Supervisory Leadership

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How do you instill team spirit when you manage a virtual workforce?

Whether it's a virtual workforce or the kind we're used to, team spirit gets built in three ways. They are frequent, comfortable interaction, productive work, and joint identity.

Frequent and comfortable interaction is important because we tend to trust people we're comfortable with and trust is essential to teamwork. Email, IM, and online meetings can all create this contact.

People want to do things they can be proud of. Productive work is one of those things and they value relationships with the people who work with them on productive endeavors. Part of the boss's job here is to let people know why what they're doing is important and praise good performance.

Finally, having a specific identity increases bonding. Sometimes that happens around the name of the boss. Sometime the unit adopts a name for itself. Sometimes, others in the company or customers bestow the group name.


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