Adapting Your Employee Value Proposition For Virtual Teams
31st May 2023
The way we work is constantly evolving, and one significant shift we've witnessed is the rise of entirely virtual teams. Whether due to technological advancements, worker preference, or unforeseen circumstances like the global pandemic, companies are increasingly embracing remote work arrangements. As a result, your employee value proposition (EVP) - the unique set of offerings that attracts, retains and engages top talent - must be adapted to align with the digital world.Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is the impact of having a virtual team on your EVP? But first, let’s dive into what a ‘virtual team’ actually is.
What is a virtual team?In simple terms, a virtual team, also referred to as a geographically dispersed team or a remote team, is a group of workers who connect and collaborate digitally. They may reside in the same country but typically work in different parts of the world across varying time zones.
Understanding the virtual work environment
When physical proximity is replaced by virtual connections, it's essential to acknowledge and understand the unique characteristics that come with that. Compared to the traditional office environment, virtual teams create a whole new dynamic around the employee experience; aligning this with your EVP requires a strategic approach.Virtual teams often transcend geographical boundaries, bringing together individuals from different time zones, cultures, and backgrounds. This diversity can be a tremendous asset, enhancing creativity, innovation, and a fresh perspective. However, it also creates challenges around effective communication, collaboration, and building a cohesive team culture. So, how can you solve this?
Identify the EVP elements that impact virtual teams
As you adapt your EVP for virtual teams, it's important that you first identify which elements are most impacted by this shift. Some traditional EVP elements, like workplace amenities, face-to-face interactions, and in-person team activities, may no longer hold the same significance. Instead, elements such as your remote work policies, flexibility and employee perks take centre stage.Flexibility becomes the key selling point as people align across the globe. Flexibility allows employees to balance their personal and professional lives while still delivering exceptional results. And to make this work, virtual teams require clear guidelines and policies to make sure the remote work arrangements implemented are both well-defined and supported.
Analyse feedback from employees
To truly understand the impact of virtual work on your EVP, it's vital to listen to your employees and gather feedback about their virtual work experience. Carry out surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one discussions to gain insights into their challenges, needs, and preferences.
This feedback is invaluable; it uncovers insights about employee motivations, engagement, and their overall satisfaction in the virtual work environment, and it sheds light on areas where your EVP may need adjustment or improvement.
For example, employees may express concerns about feeling disconnected or isolated in a virtual setting, which can guide you in developing strategies that encourage team collaboration and connection, such as virtual events. Or your team might have expressed that they want more opportunities to up-skill; in this case, you might want to consider introducing an individual training budget or a mentorship program.Remember, employee feedback is not just about identifying pain points but also uncovering opportunities.
Top 4 tactics to build an EVP that aligns with virtual teamsSo, let's dive into our top 4 tactics to craft an EVP that perfectly aligns with the needs and aspirations of your virtual workforce, from embracing remote work policies and enhancing team collaboration.
1) Emphasise remote work policies and flexibilityIn the virtual work environment, remote work policies that clearly define and communicate your company's remote work guidelines, expectations and boundaries are critical. Make sure to highlight the advantages of remote work, such as increased autonomy and work-life balance. And remember, the policies you have in place should always align with your company and its objectives - this is where focusing on an output-driven work culture is key.
2) Invest in the right technology and toolsTo enable seamless collaboration and communication in virtual teams, invest in reliable technology. Provide the necessary tools, software, resources and equipment (through companies like Hofy) that empower employees to work effectively from wherever they’re located. Prioritise user-friendly virtual communication platforms that facilitate real-time interaction, file sharing, and project management; think Slack, Notion, ClickUp, Basecamp, Trello, Figma and Google and all those snazzy tools that keep employees on track. Make sure to offer training and support to ensure employees can leverage these technologies to their fullest potential.
3) Prioritise team collaboration and connection
Building a sense of belonging within virtual teams is vital for engagement and productivity, but how can you do this? Think about implementing virtual team-building activities, which you can host on innovative platforms like Tevent, that promote connection and help strengthen relationships. Encourage regular communication through team video calls, chat platforms, or even virtual coffee breaks. Hold virtual social gatherings, such as online team lunches or happy hours, to create opportunities for informal interactions; as the saying goes, work hard, play hard, right?At Flexa, we have a weekly 'Slacking Off' session; sometimes, we share weird and wonderful stories, and currently, each employee is taking turns to host their very own interactive session on anything they like, whether it's a quiz, explaining a hobby of theirs, or something educational. It's a great way to get the whole team to bond with one another.
4) Adapt performance management and recognition
Adapt your traditional performance management processes to match the remote work dynamics. Set clear performance expectations and metrics for your virtual teams - making sure they are both measurable and achievable. Implement regular check-ins, progress tracking, ways to communicate two-way feedback and measure employee satisfaction.Remember to recognise and reward when teams are achieving results or working extra hard to boost motivation and provide a sense of accomplishment; it can make a world of difference. Consider innovative approaches, such as peer-to-peer recognition or a team of the month scheme to celebrate individual and team successes.