Don’t let the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy influence your virtual team dynamics. It’s easy for virtual employees to feel unappreciated. Even if your virtual or remote workers enjoy working alone or as part of a remote team, sometimes these workers operating virtually can feel unappreciated because of the lack of acknowledgement of a job well done.
In a virtual team environment, the virtual team leader does not have the luxury of walking down the hall and popping their head into the office and saying “hey John and Joe, you did a great job on that design project – how about some celebration drinks tonight”.
Even without the benefits of a typical real-life work environment, virtual team leaders can show their appreciation by sending notes or gifts to their virtual employees as a thank you.
Here are 5 easy gift ideas that your virtual employee will love (just click to order) …
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Help your virtual team to connect and communicate with you and each other with these 8 simple, Easy Virtual Team Building Activities >>>
#1 Host a virtual team building session with a REAL team building activity. We recommend this book of virtual games designed for remote and co-located teams -> Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Big Book Series) Loads of suggestions for virtual games with real team building results!
#2 Introduce a 10 minute virtual social session prior to starting your online virtual team meetings Get creative with your virtual team meetings. Open up the online virtual conference room 10 minutes early, so the team can chat and catch-up informally. Some virtual team members may find the “chatting” a little difficult or awkward to start with, so come prepared with virtual team “ice-breakers”. Get the virtual room warmed up first, and the interaction will become easier and beneficial with time. Get virtual team “ice-breaker” ideas. Click here: 50 Digital Team-Building Games >> 50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More.
#3 Establish a Virtual Team Reward and Recognition program Invite your virtual team to contribute their ideas to a reward and recognition program. Private and public recognitions should be included. Sign up with a corporate gifts online site to make sending gifts and rewards to virtual workers easy. An Amazon.com Gift Card – $25 (Classic design) is a great easy gift idea to send to virtual or remote workers.
#4 Have fun virtual celebration sessions with your virtual team before or after a project starts, give your team the chance to have some fun together. Play a team team building game to “kick off” the project and give out rewards at an end-project party. Just because your team is virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate together!
#5 Assign virtual “open door policy” time slots where team members can contact you during set periods via phone line, video conferencing or direct messaging (IM). Virtual workers can feel isolated and disconnected from other members and their virtual team leader. I’ve seen some virtual workers go weeks without any communication with their virtual team leader. By assigning virtual “open door policy” time slots, your team will know when they can connect with you and know you are available to them.
#6 Arrange a Personality Profiling session for members of your virtual team. Personality profiling is a fun, yet very informative way for you and your team to get to know each other. Virtual team personality profiling will help your team understand how each individual team member communicates and their preferred working style. Continue to follow-up from the sessions by discussing the strengths and weaknesses within your team and how the different personalities, communication and working styles are impacting on the virtual team performance.
#8 Host a quarterly virtual team “happy hour” Show your virtual team and remote workers how much you appreciate their efforts. Hosting a regular happy hour will not only bring your team together, it will boost virtual team morale and help the more isolated team members feel part of your group. Click here for the plan: http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-building-activities/celebrate-your-success-with-virtual-workers-clients/
What is a Virtual Team?
A virtual team is a group of people that while working together on one or various projects, do so from various geographic locations throughout the world. Individuals working in a virtual team generally do not work face-to-face, but use technology to facilitate direction and communication – most often provided online via the web.
A virtual team may have a number of remotely located team members dotted across the globe. The virtual team can be made of people working from different locations, time zones and cultures. As an example a team may come to together to complete a marketing project. The team leader maybe located in the United States, while the research team could be located in Australia and the design team working from India. They all come together as a virtual team with one desired outcome.
Q. Just because you bring a bunch of people together in an online space, does it mean they are automatically going to operate as a united virtual team? A. May SURPRISE you.
How does a Virtual Team Communicate?
A virtual team will interact using a variety of communication channels. Available technologies close the boundaries that timezones and geographic locations bring.
Online Meeting Facilities – Online tools like ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support enable virtual teams to meet and collaborate together.
Video Conferencing – Platforms like Skype, ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support allow people to meet face-to-face without being in the same location.
Collaboration Tools – Online collaboration workrooms, enable virtual teams to organise tasks, track progress and communicate with each other. Social Media is another platform closing the gap for online virtual teams and remote workers.
Instant Messaging, Email and Phone Conferencing – are also tools, easily accessed by virtual teams.
Check out some other cool tools here: http://virtualteamintelligence.com/virtual-team-tools/15-x-handy-little-tools-for-remote-virtual-workers-virtual-teams/
Key Benefits to Working With A Virtual Team
While working virtually does bring its challenges (for another discussion) there are many benefits. Especially with a workforce that is now demanding greater flexibility. What does a Virtual Team provide for that a typical face-to-face team won’t? Here are just 3 key benefits …
- Ability to draw on the expertise of people from every location across the globe. Giving you a greater talent pool to draw from.
- Potential reduction in costs in relation to office space, commuting, travel expense etc. Using offshore labour where appropriate is another way to reduce expenses.
- Virtual team members are free to work from their location of choice (provided there is internet access). This offers greater freedom, flexibility and lifestyle choices (including work and travel)
Recently I saw a post on a small business online marketing forum. It was written by an entrepreneur looking for a virtual assistant. In an effort to expand her virtual team, she had recently started working with a new virtual assistant. How was it going for her? Well, she didn’t have too many positive comments at all.
She complained that she’d asked for a task to be completed – it had been done, but not to her full specifications. She did mention she was happy with the outcome but that her exact instructions/steps had not been carried out. She was asking others on the forum if this was a “red flag” or sign she shouldn’t continue to work with the new virtual assistant.
What do you think? If someone doesn’t follow your EXACT specifications to complete a task is that a “red flag”? I’d be interested in your comments.
Here is mine… Continue reading