How to Manage Virtual Teams

Healthcare

With virtual teams becoming a reality for many managers and supervisors, they must learn how to manage these teams remotely.  Let’s look at some of the critical components that make managing virtual teams a success.

Hold Consistent Team Meetings Using Video Conferencing Tools

In today’s economy, the pandemic has changed the way businesses hire employees.  Statistics reveal that 4.7 million people work at least half of the time remotely. But when Covid-19 hit, 70% of full-time workers were working from home. And to add to the above two statistics, after Covid-19, 92% of people surveyed expected to work from home at least one day per week, and 80% expected to work at least three days from home per week. Managing virtual teams using Zoom The ability to feel connected and part of a group is a natural human emotion.  If your team isn’t coming into the office and doesn’t have that regular face-to-face interaction, it makes it challenging for people to feel like a team. This is why if you have a consistent, weekly team meeting using tools such as Zoom or Webex will help keep people connected and feeling part of a group. Related Links: Staff Attrition vs. Staff Turnover: How To Prevent Both

Create a Bullet-proof Onboarding Process

Virtual onboarding process When a new hire comes on board, it’s difficult enough to get them up and running how you want them, even if you are physically there in an office environment to help them.  But hiring someone remotely and not having the initial time to train in person can cause even more significant issues. Therefore, it’s vital to have a definitive onboarding process so that you and the person you are hiring can feel comfortable with the new job and how to perform them.  Having structure is key to someone forced to work from a home office environment.

Choose the Best Communication Tools

Tips for managing a virtual team Having excellent communication tools is vital for you and your team.  You want to encourage your team members to communicate with others instantly directly.  This can be done with tools such as Slack or Google Chat. Related Links: Why Outsourcing Will Impact the Future of Healthcare

Encourage Your Team to Set Up Workspaces

Strategies for managing a virtual team Not everyone has the discipline to work from home, so to give them the best chances of succeeding, encourage your team members to set up an office or someplace away from all the hustle and bustle of home life.  They need to have a quiet work environment where they can focus on work and not the other things in the house that may distract them, such as young children, laundry, paying bills, etc. 

Clarify Tasks and Roles

All your team members must know exactly what they are responsible for.  Since there is a lot of room for error in a virtual environment because you aren’t there to supervise physically, it will help ensure that each team member has a list of their job functions and what tasks they are responsible for. This can quickly be done by creating a document highlighting their key responsibilities and roles as virtual team members.  You can even go as far as having them sign it during the onboarding process to double-check that they understand their tasks within the team.

Track Team Productivity

Tracking team productivity will be essential on your end to know how everyone is performing as a group and as an individual.  Several tools can help you do this, such as Trello.

Supervisor Support Network

Having a supervisor support network is a great idea to help yourself feel more confident about the job that you are doing as a manager.  Just because you manage a virtual team, it doesn’t mean that you will do a perfect job at it. You will have questions and concerns yourself, so make sure you know who you can go to for support when you need it.

Give Employees the Right Equipment

How to successfully manage virtual teams from home Start on the right foot with your virtual team by ensuring they have the right equipment to do the job.  This could mean providing them with laptops, smartphones, unique software, etc.  Never give your employees an excuse not to perform to their highest level because you didn’t give them the right tools to get started.

Recognition

Managing a virtual sales team from home Recognizing your outstanding virtual team members is one of the best ways to create motivation.  If you have a sales team, creating some weekly or monthly contests will drive your team members to their highest performing levels. Everyone loves recognition, and patting someone on the back at the end of each week or month is a great way to keep your team strong and motivated to keep moving forward. Related Links: What is Healthcare BPO?

Have “Office Hours” 

If you are the team leader, make sure to have open “office hours” so your team members always feel they can talk to you privately when you are not in a team meeting.  This will allow people to come to you with questions, issues, and concerns that they may be behaving. Just because your team isn’t physically in an office doesn’t mean they won’t have some of the same concerns. 

Set Team Goals

How to manage remote sales teams Setting goals with your team members provide a sense of direction and purpose, especially if you manage a sales team.  This should be done in the beginning when a new virtual team member comes on board. You can then manage those goals with your virtual team member and structure work projects and tasks around those goals.

Friendly Competition

If you are managing a sales team, make sure to have some friendly sales competition each month.  This will help motivate each person to do the best they can do, especially if the prize is monetary-based.

Conclusion

Managing a virtual team can be challenging.  Most businesses have been forced to learn quickly how to do this with the pandemic that rolled in so rapidly in the last few years.  Since then, the number of people working virtually has remained a new trend in our society, and managers and supervisors have been learning to adapt. The above tips should help you when managing virtual teams and give you a better sense of direction to do your job successfully.