The human resource department in business organizations plays a significant role in forecasting employees’ welfare in a company. The human resource management process, however, involves various operations, including staffing, work evaluation, employee promotion, layoff, and employee relations (Wright, 2018). Employee relations are the fundamental relationships that exist among workers in an organization. A healthy workplace relationship is achieved through mutual respect among the employees. There is a need for human resource management to ensure that workers have a healthy workplace relationship to achieve employee retention and thus reduce cases of employee turnover. However, with the recent trend of remote work imposed by the COVID-19 restrictions, leaders face a new challenge of managing virtual teams of people who do not meet physically. Hence, the paper identifies the key differences in managing remote workers and provides recommendations for increasing leaders’ efficiency in working with a virtual team of 10 people.
Managing Remote Workers
While some organizations and some managers struggled to start working remotely, others managed to transition and maintain their overall performance smoothly. One of the critical obstacles that arise while transitioning from office work to remote work is the change in communication. Although being proficient with modern technologies is considered “a must” for many leaders and managers, not all workers can adapt to new ways of communication. Therefore, training aimed at raising the team’s ability to use corporate messengers and communication services such as Zoom, Google Meets, and Skype should be a priority.
Secondly, both leaders and team members should not see the transition to remote work as the event that entirely changes how they work. In other words, managers should apply the same approaches that are suitable for efficient physical work. This means choosing a hard or soft approach and being aware of the team’s strengths and weaknesses. However, supervision of virtual teams is much more limited as compared to physical teams (Maxwell, 2022). Therefore, leaders should embrace the freedom of workers and ensure that their responsibilities are clear and performed on time.
One recommendation that I would consider for a leader of the virtual team of ten members is developing a soft approach of leadership, which is based on the McGregor’s Y theory. The soft HRM approach considers the employees as the critical resource in the business that is incomparable to other resources. The employees are regarded as the source of competitive advantage and determine the success of the company. The needs of the employees are given much priority; hence empowerment and motivational incentives are issued. The management in the McGregor’s Y theory mainly focuses on providing value to the employees by rewarding and inspiring them. Empowering workers to make their own decision may help in achieving long-term efficiency and decreases the number of responsibilities that a leader should perform. As a result, a leader would have to ensure that tasks are delegated and communicated clearly, and the support can be provided in a timely manner.
In conclusion, being a leader of a virtual team can be a challenge to many managers who are used to working with physical teams. However, being able to adapt to new circumstances has always been an important skill. One of the critical changes that are imposed by remote work is a lack of direct supervision, which limits the potential of possible hard-approach management. Therefore, effective virtual team leadership should be based on the soft approach that empowers workers and provides them with the freedom of performing their responsibilities well.
Maxwell, G. (2022) Changing our minds about work. CIPD In a Nutshell (113). Web.
Wright, P. (2018). Fundamentals of human resource management. Management, 5, 27.