“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.” – Vince Lombardi
The more we learn about company dynamics, high performance behaviours and paths to success – the better we understand the importance of teamwork. Teamwork may seem like something difficult or even impossible to achieve with remote Virtual Assistants – but it is completely doable and can even lead to more effective, productive teamwork when done right.
As you’d expect, working with a remote team requires quite different structures, systems and expectations to achieve a high performing virtual team. Here are the tactics we use to ensure that our teams are functioning at their best.
Have regular video calls
The first step is to conduct regular calls with Zoom, Google Meet or FaceTime. You don’t have the benefit of seeing each team member everyday. It is really important to have regular touch points, and video is the best platform to do this. It is much easier to build connections and relationships with others when you can see their face and reactions. I also find this to be a great way to conduct a quick daily check in – i.e what was achieved yesterday, what is the plan for today etc.
When you are operating virtually, it’s hard to know what everyone else is doing because you don’t incidentally oversee or hear it. Having daily meetings to discuss what is going on is a great way to get the team more involved in the progress of the business. When you share this, the team feels more valued, and it shows in their commitment and results. It also opens up an opportunity for brainstorming and promotes sharing suggestions for improvement.
Use an instant messaging tool
Next, I recommend using an instant messaging software specific for teams, i.e Slack or Microsoft Teams. These tools make it very easy to have quick, easy and open communication which again promotes productive teamwork and makes it easy to get everyone involved.
Have a defined onboarding process for new hires
It is also important to get the onboarding process for a new team member right. When you onboard a new person, it is the perfect opportunity to outline expectations around reporting, performance etc. What is also very important to do is to provide a clear description of the company’s organisational structure and get them introduced to everyone. Understanding who else is in the team, how they are involved and how they will be interacting with them is going to help your new hire feel comfortable as a part of the team from the very get go.
Host virtual events for remote team members
Organising events for relationship-building can be difficult when everyone is located separately, but even with a virtual team it is so important. The obvious opportunities are Christmas parties, company anniversary parties, and even birthdays. It is important to consider the bonding a team has from spending time together outside of work and getting to know each other on a personal level. Having virtual team events will help strengthen the bond amongst the team as well as (again!) getting them to buy into the business more and truly care about its success.
Aside from holiday events, I like to have quarterly, or even monthly, catch ups. There are plenty of fun things you can do over Zoom to promote team bonding. Some suggestions include a coffee chat or dinner – where everyone can order food delivery to their relevant location, trivia competitions, virtual escape rooms, parties, etc.
No matter what you do, if you can pull your team together and lift them up – regardless of whether you are in person or virtual, you are going to see the incredible benefits inside of your business.
For more tips, be sure to check out our new book, The Virtual Assistant Advantage.