How to support virtual team members to ensure their success?
Reading time: 4 min.
1. Clear goals and expectations

1.1 Help in competently setting adequate goals is what almost everyone needs. In a virtual team, due to the special format of work, this issue is especially relevant. Help each member understand (and regularly remind them of this) why the team was created, where it is going, what its goals are, what the role of each team member is, etc. Based on the previous questions, you can begin to formulate goals.

1.2 Measurability and feasibility of a goal as adequacy. Because of potential communication disruptions and the virtual team’s unique perception of reality, it is important to take extra care when setting goals. In my experience, reasonable optimality often works better than overly inflated expectations.

2. Trust and communication

2.1 Trust is a wonderful fruit of real actions. It’s not just about words, but also about deeds. By correctly formulating and fulfilling his promises, the manager, by his example, sets the general rhythm of the team movement. Just as the heartbeat in a living organism: fulfilling promises in a team is a process that leads everyone to achieve a common goal; long-term existence depends on how well the team achieves its goals.

2.2 Virtual team communication is such a large area of knowledge that even focusing only on it, the researcher is provided with material for years. In order for a manager not to get lost when designing and maintaining communication in a virtual team, he should constantly learn and develop his skills in this area.

3. A sense of belonging and community

3.1 A sense of belonging and community is an integral part of building a virtual healthy team. The remote format of interaction and the physical (geographical) distance between the members should be balanced by a particularly favorable psychological atmosphere and work environment. In my methodology, I call this the dream work environment. The basis for creating such an atmosphere is the feeling that, regardless of the physical distance between members, they represent a single organism (all processes in which go hand in hand).

3.2. Psychological comfort and an eco-friendly atmosphere in the virtual team are based on the expression of respect, care, thankfulness and goodwill. Please note that not only thoughts are important, but also actions.

4. Support and resources

4.1 The support and resources for a virtual team are as important as sunlight, warmth and water for a flower garden. Sincere care for each team member allows you not only to balance the peculiar properties of the remote work format, but also by your example to lay down an important principle - everyone cares about everyone. In a culture where everyone protects the interests of his colleague and the entire team, a strong immune system apparently prevents a number of social diseases.

4.2 Remember that the key resources that are not often found in the industry, but which can be crucial, are your love and your time. What matters is the time you carefully invest in the development of the team, and the love that unites the hearts of its members.

5. Learning and development

5.1 Up or down? Towards development or degradation? The answer is obvious. But to build a system that truly has a basis for development through continuous learning requires a special amount of professionalism, maturity, wisdom, love, time and patience.

5.2 From the very first steps, lay the foundation in which the learning process of each team member is a natural, integral part of the life of the team. Let me emphasize once again: when we talk about real development, we mean that not just part of the team members, but the entire team is constantly learning. In such a system, all participants use both external knowledge and internal experience of the team, and the educational process is created by their hands (with support and mentoring).

6. Challenges and issues

6.1 In my experience, it is important not only to solve problems on Your own, but also to constantly teach each member of the virtual team to solve problems on Their own.

6.2 The concepts of independence and responsibility automatically come to the fore as the virtual company grows rapidly. Immature team members of a small company become immature top managers with corresponding consequences. Do you want to get the immaturity of your management team? If yes, solve all the problems with your own hands. If not, teach them to solve problems on their own. Building a strong virtual management team takes time, dedication, care and patience, but the results are worth it.

Key points

1. Supporting a virtual team is an integral part of a manager’s job. The format of support varies at different stages of a virtual team's lifecycle, but the importance of support always remains relevant.

2. It is better to lay down the correct support formats from the first steps so that in the future it will bring maximum benefit. This is similar to a competent educational process: quality and its optimal quantity are important.

3. Supporting a virtual team is about skills, professionalism, love, care, responsibility, gratitude.

4. Lead by example and create the culture of your virtual dream work environment, where everyone strives to bring maximum value to others and the team.

Good luck!
Methodologist of Guidbase
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