Seventhman Blog

  1. Building Loyalty in the Age of Virtual Teams

    "building loyalty"Creating loyal workers in the outsourcing world may seem like some fairy tale in the digital world.  But, is it really possible to create an atmosphere of trust, respect and honesty in a niche where attrition rate is on a record high? Last time, I have shared my five tips on how you can successfully manage your virtual team and this time, I’ll give you an insider’s approach on how your business can grow one seed at a time – through harnessing the power of dedicated and motivated teams, wherever they are located in the world.

    Flexibility at work

    Outsourcing, telecommuting, freelancing, remote work, virtual assistance and and so on.. What do they have in common?  Value – that they bring to your business.  Just take a look at this infographic and you’ll see how working from home is fast becoming the norm, embraced even by a few Fortune 500 companies.  The temporary is now the new ordinary in an age where independent contractors and on-call workers are competing with sourcing vendors and agencies.  More brick and mortar businesses are seeing amazing results from those who work remotely than those in the office.  Does it mean that virtual teams are better than your traditional team?

    The Invisible Tie that Binds

    For many years, I have managed people in various locations that making them all work together for a common goal seemed like a climb to Mt. Everest.  I’ve worked with managers and teams in the same office and I come to realize that when people work closer, they often take things for granted.  Soon, your office becomes a breeding ground for complacency.  There were instances when team leaders would go through all the trouble of sending unnecessary emails when their teams are just a few feet away.  It could have been faster if they cross that physical distance and announce the news themselves.  It’s just that with virtual teams, people are making the extra effort to make collaboration work – helping them maximize the best tools around.  It is the absence of face time that helped, I’d say.

    Building Engagement in Dynamic Teams

    Those who offer remote work as an option has already taken one step forward in motivating a person to be at his/her best.  It’s a win-win for both.  Now, the question is: Can you build the same loyalty in the world of outsourcing?  Whether you source locally or offshore, it is 100% possible if you put in mind that it’s not technology that makes your business – it’s your people.  Trust is the very foundation of it all.  You will always reap what you sow, so start to genuinely care and give your team the chance to shine.  Be fair.  Treat everyone with due respect.  Encourage them to ask questions and be open to dialogue. You may never know that the next big idea is just waiting to unfold.

    Listen…

  2. Managing Virtual Teams: Five Keys to Success

    "virtual team management"Do you believe that teams working remotely can outperform those who work in the same location?  Virtual collaboration is shifting from trends to norms as more people are working from anywhere in the world.  They all have to thank mobile technology with this new-found freedom.  There’s no denying that we are entering the age of the global workforce and soon, team members working in the same cubicle will be obsolete.  We see teams working from their homes, across cities and even across the globe.  Everyone works independently this time.  Aren’t we so lucky to live in such a digitally-connected world?

    The Fallacy of Face-to-Face Meetings

    While it is undeniable that nothing beats the usual way people meet to brainstorm and synergize, leading teams across different time zones and conquering cultural divides can be felt in the virtual world.  Small businesses are taking advantage of running a virtual team as it means flexibility and minimal cost.  Though studies have found that collaboration across distance is tougher to manage, it is manageable still.  Proximity may promote frequent communication, but it can also be a hurdle when trying to accomplish complex tasks that need more focus.  A good example is those in the research and development industries, where their network of operations are scattered across the globe as they compete and work towards excellence.  The degree of expertise in these teams are more extensive, where they can work for the same goals while having a higher tolerance for diversity.  This diversity may cause problems in communication but overall, it enhances problem-solving skills so everyone can come up with a faster and better solution for a particular project.

    How You Can Lead a Virtual Team to Succeed Anywhere in the World

    I have worked with virtual teams for over two decades now and managing people in dispersed teams means helping them realize their potentials.  There are many socio-emotional barriers to cross and making sure that your remote team commits to your business goals is a learning process, even after this long.  What’s the secret formula?  There is NO secret! The future of work starts with having people skills so you can create trust, connection, communication, collaboration and commitment among them.  You have to:

    1. Place trust at the heart of your work relationship with your virtual team and employ strategies for building relationships over time

    2. Promote the idea of self-leadership among your team, so they can be self-sufficient in managing their work

    3. Set expectations early by communicating with your team what you expect for them to accomplish – from work hours, deliverables, status reports, to conference calls

    4. Stay virtually connected by utilizing platforms like Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout and many more.. It’s all about creating an online water cooler for your team to feel that they’re stepping into the office.  It’s all about sharing ideas and breaking the ‘virtual ice’.

    5. Use new technology wisely as there are a plethora of tools available for you to use in managing your virtual team

    It all comes down to RESPECT.. and 360 degrees of communication at all levels.  By fostering a global mindset among your team, everyone will feel that they are part of something bigger than their geographic location.  This will make them respect the diversity of work, its schedules and stay committed to each other in meeting deadlines.  The degree of competitiveness lessens and collaboration heightens.

    Are you ready to keep your team together?  

    Bottomline is – the workplace has changed and we all have to adapt to survive and thrive.