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Your challenges

Recruiting the right people

Not every individual has what ot takes to work in a virtual team. Self motivation, self reliance,and the ability to cope with vagueness of purpose are attributes that a person needs to be able to work efficiently in a global virtual team. This characters enable an employee to be able to work independently while at the same time not be a “lone wolf”. The employee should also be a dedicated team player and an excellent communicator.

 

Our company assists in the assessment of  the best fit personnel with the qualities required for virtual collaboration.

Lack of effective virtual leadership

Lack of physical interaction in virtual teams usually makes it difficult to establish trust among the team members. It is therefore the responsibility of the team leader to cultivate the missing trust. He/she must take it upon him/herself to ensure that trust is built and maintained amongst team members. An effective team leader will achieve this by focusing on the team norms and how information  is communicated within the team, by establishing communication protocols, setting team expectations, articulating team objectives and clearly defining member roles. Additionally, they should ensure that none of the geographically dispersed team members feel time disadvantaged, by rotating virtual meeting times to accomodate the different timezones. These effective team leaders have realized that offering, timely and frequent feedback, mentoring and coaching his team members build communication skills and trust among them.

 

See how to improve your virtual leadership skills.

Technology Issues

When working in a virtual team, it is easy to lose track of project timelines. Effective virtual team leaders and managers realise that it is important to closely monitor the project progress and productivity of individual team members. Use of software tools and technology to accomplish the task makes the manager’s results more accurately. Virtual colleagues and team mates also use the tools to enhance communication and collaboration, for example, the tools can help assess nonverbal cues such as facial expressions which are vital in the fostering of trust among team members.
The variety of the various software tools and collaboration technologies that can be made available to the virtual team members are such as; Instant messaging and chat platforms (for example, Slack, Messenger, Yammer or Skype), Resource Sharing technology (for example, Google Drive and Drop box), remote computer access tools and systems, web conferencing tools (for example, WebEx, Hangouts, GoToMeetings), emailing and telephoning infrastructure.

 

Asses the use of your tools, introduce and implement the most effective collaboration and communication tools into your team.

Cultural differences

Effective virtual team leaders avoid the “out of sight, out-of-mind” syndrome, by reporting the virtual team’s activities and progress to other managers and stakeholders. This not only enhances the virtual team organizational visibility, but also lets the members of the virtual team that their work, role and responsibility is valued by the rest of the organization. Thereby fostering team spirit between the virtual teams and the rest of the organization’s personnel.

 

Assess the engagement of your virtual colleagues and learn how to improve alignment between virtual teams and in-office teams.

Poor communication, isolation, lack of relationships and engagement between team members

Effective virtual team leaders usually manage virtual collaborations effectively, ensuring that adequate time for social relationship building is allocated and that all team members participate in the exercises. They also ensure that inter-team conflicts are resolved during virtual meetings.
Leaders of effective virtual teams ensure that team members receive recognition for participation on the teams. There are a number of ways in which such recognition can be achieved such as, hosting virtual reward ceremonies, recognizing individual contributions at the start of virtual meetings, and alerting local managers’ awareness of contributions of team members in the virtual teams.

 

Train yourself and your team members for effective virtual team meetings and enhance virtual team spirit.

Lack of trust and team spirit

Building trust among members in any team is hard. It becomes harder for virtual team members who have rare or no opportunity to meet and interact physically. When members of virtual teams come from different cultures, misunderstanding can arise more often than not, among the team members and these misunderstandings are much harder to detect and are in most cases awkward to approach and address. Also, given that virtual teams rarely allocate special and dedicated time for relationship building, it becomes almost impossible to put work aside in order to solve cultural conflicts which usually require personal talks to repair the relationships and uphold the team spirit.

 

Enhance team spirit and foster trust within your team members through virtual team building exercises.

Complexity of multiple reporting

When working internationally, challenges arise quickly. These may lead to miscommunication, inefficient working or breakdowns. It is crucial to recognize the team members own cultural programming and cultural preferences and understand behaviors and motives of co-workers and clients and communicate with them in the most preferable way. Cultural trainings will rise the level of mutual understanding, trust and respect among team members, equip managers with the skills necessary to successfully lead international staff and prepare participants to effectively communicate with colleagues, business partners, managers and clients all over the world

 

Check the preferred working styles in your team and how to leverage them. 

What we focus on during virtual team training, coaching and facilitation

  • The enhancing of the team members communication skills and cultural awareness to enable the team members positively interact with their counterparts.
  • Building trust and fostering engagement within teams whose members come from different cultures, locations and time zones, and may never interact physically.
  • Developing strategies to deal with the challenges of remote global communication, strengthen team member trust, encourage engagement and build relationships.
  • Developing strategies for holding and running high quality and effective virtual meetings, conference call meetings and efficient e-mail communications styles.
  • Developing strategies that enable proper use of technologies which help virtual team members work more productively and achieve successful completion of their individual and overall tasks and objectives.
  • Increasing personal awareness of an individual’s own management and communication styles for effective virtual collaboration with other team members.
  • Developing and fostering cultural intelligence and cultural awareness and attitudes in the while, articulating motivators that will help the drive the virtual teams to achieve their goals.
  • Establishing and clarifying individual and group goals and setting up effective means and ways of coping and resolving inter-team conflicts amongst the virtual team members.
  • Developing and maintaining strategies for sending and receiving feedback within the virtual teams on an international level thereby increasing the global collaboration of virtual teams.
  • Developing strategies to deal with the complexities of working under a multiple reporting line system and working outside the traditional organization hierarchy system.