CHICAGO--(The Vaya Group today released its top tips for motivating virtual teams.)--During a 2010 survey, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 43 percent of HR professionals believe a larger portion of their workforce will be telecommuting within the next five years. As a rapidly growing and global trend, telecommuting—a work arrangement in which employees do not meet at a central location—can pose new challenges in employee engagement and motivation. In order to help leaders engage remote employees and overcome potential time and geographical constraints,
“However, just because these workers are out of sight does not mean they should be kept out of the loop. Leaders must learn how to effectively manage virtual teams in order to improve the bottom line and sustain talent over time.”
“As more companies expand globally, telecommuting is becoming a common work arrangement for many employees,” said Dr. Paul Eccher, Ph.D., author and co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. “However, just because these workers are out of sight does not mean they should be kept out of the loop. Leaders must learn how to effectively manage virtual teams in order to improve the bottom line and sustain talent over time.”
The Vaya Group recommends the following tips for motivating virtual teams:
- Invest time upfront to form relationships, despite the distance – Getting to know team members is critical, even when face-to-face interaction is limited. Take time to learn about each worker’s career aspirations, strengths, development gaps and style.
- Recognize accomplishments in unique ways – Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Consider creating a team newsletter that highlights individual efforts or host yearly award banquets over the web. For both personal and professional milestones, send employees customized gifts, whether it’s a gift card, flower arrangement or gift basket.
- Schedule regular coaching sessions – Frequent phone or video conferences with employees will allow you to present new assignments that align with their interests and strengths. Remember to use these or separate conversations as a way to gather feedback. Listening provides an opportunity to learn more about remote workers and ways their work experience can be improved.
- Create interactive ways for teams to communicate – Allowing work teams to engage across distances can lead to higher career satisfaction and sense of belonging. Go beyond email to develop an interactive team intranet that allows individuals to share ideas, post accomplishments and ask questions. Utilize web conferencing, web cameras and other virtual systems that permit more real-time conversations.
- Enable opportunities for periodic face-to-face interaction – Schedule face-to-face team kick-off meetings and regularly scheduled subsequent live meetings. These face-to-face meetings can be incorporated with team-building exercises to give staff additional opportunities to develop a personal connection and build camaraderie. If meetings are infrequent, create virtual team-building games, such as having everyone send in little-known facts, then displaying it for the group to guess who it describes.
“Through our research and work within Fortune 500 companies, we’ve discovered that only 21 percent of leaders excel at motivating their teams,” said Dave Ross, co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. “With these simple tips, leaders can build camaraderie, create a more positive work environment and encourage stronger business performance, regardless of distance.”
For more information on motivating virtual teams, click here (http://www.vayapath.com/landing/regional/motivating-virtual-teams.html) to download the complimentary white paper. To learn more about The Vaya Group, visit www.vayapath.com.
About The Vaya Group:
The Vaya Group is a boutique talent management consultancy that applies science and precision to the art of talent assessment and development. Founded in 1997 by Dr. Paul Eccher and Dave Ross, The Vaya Group works closely with clients to understand their business operations, deliver sage advice and provide tailored, quality solutions that improve productivity and profitability. Driven by their passion for helping business leaders and organizations achieve the behavioral, cultural and leadership changes necessary for talent sustainability, The Vaya Group’s team of close-knit consultants operate as an extension of their clients’ business. In August 2011, The Vaya Group was nominated to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, visit www.vayapath.com.