Knowing how to communicate effectively in virtual teams has never been more important than today.
With the emerging necessity of communicating digitally in the workplace, more employees are expected to master this skill.
Instead of being stuck in the traditional times of face-to-face conversations, this guide can help you adapt to modern conversations in digital environments.
- How to Communicate Effectively in Virtual Teams
- 1. Schedule Regular Communication for Building Rapport
- 2. Make Your Communication Methods Time Saving
- 3. Maintain High Responsiveness Levels
- 4. Build Team Trust
- 5. Use Action Steps to Focus on Processes and Weekly Tasks
- 6. Make Communication Clearer with a Communication Platform
- 7. Host Fun Virtual Meetings for Remote Team Communication
- 8. Enhance Shared Leadership for Relationship Building
- 9. Maintain One-on-One Conversations to Improve Social Bonds
- 10. Refine Your Skills Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming to Reduce Communication Barriers
- Efficiently Communicating Virtually
How to Communicate Effectively in Virtual Teams
Let’s dive into a list of the most beneficial ways employees and employers can begin refining their digital communication skills.
As a remote team, you not only need to communicate well with each other but with outside parties as well.
You can enhance virtual communication to make every message more meaningful and easier to understand.
1. Schedule Regular Communication for Building Rapport
One of the largest concerns with digital communication styles is that they allow for more relaxation and less involvement.
Entire organizations often find their teams only send instant messages when necessary, eliminating the desire for regular meetings to keep up with each other.
As each employee works independently, maintaining regularly scheduled events is of the utmost importance.
Employees can report on their normal processes by scheduling online meetings and a daily audio conference.
It also helps employers keep an eye on any downfalls, ensuring issues are addressed as quickly as in the office.
Even a quick daily check-in via chat tools can make a difference in maintaining productivity levels high and the business running as usual.
2. Make Your Communication Methods Time Saving
From an employee perspective, many members might find regular communication a waste of time.
People must stop working on projects to attend a mid-day check-in; some meetings might not help boost productivity.
With that in mind, your effective communication plan must be efficient and designed to save time.
Look at how your remote team’s communication modes and determine if there are ways to refine the process to make it more effective.
For example, are members emailing each other back and forth several times to work out one issue?
Would it be more efficient to knock the problem out with a 30-minute video chat instead?
Although instant messaging and emailing are essential communication practices in any workplace, verbal conversations can help save time.
The more you refine how people talk to one another, the faster problems can get addressed and fixed.
3. Maintain High Responsiveness Levels
Another massive problem with an entirely virtual office is that employees tend to respond when it’s easiest for them.
Being in an office means that if someone has a question, they can walk up to someone else’s desk and know they’ll be there.
Online, there’s no guarantee your employees will be at their desk when needed or be able to respond to email chains as quickly.
Employers have a responsibility for setting rules when it comes to responsiveness, or communication will falter.
You must ensure your entire team understands your expectations regarding responding to internal and external communications.
With standards in place, employees know what’s expected of them and can perform as such.
4. Build Team Trust
There’s something unique about face-to-face interactions that help build trust within a team. In-person working environments make it easier for employees to learn the professional needs of each employee.
Also, it can help foster more positive relationships throughout your ranks.
When working in a virtual environment, your teams might find it harder to relate.
You might even find that building employer-to-employee trust is more challenging online.
As such, building team trust is essential for the success of virtual team communication and your company.
It’s a good idea to blend digital and face-to-face conversations and events, helping to build a stronger team.
Team-building challenges are another fantastic way to help develop a foundation that coworkers can rely on when working in the office.
The more each individual knows their coworker, the easier it will be to set up sharing, communication, and behaviors that instill higher productivity levels.
5. Use Action Steps to Focus on Processes and Weekly Tasks
Although every business must have goals to achieve, they’re not at the forefront of digital communication.
Focusing on roles is also not as important, especially when your teams work virtually and from home.
Instead, it’s far better to concentrate on each employee’s processes to accomplish their tasks.
By spending more time coordinating processes, you’ll find your business will run considerably smoother.
Employees can handle their responsibilities independently if they know what is expected of them and what to do.
Employees who don’t know how to accomplish a task will spend most of their day being taught rather than working.
Every business must be clear about the processes each individual is responsible for.
As your employees work, review their efficiency at each process and refine it as necessary.
This is one of the best ways to adjust your teams so they have the perfect amount of training to work independently.
6. Make Communication Clearer with a Communication Platform
For many businesses, transitioning to a more digital world can be challenging.
However, it’s important to remember these communication technologies are in place for a reason.
Not leveraging tech can leave you in the past, causing your team communication flow to suffer considerably.
Companies can use many apps to keep up with employee processes and effective communication tasks.
Programs like Slack or Google Hangouts are ideal instant messaging apps for interoffice communication.
Meanwhile, collaborative technology software helps keep workers aware of their daily projects in a digital built-in conference room.
You can also use video conferencing software to maintain daily communication with others.
There are a ton of options from top software companies if you don’t want to approach through team emails.
Instead, video conferencing helps you save extra time for work-related chat messages and bond via team building.
7. Host Fun Virtual Meetings for Remote Team Communication
Many still believe that work is work and fun is fun, but blending the two can greatly boost employee satisfaction.
Although you’ll want to maintain professionalism when working in virtual teams, injecting fun into conversations can be significant.
More companies with work-from-home opportunities focus on getting digital teams together to participate in out-of-office activities.
This is an essential part of team-building, as your employees can get to know one another on a more personal level than with a phone meeting.
Even something as simple as an in-person meeting with coworkers can enhance your trust in the other people on your team.
It can be a great idea to plan out-of-office gatherings, making team meetings more fun than they’ve ever been.
If your team is spread across the globe, there are other ways to host fun virtual meetings.
Finding virtual team building activities instead of having formal team meetings can be more fun than discussing the daily operations at a conference table.
Think of this step as a “virtual water cooler,” allowing coworkers to have chat platforms to discuss anything other than work.
8. Enhance Shared Leadership for Relationship Building
When teams are working from home, they should be able to rely on each other to get projects completed on time.
Even though some employees will excel at working independently, others may rely on a more group-oriented environment.
As such, it’s important to understand shared leadership throughout the team.
You’ll want to explain how important it is that each person stays responsible for their part of the project, boosting staff motivation.
Also, ensure they recognize they are responsible for helping their team members succeed to help with building relationships.
As your teams work together, it can be helpful to note the strengths and weaknesses of each worker, helping with action reviews and assigning tasks for essential projects.
The more effective your teams become at being leaders and helping office counterparts, the more efficient they will work.
You’ll even find that onboarding new members will be simpler, as each employee will be experienced with helping their coworkers.
It’s a fantastic way to foster positive professional relationships while working from home.
9. Maintain One-on-One Conversations to Improve Social Bonds
Just because people work from home doesn’t mean you must throw all aspects of the office environment to the side.
One-on-one conversations are crucial when you have people working digitally.
These online meetings are a great way to keep up with the individual needs of your employees and to keep them apprised of their successes and areas of improvement.
With this stream of meetings, you can provide valuable coaching advice, helping refine each team member’s many skills.
Not only should they be used to track and report on progress but also to reinforce your expectations for the team.
You’ll find one-on-one’s essential for maintaining the rhythm of your virtual teams.
10. Refine Your Skills Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming to Reduce Communication Barriers
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is an innovative psychological approach that has a strong foundation in communication.
By evaluating our subconscious processes, we can focus on the fundamentals of what makes each person unique.
Not only does it help you unlock hidden skills and capabilities, but you also understand the needs of others better.
Anyone in a leadership position needs to consider NLP, especially if you’re ready to foster healthier communication in the workplace.
Using unique exercises, you can improve your confidence, recognize cognitive patterns in your audience, and master techniques to improve your thinking patterns.
When you’re ready to begin improving poor communication skills so you can help your virtual teams, be sure to consider these guides:
NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming – Tom Dotz
NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming is an all-inclusive guide that brings you through the world of NLP.
In this book, you’ll learn all the critical steps to improve your default communication method as a virtual team leader.
It’s a guide designed by remote team leaders and coaches to help every reader acquire new techniques to overcome remote communication challenges.
NLP: Frame Control: Using The Mindset Of Power To Get What You Want In Relationships, Business & Life – Modern Psychology Publishing
NLP: Frame Control: Using The Mindset Of Power To Get What You Want In Relationships, Business & Life is another excellent guide.
It helps readers instill infallible confidence, essential for leading a team and maintaining a healthy digital work environment.
It can also be a valuable guide to help you improve your negotiation and persuasion skills.
The business aspect of this novel is the most exciting for office teams.
You can use the techniques in the book as a project management guide, helping you improve in-depth conversations between employees.
Also, you can greatly improve as a virtual team leader.
Persuasion Skills Black Book: Practical NLP Language Patterns for Getting The Response You Want – Rintu Basu
Persuasion Skills Black Book: Practical NLP Language Patterns for Getting The Response You Want is great for all professionals.
You’ll find easy-to-use techniques and tips to quickly recognize body language patterns in your audiences.
Using these tips, you can refine your crystal-clear communication methods to boost the effectiveness of all conversations.
Another great feature of this read is it helps improve your company culture.
By focusing on improving persuasion skills, you can work with your employees to foster a healthier remote company environment.
They’ll have a more positive company relationship without visiting a central office space.
Efficiently Communicating Virtually
Learning how to communicate effectively in virtual teams is expected of every professional.
Utilizing the unique theories of Neuro-Linguistic Programming can help you refine your communication skills.
Over time, you’ll find that working from home can be equally efficient as working in the office.