Strategies for Motivating Virtual Work Teams

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  • 0:04 Motivating Virtual Teams
  • 0:27 Strategies
  • 3:47 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Motivating virtual teams requires planning and focus. Use the strategies provided in this lesson to encourage and strengthen your team, while increasing their interaction with each other.

Motivating Virtual Teams

Working virtually is a perfect situation for many modern-day employees. By allowing employees to work from anywhere in the nation or the world, companies are able to hire top talent, offer a flexible environment, and increase productivity through employees working in their comfortable surroundings. However, keeping virtual teams motivated and productive can be a challenge for managers.


As a manager, motivating your virtual team can be challenging and require different strategies than encouraging an in-house team.

First, you want to make sure your virtual interaction is easy. It's vital to provide ways for your team members to get in contact with you easily and often. Using an instant messenger is a helpful tool to have immediate communication to and from your team members. You can encourage interaction with your employees by scheduling weekly or monthly conversations with each person. This keeps the door open for regular communication, which can help build trust with your staff.

Let's imagine you are the new manager of a team of web designers from around the nation. Because their work is primarily independent, it can be easy for them to feel isolated. However, as their manager, you are determined to build a bridge with each person and create a more united team. You also want to develop a strong relationship as the manager. You immediately ask each person to use a common instant messenger program to share ideas, ask questions, and work together. You also schedule a weekly online chat with each person to talk about what projects they are working on and to get to know them better. This has already helped to keep them more motivated in their work.

Second, use technology to improve communication. Communication is the foundation for encouraging motivation. As the leader of the team, you feel responsible for encouraging more ways for communication. Beyond the instant messenger, you find other tools that are helpful in improving motivation. You start with video conferencing, which allows the team members to see each other during meetings. The team also starts using data sharing tools, such as Google Docs, to keep information current and easily accessible. The final step you immediately implement is a screen sharing tool that allows your group to collaborate on projects and share ideas. It has helped the team to be more excited and encouraged, because there's a stronger feeling of coherency and motivation in the group.

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