How Economic Development Teams Can Easily Work Together Virtually
20 Sep 2021
With a strong business model, effective communication, and stellar employees, economic development teams can work virtually in an effective way. A successful remote team is made up of managers and employees who trust one another to get the job done. Managers are held accountable to set clear expectations and guidelines, while employees are expected to provide high-quality work. To do this remotely, an organization must first understand how to get the most out of its remote team, how to inspire employees working remotely, and how to track the success of virtual teams.
Getting the most out of your economic development remote team
One of the greatest factors in getting high-quality work out of a remote team is flexibility. Employees work best when they are able to choose the location and time of their work. Each employee might work more productively in a different setting. For example, working at the local coffee shop, outside on the patio, or in a home office should not matter as long as they understand the goals of each project and deadlines.
In order for your virtual team to be efficient, managers must set a standard procedure for each project. This includes setting up basic information about an assigned project, timelines for progress or completion, and deciding how many check-ins will be necessary.
Another factor in successful virtual teams is the ability to stay organized and delegate tasks. Managers must learn how to prioritize projects and assign accordingly, keeping in mind how much bandwidth any given employee might have. In order to do this, effective communication is key. It is essential that managers relay to their team which projects are most important and give them all clear roles and responsibilities right from the beginning.
How to inspire your remote team
Having a flexible work environment is a good start, but not the only thing needed for a remote team to be successful. Employees must also feel recognized, inspired, and understand that they are making an impactful contribution. Success can be recognized towards a whole team or towards individual employees.
A great way to give shoutouts to employees is on team calls. This way they are being recognized in front of the rest of the organization for their great work. Another way to make sure team members are feeling recognized is to list everyone who was involved in a specific project and the role they play in the success. It's important that each of those team players understand that their contribution was a great help. If employees feel appreciated for the work and effort they are putting in, they are more likely to continue to push themselves in their work.
Giving virtual employees multiple resources and growth opportunities will also help to inspire them. Here are some ideas we've got for you:
- Share educational articles
- Encourage them to attend online webinars or classes
- Attend an industry conference (and pay for the expenses)
- Enroll in associations that also provide industry-related resources
With remote teams, it is so crucial to invest in your employees and encourage them to expand their knowledge and skill set. This will lead to team members who feel supported, cared for, and willing to go the extra mile for the organization in return.
How to track the success of your economic development team - virtually
Tracking the success of remote workers can become a little more challenging when you aren't all working together in one shared office space. An efficient way to do track success could be establishing weekly check-ins between managers and employees. During these meetings, managers can check in on the progress of projects. Employees can discuss how projects are going and if they're running into any roadblocks. Weekly check-ins are also helpful for remote teams to stay connected on a more personal level, especially since remote workers aren't able to just walk over to each other's desks and start up a conversation.
Each manager will need to find the best way that works for them and their team to track metrics. As a long-time remote team, we recommend tracking outcomes, not activity. Make sure employees are hitting their deadlines for work and ensure they are using best practices for completing projects. If you notice anything "off," bring it up in your weekly check-in to see how processes can be improved.
Economic development teams can work virtually and be successful by putting all of these tips into action.