How to Lead an Effective Virtual Team

  • Reference: IVEY-9B15TC07-E

  • Number of pages: 6

  • Publication Date: Jun 19, 2015

  • Source: Ivey Business School (Canada)

  • Type of Document: Article

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Virtual teams can boost productivity and employee flexibility while reducing the time and cost of travel. However, such teams face disadvantages in terms of developing trust, maintaining morale, monitoring performance, and accommodating different time zones and cultural barriers. Unfortunately, most firms do not adequately train virtual teams or promote the right leadership behaviours. The authors studied 48 virtual teams and 427 virtual team leaders across a range of industries and found that high-performing virtual leaders all share the ability to do four things exceptionally well: build relationships, hold teams accountable, motivate teams and implement effective processes. These attributes and the habits that accompany them fit into a framework known as the RAMP Model ? Relationships, Accountability, Motivation and Purpose and Process. In applying RAMP effectively in a virtual environment, firms can employ software for project management, time-tracking, collaborative meetings and shared documents. They can also make use of a variety of practices such as scheduling virtual coffee breaks and birthday parties, practicing active listening, putting results ahead of hours worked, and making leaders available outside of normal business hours.