Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

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The rise of technology has helped businesses to create teams that cross physical boundaries. Virtual teams offer great flexibility and potential. But working in a globalized work space has its own unique set of challenges.

Given below are a few tips on how to effectively manage and guide a virtual team:

Encourage communication

Proper and adequate communication is necessary for the success of a team. Ensure that there is a free flow of information. Schedule regular meetings and discussions to clear doubts and define goals. Define a proper mode of communication that removes ambiguity and language and time barriers. Informal conversations and socialization can build trust among the team members.

Recruit the right people

Hire people who have the required communication skills and share similar interests. People who had previously worked on similar projects and undergone the same training activities are ideal candidates. Conduct proper interviews that help in identifying the candidate’s communication skills. The aim is to bring in diversity into the team while still ensuring that members can build trust.

Establish a goal

It is important to establish a common goal that is understood by all team members. These goals can be decided based on the broader business goals. Setting goals also helps in measuring the progress of the team. The entire team should have a meeting and work through a strategic planning process. Having a proper goal will make the team members’ more accountable.

Well defined tasks and roles

It is important that the team members understand their role within the team and the tasks that they are required to complete. Give the members a detailed description of the final goal. The best way to manage the productivity of the team is to set clear expectations for role and to conduct regular check-ins to measure the progress.

Choose the right tools

Choose the right software and tools that greatly benefit the team. Virtual teams depend of the latest technological devices for easier communication and management. When picking new software have a small trail period. Provide training to all the members on how to use the tool. Using multiple communication tools will ultimately benefit the team. The right project management tools help in tracking deadlines and provide an overview of the project.

Create a professional work space

Having a team that is spread globally makes it difficult in having a proper professional work environment. Nonetheless, try having a fixed time period daily where most of the team members are online to discuss problems. Being online at the same time encourages team collaboration.  All team members should be aware of the cultural differences within the team. Being aware of the cultural differences within the team will prevent future misunderstanding.

Virtual teams are the future of the modern world. The team leader must modify his methods to suit the needs of the team.

How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

How to Adapt your Business in Times of Political Uncertainty

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Social-political situations are challenging when it seeps into the work environment. Whether they are government shutdowns, protests, civil wars, or movements, companies have to face the impacts with these events.

The Impact

The social-political uncertainty has a major effect on the cost of work, cost of resources, and customer behaviour. It threatens business routines and activities and the business may even have to stop their operations due to new foreign importing and exporting laws.

Detailed Analysis of different outcomes is a MUST

To control the scope of uncertainty, it is imperative to evaluate the issues in order to adjust corporate tactics. You have to consider whether there is a big price jump due to the social-political situation, if it jeopardizes the business continuity, or what position it currently is in the market. These analysis can depend on what type of business it is. When it comes to declining markets, entrepreneurs have to be careful with moving the business to a new location since it can be expensive. On the flip side, moving the business might be a good option since it protects the key activities during the crisis. However, if the market is growing then the business has opportunities and resources to be more prepared and ready for uncertainty.

Strategies to deploy in a declining market

There are two strategies that can be used for steady or declining markets. The first strategy is the ‘Hedging Strategy’ in which the activities are reorganized towards the people that can get past the political issues. This is used when firms are faced with uncertainty with economic conditions, such as human resources or internal control. What firms can do is lower the function prices and have a drop in sales. For instance, due to the Brexit, Sony decided to keep all its stores in the UK but moved their EU headquarters to the Netherlands in order to keep their key activities in a safer place.

When there is a high uncertainty due to a decline in the market, the risks and threats to business continuity can be jeopardized if the businesses do not have reserves of cash and a presence in the economy. The strategy in this case should be to salvage as much as possible with saving what you can and lessening the negative effects. To recompense for the drop in profit, you will have to use the reserves of cash and try to dodge selling previous assets that could become handy if the economy rises.

Strategies to deploy in an uncertain market

The first strategy is to rebalance, meaning to relocate strategic and leadership assets to an alternative location that is nearby well-known growth engines. This can be very costly, but it is a practical method that focuses on the resources of the firm to be able to escape the consequences of uncertainty. The other strategy is to shift, which means relocating important parts of activities to another region starting with the functions that can easily be shifted with low costs. This is a thorough method since it is more organized, fast-paced, and its goal is to get rid of the uncertainty in the market.

How to Regain Your Confidence when it Falters

How to Regain Your Confidence when it Falters

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Confidence is something that is not always guaranteed. Sometimes you may feel that you are strong and capable to tackle your challenges and other times you may feel out of place and unprepared to respond.

The Dip

Feeling unsure and scared is normal for every human being no matter how experienced you may feel. When it goes from high confidence to low confidence, it is called “the dip”. Every type of leader has experienced the dip, and it can result the most capable leaders feel discouraged and enable them to go off track. It is important to realize that your confidence does not get affected by how it wavers, but it ultimately matters how you can bring your low confidence back to your high confidence.

Break the paradox

One way of doing that is by reframing the dip. Some people say that all leaders have experienced the dip at one point in their lifetime, but it is crucial that these dips do not allow leaders to slack off and go off track. For example, imagine you are a well-known leader about to have an important meeting. Your goal is to thoroughly communicate, gain trust by revealing treasured insights, and be able to earn the right to get an invite back. But if you are new at the job, the hole between your lack of experience and your ambitions can make you highly likely to dip. This can result in an authenticity paradox, where you still use your old methods of business while the company is growing instead of developing new methods. This paradox happens when leaders believe that they are being “authentic” and use it as an excuse to stay in their comfort zone. You can avoid this paradox by recognizing that you are a work in progress. This would allow you to directly face the challenges instead of going back to what you are familiar with. This change in perspective can inspire you to grow as a person, and try new tactics through trial and error when there are inescapable situations. As a leader, once you feel that you are dipping, you should start reframing yourself by following your instincts and facing the reality.

Strictly No Compromises

Another method to manage your dip is to limit your inner compromises. For example, you might intend to take some risks by being who you are and boldly asking for something that you want. Instead during the dip, you play the safe card at the expense of sacrificing you own needs. If you catch yourself making an unreasonable compromise, you should stop it and rethink your decisions.

It is good to be prepared when you feel that your confidence is taking the dip by being aware of your choices and following your gut.

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

How Too Much Praise Devalues Appreciation

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One key to success is showing gratitude in the work environment. When a worker is performing well in their workplace, it is important to show that you’ve noticed with a congratulatory shout-out or a tap on the back. Studies have shown that showing gratitude in the workplace makes the worker feel important, gives them confidence with their work performance, and only encourages them to get better.

The Bigger is NOT always the Better

Overdoing how you show gratitude can lose its specialty. For instance, appraisals should not be given to workers for doing simple tasks or duties that is already expected to be done in their job. Appraisals should be given when workers have gone out of their way and have given a lot of effort into the task. When small accomplishments are tackled, a great way to acknowledge them is through email.

A personal touch means a LOT

When big accomplishments are achieved, the thanks would mean a lot more when it is done in person, and even maybe with a public recognition. In order to figure out who is doing an exceptional job in the workplace, regular meetings with discussions on achievements and improvements are an efficient way to do so.

It’s NOT always about the Money

Another way of showing appreciation is through money, but that can get a little tricky. Bonuses means that the workers would receive an unsteady compensation. It would result in the feeling of disappointment when they are not able to go above and beyond for the company and fail at attaining the bonus. Research shows that the odd bonuses offered does not truly improve performance within the workplace. Nonetheless, getting a raise in the job wage is better than surprise bonuses. An alternative way in showing gratitude is through parties and celebrations. Job events, such as holiday parties shows that companies care for their workers. It is vital to thank your workers with a speech at these type of functions and shower them with food.

To sum up, any type of genuine recognition can go a long way. Showing gratitude makes the person receiving it happy and allows them to enjoy their job.