We are perhaps living in one of the most uncertain and difficult times where most organizations have gone virtual and team members working at home. As the pandemic continues to rampage the lives of many, most firms are not ready to open their doors hence working remotely.

Although some organizations have been adversely affected by Covid-19, some are still thriving, thanks to team managers’ efforts. One of the greatest challenges affecting team managers is how to coordinate their team members now that they don’t have face-to-face contact.

The coordination of the managers guarantees team success, leading to the organization’s overall success. However, taking a new virtual team is a real task that, as a manager, you have to cope with it until things normalize. So what challenges are the team managers facing?

  • Challenge of connecting

Creating a connection with team members that you cannot see is proving more difficult for managers than what they are used to. It would be best if you had a connection with every member of your team to understand their line of thought. You also want to know their strengths, abilities, and weaknesses. So how do you create that connection until they fully trust you to share with you their thoughts? That is a major challenge.

  • How to align them

One of the duties of a manager is to align the team members to deliver the goal or a certain project on time. Before starting a new job, you have to articulate the objectives clearly and then align the team members to the objectives depending on their strengths and skills. Aligning a new virtual team that you have not met before is equally a big challenge.

  • How to Ease Friction

Conflicts are bound to happen due to misunderstanding or pressure, among other things. You have not met this team before, but you are to eliminate any chances of friction and conflicts. This is where you need to clarify roles and responsibilities. The tasks are also to be tied to reasonable deadlines. Ask for clarification to ensure no word is misinterpreted. Indeed, silence does not always means acceptance. By doing this, the chances of conflicts will be minimized.

  • Challenge of bonding

Unlike initially, where you could sit with a new team member to know what they like and dislike or buy them coffee to enhance bonding, things are now different; you have to bond with them virtually. That is quite a challenge, especially if you have never met before. However, it would help if you had proper bonding for better team building to deliver the expected results.

How Do You Overcome These Challenges?

The whole team is waiting for your direction to lead them on how to carry a new job. So you have to create connections, align with the team members, avoid friction, and try to bond with them. High profile managers are getting help from team coaches to maximize the chances of team success. You can also try it out. Besides, here are some simple steps that will ease your challenges:

  • Being ultra-clear on the goals and strategies and how every task you are assigning connect to them
  • Working closely with the team to co-create and make some decisions that will ensure buy-in
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities of each team member
  • Building mutual trust; learn to trust each other
  • Develop mutual accountability; everyone in the team, including you, should be accountable.

So now you know the levers to make your new virtual team more productive.

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