If you want to be a great manager, you have to learn to communicate effectively. When you effectively communicate with virtual teams, it will go a long way for increasing productivity, and also creating an amazing culture. If there was only one word of advice I could give you about managing remotely, it’s over-communication. The key to the effective management of virtual teams is over-communicating, as it creates alignment, creates transparency, and creates confidence within your organization.
We use several tools in day-to-day communication and it’s important that each one is leveraged effectively and appropriately. Phones are not used very often within Rocket Station -we have a line for our sales team and we have general lines on the websites, but phones are used exclusively for external communication.
Text messages are used for informal or personal communication only. So we have group chats within different teams in our organization our C-Suite likes to have daily chat groups so that we can keep each other updated. Whether it’s small family personal things to company wins or challenges, text messages can often be a quick easy way to communicate within your team.
Email is only used for documenting and formalizing processes – it’s important that there’s ever more than two or three paragraphs or if you need to explain something in detail we have a video call.
Face-to-face communication goes a long way in delivering the message appropriately. At Rocket Station, we’re primarily using video both internally and as much as possible with our external clients and vendors. Video is absolutely the best way to communicate virtually you get to see here and interact with someone much like you were face to face. That’s a huge advantage when it comes to understanding the other person and get into the desired outcome. Video conferences are scheduled meetings where we come with an agenda for all additional work anything that needs to be done. After the meeting needs to be documented and assigned to the appropriate person. Outcomes at the meeting and anything that needs to be accomplished going forward also needs to be documented. We highly recommend that the majority of your conversations happen over the video we use chat throughout the day for the majority of your communication.
Our teams are communicating through Slack, Skype and Wrike as our project management tool throughout the majority of the day. Consistently chatting within your team groups will build rapport among your team members and go along ways to improving culture within your virtual organization. Celebrating small wins, weekend activities, team building – “good morning”, “hello”, “how are you.” Chat is also great for quick questions, two to three sentence updates, anything that’s going to be quick.
There are so many great tools available to help you effectively communicate with virtual teams there’s really no excuse not to. It’s up to you to put a system in process in place so your team knows exactly who, when, where, and how to communicate.