Virtual team management can seem intimidating when you first are thrown into it.
You might not know where to start. You may also be worried about establishing and maintaining trust and connection with employees when you can’t interact with them face to face.
However, if your first instinct is to send out a message or email, we’re challenging you to rethink your process. Email and internal chat cannot and should not be the only ways you’re communicating with your team members. Plain-text communication can lead to misunderstandings and challenges in productivity.
Video communication is the best way to help your team not only feel connected but also engaged in their work. At BombBomb, we’ve been using our own video messaging product, as well as Zoom Video Conferencing for years to manage remote employees. In the post below, we’ve collected some of our favorite internal examples to help you successfully manage your team remotely. We hope you enjoy!
Virtual Team Management: Common Problems & Video Solutions
1. Lack of Face-to-Face Guidance
In many cases, it’s challenging for managers to dedicate time to both their work and their employees. This becomes even more challenging when workers are remote. However, with video messaging, you are able to answer complex questions, give direction, and even direct feedback. With video conferencing, you can even schedule weekly or bi-weekly check-in meetings. Check out the examples below for more inspiration.
• Direction on a Project – BombBomb
This is a video our creative teams use quite often. If a project is too small for a kick-off meeting, a BombBomb video is the next best thing. In your video, make sure to give direction on what you want out of the project, and explain who the team member should collaborate with to complete it.
• Feedback – BombBomb
When team members take pride in their work, it can be hard to receive feedback through plain text. If they did a great job, commend them. They will be so excited to receive your positive feedback and see your sincerity. And on the contrary, if they misread the project and need to rework it, a video will help you deliver that message as empathetically as possible.
In the example below, our Content Marketing Manager, Alli Tunell, uses the screen recorder to do just that.
• One on Ones – Zoom
At BombBomb, our leaders hold biweekly one on ones with their team members. These meetings are highly structured and extremely beneficial. Before each meeting, team members are asked to fill out a form about their highs and lows, scorecard objectives, and upcoming priorities. When BombBomb moved to a fully remote company, we continued holding our one on ones on Zoom. These meetings are still extremely effective and help team members feel like they have a voice and a complete understanding of their role.
2. Lack of Access to Information
For newer employees, it can take a significant amount of time for them to understand the ins and outs of a company. This is only amplified when that employee is remote. However, there are many ways for managers to keep their teammates connected to the company and its processes. The ideas below will help you keep your team engaged, and enable them to complete their daily tasks without hitting too many roadblocks.
• Daily Stand-Ups – Zoom
Stand-ups are an opportunity for teams to come together for 15 minutes each morning and talk through their daily priorities and challenges they are facing. As a group, you’ll be able to identify and solve business problems easier than ever before. Holding daily stand-ups over zoom will help your team communicate and collaborate in a way they couldn’t do otherwise when working remotely.
• Company Updates – BombBomb
Company update videos should ideally be sent by senior leaders. When done frequently and authentically, they can make a major impact on the team’s connection to the company, and overall morale. BombBomb’s Co-Founder and President, Darin Dawson, sends company update videos to the entire team every Friday. In these videos, he’ll discuss the top business initiatives, challenge us to continue developing ourselves, and give shoutouts to the people who are going above and beyond.
We’ve included a sample of one of Darin’s video updates below.
• Checking In Videos – BombBomb
We’ve already established that a lack of information can keep our team members from completing a task. Moreover, because they can’t just walk up to the person they need help from, it can also be easy for team members to run into barricades. Because of this, we recommend sending checking in videos. We suggest sending these videos twice a week just to see how their work is going. Ask them if they need help. Thank them for their hard work. Encourage them to send a video back. Even if they don’t have BombBomb, they can use our reply with video feature to respond to you. They’ll be happy to hear from you.
Watch our Chief Technology Officer, Patrick McDavid, check in on one of his team members in the video below.
3. Social Isolation
According to Buffer’s 2018 State of Remote Work, loneliness is one of the biggest challenges remote workers experience. Remote work can be isolating. Team members miss daily interactions with their coworkers and standard water cooler conversations. They can also feel less connected to the company, and in turn, they are more likely to leave. Moreover, with video conferencing, you can help meet and connect with your remote team members as though they are there in person. You can also send videos just to let them know you appreciate them, and that they are important members of the team.
• Appreciation Videos – BombBomb
Appreciation and gratitude videos are some of the single best videos you can send to your team members – and even your clients. They are also extremely easy to make and can have a major impact on the person you are sending them to. In fact, according to Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey, 53% of people said feeling more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company. Send these videos every few months when you have a team member who has been working hard and deserves some recognition!
In the example below, our Senior VP of Operations, Jonathan Bolton, uses simple video to do just that.
• Happy Hour – Zoom
A long-standing BombBomb tradition is coming together every Friday at 4:00 pm for a company-wide happy hour. When our office was required to move to remote work, our leadership team worked to make sure the tradition lived on. Now every Friday we set up virtual happy hours. In some cases, we’ve held a fireside chat, where team members were asked to anonymously submit questions and different leaders answered them live. In other cases, we’ve broken out into individual teams and all answered the same ice breaker questions. Both have helped us stay connected, and feel close to our team members.
• Remote Donut Buddies – Zoom/Slack
If your team is using Slack for internal communication, Donut is an application that you can download to enhance relationships across all different departments in your company. Once it’s added to your companies Slack workspace, employees just simply need to join a specified channel and donut does the rest. The application regularly pairs up team members who don’t know each other well every few weeks. Donut will then send an introductory slack message to the people who were paired and encourage them to connect for virtual coffee, donuts, or lunch.
How Your Team Can Use Video Messaging to Communicate Clearly While Working Remotely
Remote communication through video does not need to be exclusive to leaders. To learn more about how the rest of your company can use video check out “6 Ways to Improve Team Communication With Video.”