Building a cohesive team is vital to the success of your business. But if you run an online business, you might wonder how you can make everyone feel like a team when they’re all working from remote locations. You’ll have to use different techniques than a traditional office – trust falls and games won’t really work for a virtual office – but you can promote team spirit and a cooperative environment. As the leader of your online team, you can use these 5 tips to bring everyone together and get them working like a well-oiled machine!
1. Set the Tone and Share the Vision
You’re the one who built this business, so where do you want it to go? Create a clear picture of the company culture you desire and share it with your team. Set short- and long-term goals for the future and get your team excited about what you’re going to accomplish and how you’re going to get there. Creating a vision for the future of your business and getting everyone working toward shared goals helps eveyone feel like they’re part of a team.
2. Be a Cheerleader
People will always work harder for someone that recognizes their efforts. If you want your team members to feel appreciated and supported, always acknowledge a job well done. Highlight team members that exceed expectations and encourage everyone to challenge themselves. Create an “open door” policy so they know they can come to you with questions or problems. Your team will flourish in a positive working environment.
3. Be Clear About Everyone’s Roles
Projects won’t run smoothly if team members aren’t sure of their role. Each person should know the tasks and expectations their job entails from day one. It helps if you have an online project management tool where assignments and deadlines are logged so everyone stays on track and stays in the loop. This is especially important in an online business where people aren’t physically working together. When everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities, you won’t have to worry about important details being overlooked by team members who think, “that’s not my job.”
4. Solve Problems Quickly and Fairly
Your team might not be working in the same physical location, but they’re still working together and problems might arise. If a team member is exhibiting problem behavior, it’s up to you to discuss it with them and make a plan of action to improve it. If teammates disagree, you might have to step in and help them find a solution. Hopefully, you won’t need to referee often, but when you do, you’ll need to be fair and not favor one person over another.
5. Try Some Virtual Team Building Activities
Obviously, the aforementioned trust falls are out, but there are still ways to get your team together online. You can post some getting-to-know-you questions or a fun photo sharing challenge on collaborative work apps like Slack. Have virtual meetings and set up remote co-working opportunities so people can work face-to-face even if they’re miles apart. The more opportunities your team has to get to know each other, the more they’ll feel like a real team.
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