Applying Virtual Leadership for Digital Collaboration

There has been a tendency towards remote working already, but the pandemic and a few other factors have sped up the process. While virtual collaboration is the new norm, it is still rather difficult for many business people to adapt to this format of work. Both regular staff members and managers have concerns, although it has been especially tough for the latter.

Digital collaboration is here to stay, and the only option is to adapt to it as quickly as possible. More than 70% of businesses are reported to be planning to have their remote employees working even after the pandemic is completely over. However, to operate efficiently over the Internet, virtual leadership is required. A successful virtual team operation can be achieved thanks to skillful managers. Such virtual leaders have a few key objectives set before them:

  • Managing workers from different places;
  • Creating bonds with colleagues and facilitating communication;
  • Developing work patterns;
  • Ensuring each remote employee fits in and is a part of the virtual team.

These tasks might seem not as tricky for a professional manager, but working over the Internet adds a few challenges. Because virtual team members do not meet in person often or even at all, it is necessary to put even more effort into creating a comfortable working environment. Luckily, with skillful leaders, it is possible to make any digital team highly efficient and easy to work with.

These are the skills that digital managers must incorporate and enhance to oversee successful virtual teams.

Motivating Employees and Enhancing Collaboration

It is much easier to collaborate for classic teams and managers as they are located in one building or even in one office. They see each other face to face, and cooperation is simple this way. For managers, it is essential to encourage their team members to collaborate. This can be achieved via communicating expectations, setting achievable goals, and designating specific responsibilities for each employee. It takes a lot of skill to create convenient and efficient communication between remote workers. One of the ways of ensuring that all team members can communicate efficiently is by providing all the necessary software. The programs need to help with chatting, face timing, file sharing, and more.

Building Trust with Employees

Only when workers trust their colleagues and leaders, they can demonstrate the best results, achieve their goals efficiently, and genuinely enjoy their work as well. To gain the trust of all team members, virtual managers need to offer them support, prove their reliability, and focus on the needs of employees. Providing all the assistance and being reliable is even more crucial for remote collaboration.

It is rather simple to get to know your colleagues when you work offline. When working over the Internet, it is important to put time into one-on-one video calls and team-building activities. Transparency about your goals and expectations is also essential.

Offering Accessibility

For any leader, it is extremely important to be accessible. Virtual managers must be available for their team members as well. Set your working hours and always be ready to accept a call or a message from one of your workers. It is your job to guide people and offer as much help as possible. Some managers think that their job is to set goals and supervise, but in reality, a good manager is involved in the process.

Monitor Employees’ Work

Some of the biggest benefits of remote work for employees are flexibility and autonomy. Remote employees are often more satisfied with their virtual work as they have more time for themselves and can make decisions on their own. However, this can also cause some drawbacks for managers and the project itself. As remote workers are far less supervised than employees in an office, they can easily become disorganized. It is essential to set clear expectations to avoid such issues. Virtual supervision is challenging, but it is possible if you follow a few simple steps. Here is what you need to do to supervise remote employees:

  • Set the required expectations and delegate certain tasks to specific employees;
  • Set the deadlines for the goals and create a timetable to stay on track with your work;
  • Divide the goals into smaller checkpoints to supervise them easier. Review the work at each checkpoint and offer feedback before moving forward.

With this work model, it is more convenient to hold your remote employees accountable for their work. It is crucial to be transparent with team members when setting your expectations. Leaders should explain how the quality and readiness of each task will be measured. It is also essential to discuss the routes of communication and how employees will report on their work.