How To Be a Virtual Team Leader: 3 Actionable, Digital Tips
Strong leaders are experts at bringing people together, but social distancing, quarantining, and working from home have made this tough to accomplish in-person. Whether you’re at the head of a small team or an entire company, here are three takes on virtually uniting your team.
Troubleshoot as Needed
Virtual leadership requires a unique set of tools and techniques. Before deploying employees to work from home, confirm that everyone on your team has access to the necessary equipment:
- A computer and any necessary software
- A keyboard and mouse
- A web camera (including a microphone)
Once you’ve helped your employees replicate an in-office work environment at home, stay on top of any technological concerns that pop up. If, for example, more than one employee is struggling with your organization’s remote time and attendance tracking protocol, organize a meeting for your IT staff to address their questions and concerns. Create a running FAQ document to update if any additional issues arise and share it with your staff.
Don’t Waste Time
Your employees or team members might have more time on their hands, but you should still treat it with the same respect as you did in the office. For best practices, always draft a virtual meeting agenda — which should include the date, start and end time, and general topic overview — to send out in advance. When hosting larger or longer meetings, take advantage of breakout rooms where smaller teams can meet separately before rejoining and recapping with the entire group. If another, more tech-savvy member of your team has time, consider asking them to co-host and take charge of the technical aspects of your upcoming meeting, such as organizing breakout rooms and granting users access to the meeting.
Encourage a Purpose
Without their daily commute and general office distractions, your employees have a lot more room to think about what they truly want out of their work. It matters — perhaps now more than ever — that you’re staying in touch with the wants and needs of your team. However, there aren’t any opportunities to run into an employee by the watercooler or pass them in the hallway when you’re working remotely, so you’ll have to organize conversations in advance.
Plan to have discussions that help you identify your staff’s personal values and goals and use that connection to adjust your virtual leadership style. Listening to the people on your team will allow you to pinpoint what’s working in your remote employment model and adjust what isn’t. Maybe some employees appreciate a flexible schedule while others might crave a little more structure.
Virtual Leadership Guidance
Great leaders are always in demand. If you’re a business owner in search of leadership guidance for yourself or the managers in your organization, contact the team at Professional Employer Resources (PER). As a Central Florida professional employer organization (PEO), our team of HR service providers can help direct established leadership teams and guide new managers with the best and latest practices in virtual administration. If you’re interested in these PEO services or learning more about our other services, contact us today.