Spencer Stuart: 5 Lessons for Successful Virtual Teaming

Leading a virtual team or employees who are geographically dispersed can be challenging. Spencer Stuart found that more than 25 percent of virtual teams are not fully performing and 33 percent of teams rate their virtual leaders as less than effective. Making the current situation even more difficult for many leaders is that employees are scattered across different geographic areas and have little face-to-face contact with one another; information and priorities are constantly shifting; and there is little time to address individual needs.

Leading virtually is still leadership. Effective leadership remains the best predictor of success and long-term organizational viability, and this was true even before the emergence of the pandemic crisis. Effective leaders are “impact-multipliers,” who work through people, teams and organizations and rely on attributes such as self-awareness, empathy, humility, agility and resilience, even as some of the demands of leading virtually are different.

The insights from their global research highlight immediate opportunities for leaders to act in a virtual environment. Here are five lessons learned from their work with successful virtual leaders:

  1. No trust, no team
  2. Create a “high-touch” environment
  3. Conduct effective virtual meetings
  4. Empower and motivate team members
  5. Soft skills are essential

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Darleen DeRosa
Thought leadership category