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Creating A Culture Of Enthusiasm

Creating A Culture of Enthusiasm

Over the last few months, many executives that I am speaking with are concerned about an erosion of morale and overall lack of enthusiasm in their virtual teams. Employees who originally enjoyed the freedom provided by working from home now have 1) the challenge of virtual meeting fatigue, 2) an increased feeling of isolation from coworkers, and 3) in some cases, managers that just do not know how to lead a virtual team. This has caused productivity to either plateau or diminish over the last few months.

So, what are some simple things leaders can focus on to help create a culture of enthusiasm in their virtual teams? Dale Carnegie has outlined 5 key drivers of success and these drivers can infuse enthusiasm into virtual teams.

  1. Self-confidence. Virtual team members need to be confident. They need to have confidence that they can do their jobs remotely. They also need confidence that their manager has their back and will support them. As a manager, make sure you have given them the resources and authority to get the job done. Give virtual team members who are ready the opportunity to do stretch assignments that grow their capabilities. Be there to mentor them if they get stuck. This will help them have confidence in taking on different or more difficult projects.
  2. People Skills. Even in a virtual world, people are social creatures and need to interface with each other. Build feedback loops for your team to know you are there to support them. When possible create opportunities for team members to collaborate on virtual projects. Virtual social events such as a virtual happy hour or rotating virtual open houses can also help to create more unity in the team. More activities to help team members feel more connected and dedicated to the rest of the team are discussed in my recent blog, “Activities to Unit Your Team with Empathy.”
  3. Communication. Virtual team members can feel disconnected because of the absence of normal office chatter, so it is important to communicate more often than in a face-to-face environment. Implement morning huddles or weekly debriefs with the team. Make sure that everyone understands the bigger picture of the team and how their part fits into that picture. Check for understanding with an open two-way communication style. Transparency is just as important here so communicate all project changes, team modifications, or organizational news to the team as soon as you can.
  4. Leadership. Virtual teams that are removed from face-to-face interaction with their manager need to know that the manager is leading the team. Not only do they need to know their manager is setting them up for success, they also need to know that the team is being led in a consistent manner. People become disconnected when they feel that a manager is not holding the whole team accountable to the same high standard. We dive deeper into accountability in the blog, “Leading Virtual Teams: 7-Steps to Hold People Accountable
  5. Attitude. Virtual teams do not typically get the same amount of recognition and encouragement that face-to-face teams may get, so self-criticisms or negative beliefs might start to cause stress within individuals. Stress and worry can then undermine the effectiveness of the team. One way to combat this type of stress is to recognize team members for their contributions to the team. This differs from the traditional “good job” that can be perceived as insincere. Here is a three-step process to have praise feel more heartfelt:
    Praise – Give it sincerely, based on observed behavior, values, accomplishments, successes, personality traits, qualities, attributes, etc.
    Example – Use a specific example
    Context – Explain how this quality will help you, the team, the organization, the customer, etc.
    This type of recognition and praise helps to improve attitudes and relieve the stress caused by self-doubt.

Focusing on these five drivers of success will help instill enthusiasm in virtual teams. This enthusiasm will help lift the morale, foster engagement, and drive productivity in your virtual team.

Interested in learning more, join us for a complimentary 90-minute webinar, Creating a Culture of Enthusiasm in a Remote Team, on March 23, 2021, at 9:00 AM.

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