1. Regular one-on-one Online Laser Virtual Team Meetings
It’s important to keep communication lines open in-between scheduled team meetings. Schedule REGULAR, short, one-on-one laser meetings (15 min max) with key team members. Encourage team members to communicate with each other directly via laser meetings also. Laser meetings are especially important when online team project tasks need to be handed over from one team member to another.
2. Virtual Team Feedback Friday
With an online team you don’t have the luxury of seeing how your team interact and communicate with each other in-person, face-to-face. Although virtual workers often work from remote offices, “office politics” will still occur (you don’t always see it because of the online team environment). Introduce a way for your team to provide real honest feedback regarding key issues, challenges, suggested improvements, communication issues etc. within the team. Issue them with an anonymous survey to complete and you’ll find out the true problems developing in the team. www.myvaspace.com offer a survey service for small online businesses. They will send out a survey and provide a weekly/monthly report for you based on the questions and responses.
3. Online Team Building Games
To build trust and improve team morale within your virtual team, arrange a session for fun online team building games. For some great online team building game ideas click here: Team Building Games For Virtual Teams
4. Virtual Team Socialising and Networking
It’s important virtual team members have time to interact with each other at a social level. Open up your online meeting platform 10 minutes early and encourage team members to show up for chit-chat. Host an online happy hour, or coffee break. Quick digital team building activities can also be a great way to encourage your team members to get to know each other better.
5. Promote Health & Wellness in the Virtual Team
Virtual workers can spend long periods of time working on their bottoms. Encourage your team to stay healthy by introducing a wellness program. Think about how much time your team are sitting at their desks and encourage them to get up a move around regularly. Register with a wellness program that will work with your specific online team needs. If you don’t have the budget for a wellness program – then there are plenty of free online videos available that your virtual team can use and follow together.
6. Virtual Team Reward and Recognition Program
Virtual team members can at times feel unsupported, isolated and unrecognised. Make sure you remember to recognise the efforts of individual team members, no matter how far away they are located from the main office. A thank you note will be appreciated, as would receiving a surprise gift either in the “snail mail” or electronically. It’s a great idea to reward TEAMS as well as INDIVIDUALS.
7. Host Special Online Team Celebrations
Just because your team isn’t located in the same office at the same time doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your online team successes. A celebration could be as simple as coming together online to acknowledge and celebrate team success or if you want to really party online try these suggestions Celebrate Your Success With Virtual Workers & Clients
8. Appoint a Virtual Team Champion
Your virtual team champion will be responsible for making sure these online team ideas are implemented in your day-to-day online team activities. It’s so easy to read a list of great ideas, only to go away and try them once or to forget about implementing them altogether. Appoint a virtual team champion for an assigned period of time and let them get creative in implementing your online team ideas.