Working with remote, distributed teams is a great way to keep your business running while keeping overhead costs low. Hiring remote teams also means you can work with diverse, highly-skilled talents from around the world.
However, reaping the many benefits of transitioning to a virtual workplace is not as easy as it seems. If you want to succeed in this modern business landscape, it’s time to work on your strategies.
Seven Strategies for Building a High-Performing Virtual Workforce
Ready to build your own high-performing remote team? Make sure you have these seven essential strategies in your toolkit:
Hire the Right Talents
If you want a high-performing team, you need a good foundation—the right people. A top talent in the wrong role will just be a frustrating situation for all parties involved. You need to hire the right talent not just based on the highest grades or expansive work experience but how well a candidate fits with both the position and organization. Doing so will help keep employee turnover rates low and productivity high.
To help you know you’re attracting and hiring the most suitable candidates, make sure to include the following on your recruitment to-do list:
- Be clear with the scope of work
- Consider hiring internally
- Create a clear job ad
- Optimize your posts on job ads
- Streamline your recruitment processes
- Assess both skills and personality for a role
- Administer test tasks if needed
- Explore passive applicants
- Create an employee referral program
- Build your employer brand through engaging and relevant content
Equip with the Right Tools
Your team works in various parts of the world, so they’re more dependent on technology like apps for digital nomads to stay in tune with each other. Having the right tools in place, from communication tools to project management apps, is the minimum requirement of any virtual workplace. On top of that, you also need to empower your employees to use such tools securely and effectively through training and coaching. They need to be confident enough to navigate the different tools to perform to the best of their abilities.
Implement Data Privacy and Security Measures
Nothing can hold your business back quite like a data security breach. It can cause havoc not only in your operations but also in your business reputation and customer trust.
To help minimize cyber threats, you must know how to securely run your virtual workplace. Make sure you have data protection and cybersecurity training for all employees. You should also have your team use only secure communication tools. It’s also vital to implement best practices like setting up endpoint security systems, using multi-factor authentication, and documenting your cyber and data security policies.
Establish a Culture of Open Communication
Communication is important in any type of work environment. But it’s a bit more challenging for remote teams scattered across different locations and time zones. This is why leadership needs to be more intentional in ensuring open communication among the team.
Opportunities to encourage better communication include regular team syncs for updates and celebrating wins. Managers also need to make time for one-on-ones with their remote team members. Topics range from performance discussions to casual check-ins. Leaders can also encourage more informal interactions between peers by establishing virtual coffee breaks and meeting icebreakers.
Highlight the Value of Feedback
In a virtual work environment, feedback is crucial. It should not just be welcomed but actively sought. Since remote employees are not always visible to management and vice versa, it’s important to have platforms to showcase or discuss one’s work and seek feedback.
To establish a positive attitude towards feedback, leaders need to highlight how it can contribute to personal and professional growth. At the same time, feedback can also immensely improve a project or campaign through collaboration and openness.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
One concern that remote professionals face is the lack of development opportunities. In fact, a study shows that remote employees spend 25% less time learning or training than in-office workers. This is a valid concern because training and personal improvement are essential for employees who want to move up the ladder.
As your operations move to a virtual space, so should your training and development efforts. It’s important to let employees feel that the organization values their development whether or not they work remotely. In addition, providing professional development opportunities can help you train your company’s next generation of leaders.
Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Working remotely can cause the lines between work and personal life to blur. The “always on” mentality that professionals can acquire during their switch to remote work can be counter-productive. This leads to unnecessary stress and poor quality of life. Employers must understand that their employees are also adjusting to a remote work setup. They also need support with their transition.
Employers need to provide the right resources and messaging to promote a healthy work-life balance. This is crucial for those who want to have happy, well-performing teams. Working to the point of exhaustion is unsustainable and will not do you or your team any good, so you need to set the right boundaries to ensure there’s a time for work and a time for “life.”
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution or magic key to creating a winning team. It’s a combination of different elements, from having the right people and tools to building a positive culture. And when you have all these strategies coming together, along with strong leadership, your virtual workforce will be nothing short of unstoppable.