How to Build Lasting Relationships with Virtual Team Members

The COVID pandemic has forced many businesses to work virtually. And many believe that the virtual work environment is here to stay. As such, managers must figure out how to keep their virtual employees as productive as possible.

One way to do this is to build strong relationships with them. So, how do you accomplish this? Read on to find out.

The Many Problems Faced By Virtual Teams

  • Poorly expressed communication points: Not everyone is the greatest writer. And sometimes, with emails and other written communications, messages come across the wrong way. Without hearing the tone of one’s voice in written communications, it’s easy for recipients to misconstrue what the other person is trying to say.
  • The Zoom fatigue: While getting on video conference calls with team members has its advantages, many remote workers have simply had too many video meetings and have become tired of them.
  • The inevitable loneliness: Most virtual team members are working alone from their homes or apartments and are bound to become lonely and isolated.
  • Poor collaboration: At times, it’s hard to substitute physically working together, gathering in conference rooms, and writing on whiteboards, particularly if your team members have worked this way for years. Take this away in today’s virtual environment, and collaboration between team members often gets lost.
  • The lack of motivation: Many workers lack motivation when they’re alone and don’t have the camaraderie of a physical team environment.
  • Working too much: Some virtual employees have noticed they’re working more hours virtually than when they commuted to their corporate offices. This is often due to factors such as lack of breaks in working sessions, having their kitchens close by for food and drink breaks, and eating lunch in front of their computers instead of doing so while talking with colleagues.

Overcoming Problems & Building Lasting Relationships

Open Up To Employees About Yourself

The more honest you are with virtual employees about your life, thoughts, and feelings, the more they will trust you. You become more real and vulnerable to them. Sure, you need to choose what you tell them, but by opening up, they will bond with you as a person, and their performance, most likely, will also improve significantly.

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Figure Out Their Preferred Communication Styles

To ease this process, you could also create a census to ensure that the whole team is on board with the certain chosen method of communication.

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Develop A Business Plan Stick To It

Use a business plan template that documents your company’s vision and strategy for success, and shows your roadmap to achieving it. Likewise, work with each team member to set personal goals so they feel ownership of their position and work in the best interest of your company at all times.

Use Emotional Attunement

When they speak, think about whether they are happy or sad, stressed or relaxed, frustrated or pleased, etc. Once you figure out their emotions, act accordingly (e.g., if they’re stressed, tell them they seem stressed and ask how you can help relieve their stress).

Respect Your Team Members

Have Zoom Happy Hours

Or better yet, have a round of team building activities with a full-blown virtual event once a month where you can conduct a number of fun games to help increase employee engagement.

Encourage Breaks

Final Words

How to Build Lasting Relationships with Virtual Team Members /p>