Revitalizing Your Virtual Team

Is your team experiencing virtual team fatigue due to the current world circumstances? Are you collaborating, but still not getting projects completed timely?  How do you revitalize your virtual team?

The tendency is to approach virtual teaming as a purely technological challenge, forgetting that this is being layered on top of the fundamentals of creating an effective team.  Because these two components (technology and team) are so tightly interrelated, addressing either in isolation tends to be ineffective and leads to team fatigue.

Distance, cultural differences, and reliance on technology all add levels of complexity to virtual teams above and beyond what co-located teams must deal with.  The mere structure of this environment creates a greater dependency on certain aspects of team dynamics.  In a virtual environment, team members lose regular non-verbal feedback, as well as the subtleties of everyday interaction that normally allow for trust and communication to develop.

The best approach is to re-establish a strong foundation for the team within the context of working virtually.  Using activities specifically designed for the virtual environment and challenge the team to address common obstacles before they arise is a great way to begin.  Also, focus on rebuilding the momentum by helping teams refocus on effective communication systems, accountability, and most of all, a better understanding of the individual players involved. (Virtual Teams)

5 Critical Actions:  

Re-evaluating Communication

The team needs to revisit their plan for how and when they will communicate.  They explore what is working, what is not and how to stay engaged during their calls.

Better Understanding Yourself and Others Through Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence helps us better understand ourselves and others, relate well to people, and adapt to and cope with environmental demands.  Team members who strive to better understand their own emotional intelligence skills and explore how emotionally intelligent through collaboration and communication help everyone be successful.  (Emotional Intelligence book recommendation)

Exploring How Our Differences Impact the Team

This is often overlooked, but our differences impact communication, planning, conflict, feedback and goal setting.  This is even more apparent during these times of our new virtual world.  Recognizing these differences and how they affect the team will prevent potential conflicts down the road.

Recognize What Motivates Others 

Share what motivates individual team members and discover why people are motivated differently. Examine the difference between motivators and satisfiers, and identify how to motivate diverse people in different ways.

Making Sure We’re All Accountable

Since each person affects the overall success of the team, every member must not only be aware of their responsibilities but must also keep others informed and be held accountable for their span of responsibility.  Keeping people in the loop is even more important when working virtually.

Learning Technologies, Inc. has been helping companies with this problem in-person and virtually for over 30 years. Let us help you put some energy back into your virtual teams!