How to ensure 100% commitment from your virtual team members?
Virtual teams are a great way to get work done, but the lack of face-to-face interaction can make it difficult for team members to stay motivated and committed.
If you’ve ever been on a virtual team or have had any experience with remote workers, then you probably know that getting everyone on board with your project is hard enough, let alone keeping them engaged.
We’ve developed this 6 step process to help ensure 100% commitment from your virtual team members. By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your entire team focused and working towards success.
Step One: Ask Your Team Members To Repeat Their Tasks Back To You
The first step in gaining the commitment of your virtual team is to ask them to repeat their tasks back to you.
It may feel strange, but you ensure that they fully understand what they have agreed to do and get a sense of any misunderstandings or confusion when receiving information. This approach will help clear up anything that might be uneasy for either party.
Virtual teams need to be reminded of their tasks so they can stay on track. To ensure this is happening, ask your remote team members to repeat back what their job was.
This approach helps people remember your request and takes away any anxiety they might have about forgetting or neglecting to complete their part. Following this simple step will provide a sense of understanding and commitment when each task is assigned.
To make sure everyone on your virtual team understands their responsibilities, at the end of each online meeting or conversation, say something like: “Just so I’m clear, what are all your tasks for the next week?”
Step Two To Virtual Team Commitment: Get A Clear Timeframe
Asking about timelines does not mean micromanaging – instead, it’s aware of the time constraints put on each person’s task to assign deadlines appropriately.
This step will help your team members have a sense of obligation and time frame, but it also helps them know when their tasks are due.
Ask your team members for their timeframe to complete each task. This will set up an expectation of when the work should be completed and how long it will take them.
It also helps you know if any issues need attention before starting the project, such as the availability and vacation time coming up in that week.
If you have already assigned a deadline to the task, ask them if they will meet that deadline. If not, inquire about how long it would take your team to complete the job and give an estimated date.
For example: “Can I confirm with you again what your plan is? You said this could be done by next Wednesday, correct?” or “Is there any chance we can get this finished sooner than in two weeks?”
Step Three: Develop A Sense Of Obligation
A great way to get your virtual team members invested in what they are doing is by stressing how vital every assignment is – no matter how big or small.
Whether you’re assigning an email response or working on a complex project, make sure that your virtual team feels like everything they do for you has a meaning and purpose behind it.
It’s incredible what can happen when people don’t see themselves as just filling up space; instead, they see themselves playing a role in something bigger than themselves.
The next step is to develop a sense of obligation so that it will disturb you if the person withdraws their commitment. Again, this creates an incentive for them because the stakes are now more significant.
Here’s what you may say: “Ok, then, I’ll move my other scheduled appointments to make sure I am free on Wednesday at 2 PM, and we can discuss any changes.”
Step Four To Virtual Team Commitment: Stress The Importance Of The Task
Another tool to get your virtual team members’ commitment and cooperation are by stressing their tasks’ importance. And, remember that this can be done with as little as just a simple sentence or two.
Let them know about how their assignment will help you reach your goals for the week – even if they don’t know what those are because you haven’t shared that information yet.
If you feel like your team members are taking on tasks but not showing any emotion or excitement, remind them of the importance.
Remind them that they have a responsibility and obligation to do their best work and take this seriously as if no one else could do it.
Say something along these lines: “I want you to know just how important this is, so please don’t take this task lightly.”
Step Five: Confirm Action
Making sure that requests are being completed on time can seem like a difficult task when working remotely. Still, it’s essential not only in meeting deadlines but also in ensuring quality work output.
Allow enough time to send out directions and then follow up to ensure completion of all assigned tasks without too much lead-time.
In general, it’s essential to do anything you can to confirm that people are following through. This approach includes keeping up your end of the bargain by sending them any information they need for completing their tasks as soon as possible after agreeing upon them. Hence, you both have all the resources necessary.
It also means checking back now and then once things start happening. When someone agrees to complete or deliver work within a specific time frame, follow-ups help remind him/her what needs to be done.
Step Six To Virtual Team Commitment: Show Appreciation
One last note to help you be successful in your work with virtual team members is that encouragement and thanks are essential for the motivation of all employees, whether they’re working remotely or on-site.
When a task has been completed, give them some feedback about what was done well and what could have gone better. The constructive feedback will allow your team to learn from past mistakes and to avoid making those same mistakes again in future assignments.
When you have a meeting with someone, it might be worth mentioning how appreciative you are of what they do. If the person is your employee or intern, this can help to boost their morale and make them feel great about themselves.
A few days after you make the request, follow up by expressing appreciation. Let them know how much you value their efforts of following through on a task and that they are one of those people who get things done.
This reminds them about what needs to happen and appeals to their sense of internal commitment in reinforcing dedication for completing it.
For example: “Sara, I appreciate your help with this project-you’re always there when we need someone reliable.”
Enjoyed this article? Learn more about virtual team management here: 6 Tactics On Creating A Highly Effective Virtual Team and here: Managing Successful Virtual Teams – 6 Tactics For Success
When it’s time to close the deal, a virtual team member is only as committed as you are. So if you want 100% commitment from your virtual team members, then commit 100%!
Give them what they need and be present with them throughout their workday. You will see that this reciprocation of effort will equate to higher success rates on projects for both parties involved.
We’ve outlined six steps for making sure your virtual employees feel valued and motivated at all times so they can provide the best possible service.
Have you tried any of these? What other suggestions do you have on improving commitment from virtual teams? Let us know!