A virtual team meeting can absolutely be just as successful or just as inefficient as a face-to-face meeting.
If there’s anything to learn from the pandemic this year, it is the fact that people can work together as a group from different places in a decentralized manner. While the concept of remote working and remote or virtual teams is not new, it took a greater dimension and became more popular this year. All thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown.
In the business world today, virtual team meetings are now a necessity for many companies. So, if you have one, you need to run the group well to ensure that they remain very effective. If you are looking for ways to turn your virtual team meeting into a success, here are some to try out.
1. Build a strong communication strategy for your virtual team meeting.
If you want to keep your company moving forward, you must have a strong communication strategy. Without putting the necessary things in place, team members may perceive a lack of transparency and coordination. Once that starts to happen, it will not take long before results and effectiveness start to suffer.
If you are going to put together a strong strategy in order to make your virtual team meeting more effective:
- Ensure that you share only factual and relevant information.
- Make sure you deliver projected information to every intended person.
- Make it easy for the recipient to understand the data.
- Encourage your team or recipient to show a particular level of communication skills.
2. Get the best communication technology.
Without face-to-face interaction, team performance and coordination can drop significantly. However, with functioning communication technology in place, then they would be able to keep up. Some of the basics that an effective communication technology toolbox would have are:
- Video conference tools such as Google Hangouts, Google Meet, or Zoom to conduct virtual meetings.
- A chat tool such as Skype and Slack to enable relationship building between virtual teammates.
- Scheduling apps like Google Calendar to keep members up to date on meeting schedules.
- An agile project management tool to help the team track upcoming projects and aid accountability for tasks and goals.
- A knowledge-collaboration tool like Givitas that allows team members to quickly and easily exchange help.
3. Use a virtual team meeting to track team goals and other commitments.
According to a study that involved 70 virtual teams, 82% failed to meet their goals, and 33% thought they were mostly unsuccessful. These figures are understandable, but they shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. A virtual team doesn’t mean there can’t be accountability, as that’s important to any business’s success.
Many teams have been unable to put the necessary productivity measures. The fact that you have a virtual team is no reason to lack accountability. That’s important to the success of any business. This is why managers have to set clear goals and commitments to meet up with for their employees who are working remotely. You can facilitate this by having virtual team meetings regularly. At the same time, you also have to put a system in place that assesses employees’ performance.
Tracking employee performance makes it easy to hold them accountable for their remote work while also gathering data about the tactics used to maximize productivity. Micro-managing, however, is never an option for the managers. Encourage everyone in the remote team to remain committed to the cause. This is good for relationship building and also helps build trust.
4. Appreciate your team members during virtual team meetings.
For virtual teams, you need to recognize them the same way or even more than a typical, in-person team. Although virtual team members can create a better balance between work and life, the appreciation and connection that they get from other members are very important.
Now that everyone is going through a tough time with the pandemic, acknowledging the positives is more important than before. Employees working through these times to deliver successful results have to be appreciated frequently. A word of appreciation can turn things around for remote workers and make their day.
You can make appreciation or recognition a regular feature of your virtual team meetings.
5. The right leader
When a manager already has experience leading a remote team, they will likely get better success from doing it again. Likewise, being a novice manager to remote teams requires you to have the right kind of leadership qualities to give you some traction.
Although you cannot have total control over the circumstances or your team members, you have to respect them and always show some empathy towards them. This is critical for building trust with you and with each other.
Practice open communication
Once there is trust between your team members, they need tohave a chance to have open dialogues. This practice is good before you start your virtual team meetings.
This is probably the most critical quality that you should have. Your presence and availability will go a long way to ensure the team’s success. Make yourself available to lead them through any difficulties. Even though everyone is working remotely, you are responsible as the manager to be present for others. That’s how to lead a virtual team successfully.
About the Author
Michael Gorman is a freelance writer and proofreader from the UK. He currently works at Bestessay.com and Australian assignment help, where he provides his best writing services. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.