In the past year, a huge number of businesses have moved their operations online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of these businesses were not set up for actual remote work. The problem with this is that the team in place is not actually built to be a virtual team. What this means is that the team is not location dispersed and is operating on the assumption or expectation of regularly getting together, having meetings, and having small talk by the water cooler. None of these is entirely replicable with a virtual team, but there are things you can do to keep a virtual team motivated nonetheless. With that in mind, here is how managers can keep their virtual teams motivated, especially during a difficult period of time.

Focus on Shared Identity
For many, work itself is not what helps them craft their identify. It’s their relationship with their team. Whether a team is co-located or not is not the matter at hand. In fact, when managing a virtual team, it is more likely that people will have moved around the country, especially if they were living in high cost of living areas such as San Francisco or New York City and no longer need to be there due to work. This means that you may have virtual team members who are located in different time zones or who even have different cultural values or identifies.

However, identify can also be translated into work. Humans are social creatures, and work is something that can have a shared community around it provided that it is a positive environment. When trying to create that positive environment, use the digital tools at your disposal to share memes, gifs, movie and music recommendations and more to break common ground with the team and help them feel like they are connected to one another and have a shared identity.

Reward Achievement

Human behavior responds well to feedback, especially positive reinforcement. To motivate a virtual team, make sure to individually tell team members that they are valued and that their contributions are unique and vital to the team. While no person is an island, they may start to f

How to Keep a Virtual Team Motivated

In the past year, a huge number of businesses have moved their operations online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of these businesses were not set up for actual remote work. The problem with this is that the team in place is not actually built to be a virtual team. What this means is that the team is not location dispersed and is operating on the assumption or expectation of regularly getting together, having meetings, and having small talk by the water cooler. None of these is entirely replicable with a virtual team, but there are things you can do to keep a virtual team motivated nonetheless. With that in mind, here is how managers can keep their virtual teams motivated, especially during a difficult period of time.

Focus on Shared Identity
For many, work itself is not what helps them craft their identify. It’s their relationship with their team. Whether a team is co-located or not is not the matter at hand. In fact, when managing a virtual team, it is more likely that people will have moved around the country, especially if they were living in high cost of living areas such as San Francisco or New York City and no longer need to be there due to work. This means that you may have virtual team members who are located in different time zones or who even have different cultural values or identifies.

However, identify can also be translated into work. Humans are social creatures, and work is something that can have a shared community around it provided that it is a positive environment. When trying to create that positive environment, use the digital tools at your disposal to share memes, gifs, movie and music recommendations and more to break common ground with the team and help them feel like they are connected to one another and have a shared identity.

Reward Achievement

Human behavior responds well to feedback, especially positive reinforcement. To motivate a virtual team, make sure to individually tell team members that they are valued and that their contributions are unique and vital to the team. While no person is an island, they may start to feel that way if they are not specifically called out for their hard and consistent work. This is especially true due to the isolation that people are feeling, and the erosion of traditional social structures.

Instead of trying to take advantage of this, a great virtual team manager will go out of their way to recognize their employees through the use of employee recognition programs and other such incentives. In this way, employees will feel positive about their remote working arrangement and managers will also get the satisfaction of helping out their employees and reducing company turnover.

In other words, the benefits of keeping a virtual team motivated far outweigh any potential drawback. There is a human cost to any work, and when managing a virtual team, it is important to keep this in mind and strive to create the best working environment possible for your employees while keeping them motivated on the work that needs to be done.

eel that way if they are not specifically called out for their hard and consistent work. This is especially true due to the isolation that people are feeling, and the erosion of traditional social structures.

Instead of trying to take advantage of this, a great virtual team manager will go out of their way to recognize their employees through the use of employee recognition programs and other such incentives. In this way, employees will feel positive about their remote working arrangement and managers will also get the satisfaction of helping out their employees and reducing company turnover.

In other words, the benefits of keeping a virtual team motivated far outweigh any potential drawback. There is a human cost to any work, and when managing a virtual team, it is important to keep this in mind and strive to create the best working environment possible for your employees while keeping them motivated on the work that needs to be done.

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