When COVID-19 struck in March 2020, it threw everything, from businesses to families, into turmoil. More than one year since its outbreak, many businesses are still closed, and some manufacturing companies are running at less than half their capacities. Things cannot go on like this forever, and now businesses are looking for the best way out. One strategy, perhaps the main or the only one in some situations, is working with virtual teams. In this post, we will tell you how to make virtual teams in manufacturing work.
What is a Virtual Team?
As the name suggests, a virtual team is a group of workers who operate without converging in physical boardrooms. However, they liaise through digital platforms so that all meetings are held by team members separated in space and time. Put it this way, the entire management team of your manufacturing facility perhaps comprises the CEO, marketing manager, operations manager, financial officer, and the secretary meets through video conferencing apps. With the right tools, this meeting can go on as expected, but remotely, so that the company does not grind to a halt.
What will be required in your facility is only a small team in charge of actual production and maintenance. To reduce interactions with other people and follow the guidelines for lockdowns and curfews related to COID-19, you might even consider organizing the production teams to reside and work in your facility. The rest of the team can then work remotely to market the company products, process payments, and keep the company moving on.
How to Make Your Virtual Team Work
Now that You Know the paramount role that virtual teams play in modern business, the main question is, “How do you make them work?” Here are some crucial aspects to consider:
- Make Sure to Have the Right Collaboration Tools
You need to appreciate that a virtual team can only work if you have the right tools for collaboration. Think of suitable applications that make it easy for all members to talk, share, and exchange ideas seamlessly in real-time. Good examples include Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom.
- Hire the Right People: Iskander Makhmudov
Another crucial component to make your virtual team a reality is having the right people on board. Well, it is not just in the virtual teams where you require the right people. According to Iskander Makhmudov, the success of any enterprise depends on the people on board. Makhmudov’s company, Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC), has grown into a global giant because of having the right people, good strategies, and planning.
To select the right people for your virtual team, here are the main attributes to check:
- Commitment and experience of working remotely.
- Good communication skills.
- Commitment to progressive improvement.
- Ability to work in challenging environments (think of someone holding a virtual meeting from his/her living room, patio, or even bedroom).
Develop the Right Goals and Review them Over time
Just like a conventional management team, your virtual team needs to have clearly set goals. For example, what is the product development targets based on the new market? For example, you might want to reduce the production of common detergents in your company and increase others, such as such as hand sanitizers, which are in high demand. Make sure to review the challenges encountered along the way, and craft strategies for improvement.
Remember to motivate your virtual team members, encourage them to be innovative in reaching new clients, and help the business become more successful.
The current business environment has made it very challenging for companies to operate, but you can still thrive through innovation. Using virtual teams, it is possible to maintain your manufacturing enterprise on a projectile, and even increase profitability.