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Leading in the Virtual World: A Guide to Online Leadership Training for Remote Teams

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Remote work has become popular due to advancements and a shift in team priorities. However, managing remote teams can present its own challenges, such as communication breakdowns and lack of collaboration. To address issues, online leadership training for remote teams has become crucial to remote settings.
 
In this piece, you'll learn the following:
  • Why do you need to implement training for remote team management
  • How online leadership training can help your remote team's workflow
  • How to measure the success in your leadership training course

Common Challenges of Leading Remote Teams

There are more businesses now turning to remote teams as a way of running their operations. According to Gallup, 56% of full-time employees in the U.S. say their tasks can be done remotely from home. Additionally, hybrid work has increased in 2022 to 49 % and is expected to increase to 55%.
 
As a leader, however, managing remote teams can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.
 
Here are some common challenges to leading remotely:
  • Social isolation
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of access to information
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Distractions at home
  • Time zone differences
  • Low productivity
  • Lack of teamwork
Online leadership training is the key to getting a remote environment up and running. But it takes much more than traditional management styles. Knowing how to overcome the challenges of leading virtual teams will ensure success for any remote leader virtually.

What is Leadership Training?

Every successful remote management requires leaders who can inspire and guide their team. Yet, even if someone is in an entrusted leadership position, they still need to have the skills required.
 
Career development and leadership training is key to taking your team's performance to its peak. Investing in this training can help a new or an existing remote team manager and employees get soft and hard skills.

How Online Leadership Training Can Help Your Remote Team's Workflow

With training, leaders can help their remote teams thrive and do their goals in a new environment. Let's look at what makes up effective remote leadership training.

Communicate honestly in a remote setting

Having a safe, trusting communication culture in the workplace isn't always easy to establish. But it's essential for team success.
 
As a leader, the key to managing an effective remote team is providing effective training. Training should focus on creating open communication in this new environment. Additionally, with the right training, everyone will be able to learn the Dos and Don'ts.

Dos

  • Send communications that are specifically focused on a topic.
  • Use asynchronous communication.
  • Establish roundtable discussions.
  • Empathy is a virtue to employ when interacting with teammates.
  • Make an effort to develop personal connections.
  • Build camaraderie with a virtual "water cooler."
  • Use a communication guideline manual.
  • Assign the right channel to the message.

Don'ts

  • Don't entertain drama.
  • Don't skip the small talk with your teammates.
  • Don't send incomplete instructions.
  • Don't micromanage.
  • Don't ghost your teammates.
  • Don't think of negative message intent.
  • Don't forget meetings--if possible, set your schedule.
Communicating honestly makes successful collaborations. This will further impact team performance in the long term.

Build trust and rapport

Do you and your team trust each other?
 
Every team needs trust to succeed. When a team trusts each other, it can lead to increased productivity. This results in happier colleagues who feel more engaged with their work. Conversely, when there's a lack of trust, the whole group may suffer from decreased motivation and output.
 
With the right training, you'll be able to look out for these signs that your team isn't trustworthy:
  • Employees bring issues to you rather than resolving them amongst themselves.
  • People don't take responsibility for their actions, projects, and even errors.
  • Conflicts arise during team meetings.
  • Deliverables undergo numerous checks or validations.
To create a healthy and trustworthy team environment, it's vital that everyone feels heard, respected, and valued. Open dialogue leads to fresh ideas and higher-quality outputs. Teams must foster an inviting culture where each person can speak up without fear of judgment.

Manage virtual meetings and collaboration

Despite the pandemic, leaders and managers can still engage with their teams through digital meetings. Managing virtual meetings and collaboration with your team members ensures high productivity.
 
Here's what you need to do:
  • Be prompt.
  • Utilize the video, chat, and raise hand features as necessary.
  • Stay away from distracting activities like eating and smartphone browsing.
  • To ensure steady photos, use laptops rather than phones.
  • Send a draft meeting agenda out in advance.
  • Ask for any suggestions for additions or modifications.
  • Set attendance requirements and let them fill up the registration page.
  • Make team members feel heard and free to speak.
Manage virtual meetings and collaboration smartly. This could result in a strong sense of teamwork between you and your remote employees.

Give motivation to employees

Demotivation leads to reduced productivity which affects business objectives and results. That's why you need to find the best ways to achieve a motivated team and maintain a fun environment at work forums.
 
Providing development opportunities is a way to go!
 
If you want to level up your team's leadership skills, you can provide related opportunities, like joining B2B Leaders Academy. Leadership doesn't come naturally to all, but everyone can become an Elite Leader. With B2B Leaders Academy, you can get a structured path with leadership masterminds.
 
Join a B2B Leaders Academy Demo to discover how to become an Elite Leader.

Leverage technology for remote work

It's best to equip remote workers and effective leaders with the tools they need in a virtual environment. This includes resources like communication platforms and cybersecurity software.
 
Leaders should consider any necessary training needed. As a result, all employees can navigate the technologies efficiently. Investing the time will pay off when your team hits its full potential.

Types of Online Leadership Training Methods

Online training has proven to be an invaluable tool for leadership skills. Whether you're looking to upskill yourself as a potential leader or want your team to know the trends, online leadership training is the way to go.
 
Here are popular forms of online leadership training methods.
  • Virtual workshops and webinars
  • Online courses and resources
  • Interactive simulations and role-playing
  • Video conferencing and virtual coaching
If you're looking for short 5-minute videos to hone your leadership skill, you can watch the 5-Minute Feedback Makeover of B2B Leaders Academy.
 
In three videos, you'll discover the following:
  • Why "Great job" is the worst phrase in your leadership vocabulary;
  • How to know when your positive feedback is causing negative outcomes;
  • The 3-Step Feedback Made Simple System;
  • How to give the right amount of feedback; and
  • Free 5-Minute Feedback Makeover Workbook.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Leadership Training

To measure the effectiveness of online leadership training, the following ways can determine:

Set clear goals and objectives

Is the training able to meet your team's expectations? Perhaps you're able to achieve what your goals in your teams have.
 
Like any other program, setting goals and objectives is the first factor in determining effectiveness. Every remote team should have clearly defined objectives that are measurable and achievable.
 
Once these objectives have been established, you can use them as benchmarks for measuring progress. Thus, it determines if the program is meeting its goals. For example, one of your goals is to communicate effectively among team members. Then, you should track changes in each communication skill to assess the program's effectiveness.

Gather feedback

Feedback provides insight into what works and what doesn't work. This enables you to make adjustments and fine-tune your program accordingly.
 
Some best practices for gathering feedback from your employees include:
  • Casual conversation. You need to ask for it. It might seem like an obvious point, but it's important to be clear with your team. Let them know that you welcome both positive and negative feedback.
  • Surveys. These are a great way to gauge the changes made following the completion of a leadership training program. Keep your survey short and simple to ensure that all relevant questions are included.
  • Follow-up Interviews. These are other great ways to gather feedback from remote employees. Interviews should be conducted one-on-one. Remember, keep these conversations open and honest. Most employees need to feel comfortable speaking freely.
  • Observation. Pay attention to how they communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve together. In this way, you'll get a better understanding of their learning process and whether or not your program is helping them.

Track progress and performance

As the leader of a remote team, it's your responsibility to make sure that the work gets done on time and correctly. But with everyone working from different locations, this can be easier said than done. Technology is an invaluable tool for tracking progress and performance on a remote team.
 
There are many tools available that can help keep your team organized. These tools also make it easier for your team to have real-time communication. Utilizing technology in this way makes it easier for everyone involved to stay connected even when they're not together.

Assess behavioral changes

If a team member that was highly communicative before has gone silent or seems disengaged, it could be a sign of something deeper. To measure the effectiveness, it's important to check in frequently with team members. This is to identify any potential issues right away.
 
Ask questions like "How do you feel transitioning to remote work?" or "What challenges have you faced?" This will help you gain insight into how your virtual team is feeling and what they need from you.

Conclusion

Though there are challenges to developing leaders in a remote work environment, the benefits of doing so make it clear that it is worth the effort. With the right leadership program, you can equip your team members with the skills they need to be successful, no matter where they are located.
 
Being an effective leader is a one-night thing; it requires dedication and time. Online leadership training is a way to go!
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© 2023 Leadership MBA. All Rights Reserved.