“Super communication” happens when the manager increases the amount of communication and diversifies the channels, but more importantly communicates more assertively and in a more positive and encouraging way.

Communication: Something to improve

The biggest challenges that remote teams find are communication and motivation. Because there is no face-to-face contact and no water cooler, the channels and procedures of communication inside the company need to be clear and powered up. Managers of virtual teams need to realize that their team is distributed and they need to use different communication and managerial strategies.

First listen to your team

A good manager, especially in virtual teams, will identify team needs before they are latent and become a challenge. This is why it is crucial to listen to the team. If you have a committed team, they will tell you where to improve and what to change before it is too late. If the manager knows how to listen, he/she will implement the changes before getting to a critical situation. This naturally results in nontraumatic change, where the team members feel like their opinion is valued and have reasons to be motivated.

“Super Communication”

In order to have a motivated, productive and sustainable team, you need to apply “super communication” at all levels.

Communicate better

Try to be more assertive, proactive and enthusiastic. Propose solutions when you see that a person is somehow blocked and not giving the best of oneself. Lead by example.

Communicate more

When working with a distributed team, not only should you communicate better, but you should also communicate more. Here are some ways to improve:

    • Give more feedback and try to always be assertive when you do so.
    • Be patient, you will need to repeat things. Even if your instructions are documented, the workers might have questions. Answer them kindly and you will receive great results from your team.
    • Send messages even for the small things. If you use a proper project management tool the messages will be available for your team to see whenever they do a certain task.
    • Say “thank you” as often as you can.

Diversify the channels

The virtual world gives us many possibilities for communication. Use the standard mails, VoiP solutions, video conferencing tools, intranets, private social media platforms, project management tools, you name it! Do not underestimate the power of a written by hand note to surprise your team.
If you are not sure about a new channel, try it with a small group and if it works, implement it for the rest of the team.

“Super Communication” is contagious

When managers achieve “super communication,” team members tend to reproduce what they like about their leader and spread the new way of working. Soon enough the entire organization will work better.

“Super Communication” is not “Over Communication”

Try to find the balance between sending messages when they are needed and they will help and sending too many messages. Remember that your team’s job is not to read your messages, they have objectives and goals to reach, so do not distract them with too much communication.
Each team is different so we recommend you to take a lean approach and enjoy the experience!

improve-communication


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/peace22/public_html/managing-virtual-teams.com/templates/rt_modulus_j16/html/com_k2/default/category_item.php on line 116

online trainingThere are some special requirements for training virtual teams online as opposed to onsite, mainly to prevent the group from wandering and to ensure the training is successful.

Technical Tools

As technology advances more each day, it offers us far better technical tools that help us take on the virtual world and ease communication in virtual offices. Some useful tools for online training of virtual teams are:

  • Visual Learning Content: Your presentation for the training session should be catchy. Do not present everything you are going to say during the session in written form but instead incorporate visual aspects such as images into your presentation. You can also  include questions during the online training sessions so as to keep the attendees awake.
  • Video Learning Content:  After recording your programs, break them down to the major segments of 5-20 minutes each. We don’t recommend sending 1h videos, they can easily be skipped and students would never go back to them for specific information. 
    • Tip: make each video answer only one question.
  • Videoconferencing: recommended for teams that need to hear and see each other using cameras. We do not recommend you to carry out training with teleconferencing only. Some internet platforms that are useful are Zoom, Webex, Freeconference, GoToMeeting.
  • Screen Sharing: should always be included in your videoconferencing tool. These way attendees wouldn’t skip it and you wouldn’t have to give instructions about what page they are looking at each time.
  • Whiteboards: During your online training and while sharing the screen, use whiteboards in the same way you would in a normal office. Draw, clarify points, illustrate and summarize ideas. Some good browser based whiteboards are AWWApp and RealTime Board.
    • Tip: get familiar with your whiteboard tool before starting the meeting, some or them are quite tricky to use!
  • Record the trainings and prepare small clips with particular instructions so the information is always available and fun to watch.

khristine

I love the collaboration tools they propose to us and that help us be more motivated and effective. At MVT they are truly natives of the virtual work place.

Khristine Yap – Upwork Freelancer

Do you want to know more about tools to work with virtual teams? Contact us

Conceptual and Methodological Tools

Virtual training should be accompanied by conceptual and methodological content that aids in organizing the work and attaining the goals set. Some valuable content that should be ready prior to the online training are:

  • Manuals: this covers the project content and the various instructions and functions that are involved in it. It is convenient to supplement the manual with videos, procedure diagrams and examples to enhance the learning.
  • Reports: this is where the work done by the team should be recorded. They should be adapted to the project and updated so as to make them a better resource for the team.
  • Objectives and Goals: it is important to establish this element in order to accomplish the expected results. These should be goals and objects that are real, attainable, effective and explained thoroughly in online training to make everyone aware of their individual and group goals.
  • Project Management tools: like Mingle, Wrike, or Blossom if you do Agile.
  • Checklist: a list of the tasks and specific steps to be carried out during the project. It eases the learning process and what's more, ensures that each step follows the proper order and that none are skipped.
  • Group Activities: activities done as a team during training that help break the ice, liven up the session and build teamwork.
  • Feedback and Tracking: once the training is over, the process continues, with feedback as an essential part of the work process the team is learning each day. This is what improves the quality of work and builds skills. Use tools like Slack to keep good communication with your team members. Use tools like Slack to maintain good communication with your team members.

technical-and-conceptual-tools

 


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/peace22/public_html/managing-virtual-teams.com/templates/rt_modulus_j16/html/com_k2/default/category_item.php on line 116

group trainingGroup training sessions for virtual teams is a valuable tool that helps generate synergy among the members while promoting teamwork.

Why is group training important?

In keeping with the well-known expression that says “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” group training helps to unify the talents and skills on a team, while:

  • Developing the full potential of the whole team
  • Strengthening synergy and teamwork.
  • Promoting collective learning
  • Exchanging viewpoints and valuable contributions
  • Reaching project goals and objectives as a group

In what situations is it right to implement them?

Some of the scenarios where implementing virtual group training is advisable are:

  • Projects where teamwork is required
  • Projects where there are common goals and objectives
  • Projects that deal with similar areas and processes

Practical Advice

  • Planning the Session: Establish steps and different points of the gathering, introduction, content and time and date scheduling.
  • Session Agenda: Make a schedule with everything to be covered in the group training, share this information before the meeting starts.
  • Participative Dynamic: Organize turns  for different members and state them at the beginning of the training. Create a time allowance for voluntary participation and explain the order of the session so that there are no interruptions and everyone gets a chance to share his or her point of view.
  • Group Activities: Plan the introduction of the participants and dynamics in a way that breaks the ice and humanizes the virtual arena.
  • Idea Sharing: Create time allowances where the participants can share their thoughts, perceptions, reflections, suggestions and proposals. These time allowances can be created so they take place during the training with your supervision or afterwards in a chat/forum.
  • Guiding questions: Open up a space for critical thinking and reflection that gives everyone a chance to mobilize what they've learned and resources they've developed.

What should you avoid?

As far as virtual group training, some things one should avoid are:

  • Very Large Groups: without face to face interactions, people are prone to wander off. An interactive training with more than 25 people is always difficult to manage
  • Groups with Different Levels of Experience and Knowledge: this opens the possibility of people moving at different speeds, and may drag out the session longer than planned.
  • Groups at Different Language Levels: make sure that everyone is at the same level with the language training is held in, or else it can lead to confusion.
  • Interruptions: it is crucial from the start to ask the team to silence their microphones at the proper time, and respect the participation of all to avoid any interruptions.
  • Repetition of Information: the information should be well organized and concise, avoiding revisiting the same subject.

Would you like to have some IceBreakers to start your next training? Here's a PDF with some!

keys-to-online-training-en


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/peace22/public_html/managing-virtual-teams.com/templates/rt_modulus_j16/html/com_k2/default/category_item.php on line 116

Telecommuting is becoming an increasingly popular option in all kinds of organizations. Providing online training to telecommuters and remote workers is one of the key ingredients necessary in ensuring that your virtual team attains the objectives and results expected of them.

Why is it necessary to train online teams?

Online training is the infrastructure that holds together the virtual team. Simply having the necessary knowledge is not enough, rather the true art is in knowing how to teach and convey it to the team so it will be put to use day in and day out, following the instructions they are given while at the same time enhancing and adding to a better training process.

Training virtual teams allows you to:

  • Pass on knowledge, experiences and tools to the team.
  • Add to their tools to improve the quality of service
  • Teach and learn the instructions for the jobs they will be doing
  • Improve the current status of a project
  • Provide feedback on the job done by the team, and improve on it
  • Enhance the process of a project with the experience of the team
  • Address and clarify any doubts and uncertainties

Characteristics of Online Training

A lot of our clients complain that employees don’t seem to listen or don’t seem to understand any of the instructions. Most of the times, training sessions tend to be boring and feel like long monologues, attendees tend to get disconnected and the vital knowledge which would have been gained is lost. Today, technology allows us to create dynamic and didactic training sessions that would keep everybody awake. How is that?

  • Personalize your trainings: give examples of work that you know the attendees can relate to.
  • Participative sessions: ask them questions during the training sessions. You can, for example, ask them to summarize a topic or to give their opinion about a topic.
  • Dynamic and interactive sessions: ask students to do small exercises every 20-30 minutes.
  • Be instructional: be clear in your explanations, plan ahead.
  • Consistent with the company and the project: make sure you transmit the company’s values and reiterate why the work they are doing and the process/knowledge you are giving to them is important and how it connects with the company’s purpose.
  • Further humanize the virtual medium and make it more appealing.
  • You should use reliable educational content such as manuals, online surveys and programs that enable screen sharing such as Mikogo, Zoom, oovoo, HipChat, etc.
  • The training should be clear, consistent and in accordance with the project objectives.

Skills of a Successful Trainer:

  • Knowledge: the necessary knowledge and the experience to pass it on.
  • Communication: ease in communicating through online channels: good tone of voice, good participant engagement, express themselves clearly and fluidly.
  • Positive Attitude: a person with an optimistic mindset and maintains positive thinking. Good problem solving and maintains a vibe of positivity.
  • Participation: provides a participative space in which learning is forged by everyone exchanging knowledge, skills and points of view. Learn how to develop these traits in our Workshop: How to Execute A Successful Employee Training: Preparing for The Job
  • Service: is a helper and sees through the process of trainees, answers their questions, reinforces learning and provides excellent feedback.
  • Critical thinking: has the ability to question and formulate guiding questions that help to mobilize the team and strengthen its learning.
  • Resourcefulness: is comfortable improvising when the training process calls for it. Can create and implement effective strategies and proposals and enhance the training of everyone.
  • Organization: is an orderly person with regard to the course content and time management, getting the most out of every training session.

keys-to-online-training-en


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/peace22/public_html/managing-virtual-teams.com/templates/rt_modulus_j16/html/com_k2/default/category_item.php on line 116

Testimonial

palmi

"Managing Virtual Teams (MVT) provided workable solutions that could be implemented right away for long term success. I went into the course hoping to grab a few tips and tricks but instead experienced a hands-on workshop that was tailored to my organization's needs." Megan West, Digital Communications Manager. Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)

Contact Us