employees and Improve Productivity
The current loss of focus in a world suffering from digital fatigue and starved of human interaction can lead to a drop in productivity. It can be challenging to keep employees focused, particularly when not all have access to an ideal at-home working environment.
So now, even if micromanaging is not your style, you still have to make regular, topical check-ins a priority. This is the only way to virtually monitor performance, output, and the wellbeing of your staff. It is crucial to maintaining productivity.
How to Manage Daily Check-Ins
A ten-minute online daily check-in to reassure your team that you are consistently available to them may be an important way to start off a workday. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it is that maintaining wellbeing is vital to staying afloat.
There is no longer the opportunity to run into your team while making a cup of coffee or over lunchtime. Show your virtual workforce that you are there with quick and informal daily meetings.
- Include exercises that provide you with a realistic view of your employees’ state of being.
- Run through the deadlines for the day.
- Get your emplyees to present solutions to providing the best service on current jobs. This will allow you to see if there are any red flags before anyone drops the ball.
If you can tell your virtual workforce is feeling down, we suggest one thing: INSPIRATION. Motivate them with team building or a conference that acknowledges everyone’s achievements.
Please also set a dress code for these virtual meetings…
How to Help Your Virtual Workforce Meet Their KPI’s
The only way your business will survive this new way of working is with a solid strategy and specific key performance indicators based on this strategy. Quarterly face-to-face meetings with input from every team player will let you know if you are on track and if anything needs adjusting.
Furthermore, monitoring that each member is reaching their KPI’s should not be handled with quick virtual meetings. In a study in August 2020, Strategy+Business found that monitoring output as a tool for measuring performance is ineffective.
Holding a regular formal face-to-face meeting allows you to take your staff away from the distractions of home. Here you can communicate an accurate picture of what you expect of them over the following weeks and get everyone on the same page about your individual and overall targets. This is also the kindest and fastest way to address any concerns.
Physical meetings also allow for zero misunderstandings of tone, intentions, or expectations. Making your team more likely to respect you and want to achieve what you truly have in mind.
Room to Focus
Whether you are looking to hold a small face-to-face meeting, an online conference or a large in-person event, make sure you partner up with a venue that can address all your needs.
It’s best to look for a company that has various meeting rooms that is fully equipped for both virtual and physical functions.
For everyone’s safety, check that they follow strict COVID-19 protocols.