Tips for ensuring effective online teamwork

Tips for ensuring effective online teamwork

In any workplace, good teamwork isn’t just something that’s nice to have — it’s vital for success. Employees working well together can attain higher levels of productivity, creativity, and engagement. It can also inspire greater motivation and commitment as well as improve employee well-being, all of which help achieve goals and healthier profits.

However, teamwork can be tricky, especially if you have distributed teams. For instance, it’s easy for team members to stop communicating, either intentionally or unintentionally, when they aren’t physically around each other. This can happen because of different personalities, language styles, time zones, and the like.

Here are some tips to help you ensure effective online communication and teamwork within your organization.

1. Lead by example

A good leader is a good role model. That’s why it’s important that you exhibit qualities everyone in your organization should be striving for. You must be an active listener as well as respectful, reliable, responsible, flexible, and committed — all of which are characteristics that make an excellent team player.

Besides leading by example, another way to promote effective teamwork is to make your management style team-oriented. By focusing on employee motivations, goals, and well-being, you can make employees feel like individuals with valuable input and not simply cogs in the corporate machine. This can drive them to accomplish more work and help achieve the organization’s goals.

By focusing on employee motivations, goals, and well-being, you can make employees feel like individuals with valuable input and not simply cogs in the corporate machine. This can drive them to accomplish more work and help achieve the organization’s goals.

2. Create a shared vision

Rallying around a shared vision is the essence of teamwork. Envisioning exciting possibilities is a great motivator that inspires people to accomplish big things.

This makes goal setting in the workplace crucial, as individuals and teams plan and execute their work based on these benchmarks. And when you clearly communicate goals and accountabilities to your employees, they are nearly thrice as likely to be highly engaged.

Related reading: 4 Simple ways to keep your workers motivated

3. Provide structure

Having structure is especially important for remote teams. It fosters a sense of community and routine as well as accountability. Emphasizing that employees must follow definitive processes and meet specific targets even when they’re not working at the office provides them with a clear direction toward cohesion and heightened responsibility.

One way to provide distributed teams with structure is to use project management software. These tools allow everyone to stay connected wherever they are, access various business resources, and receive real-time updates and notifications. For instance, you can use visual task management boards to track everyone's progress against deadlines.

Creating a documented agreement outlining what’s expected of everyone is also another way of adding structure. This could include information about employee work hours and response times to expected tasks and outputs.

4. Encourage accountability

The key to effective workplace collaboration is accountability. When employees have a clear understanding of both what they’re doing and what they’re responsible for, it will be easier to prevent and address issues such as missed assignments or incomplete work outputs. By clearly communicating expectations, you enable employees to take responsibility for their timelines and priorities.

5. Optimize communications

Information exchange can be tricky when team members aren’t in the same physical space. It’s your responsibility as a business leader to ensure that your employees are equipped with the right tools and have access to the resources necessary to communicate and collaborate online.

Related reading: 4 Ways to improve collaboration between on-site and remote workers

You may want to consider making a variety of communication platforms (e.g., SMS, email, audio call, video conference) available for your employees, as well as providing guidance on how to use these different channels. For instance, you can send important business updates through emails or recorded videos uploaded to a shared folder. You can also schedule conference calls for brainstorming sessions or use a team chat application for daily catch-ups.

Online collaboration tools like instant messaging apps and project management software are perfect for facilitating online teamwork. Set up a session for exploring these tools with our tech experts at outsourceIT. Contact us today for all your business IT needs!


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