The business world is fast-paced and it takes considerable effort to keep projects moving forward and everyone on track. The time it takes to videoconference with employees and team members can almost seem like a waste of time that could be used for more productive opportunities. After all, most of the time you can basically cover everything you need in a short direct email.
But there is certainly one thing, that no matter how many emails you write, you won’t be able to achieve without putting your pretty smile in front of a webcam. So long as you are relying on emails and other forms of long-distance communication you aren’t going to be able to achieve the sort of personal connection that fosters long-term growth and commitment on behalf of your team.
Getting To Know You
Getting to know the people that you work with isn’t really about knowing all about their personal life. But you should at least be able to put a face to a name, or at the very least be able to give them a face to put to your name. You don’t just want to be the person behind the surveillance camera that is watching how well performance ranks. Long distance monitoring of work environments can be creepy and take away from the amount of respect that you receive from your employees or team members. It may seem wise from your perspective, but should always be accompanied by some sort of actual face time.
If you don’t really feel comfortable speaking in front of the camera yourself, then use video conferencing to help give your team members a platform to express their own concerns to you. This way you don’t have to really do the bulk of the talking, and it gives you the air of actually caring. Whether you do or not, is completely your own private feelings. But showing up and presenting yourself definitely helps establish a better working environment, and we all know that leads to increased productivity.
What Really Motivates?
Contrary to what people think money isn’t the prime motivator. A wide array of studies and surveys have shown that long-term successful productivity rates are boosted in the workplace through encouragement and written or verbal appreciation. That’s not to say that a fair pay rate with bonus opportunities for increased financial gain aren’t important, they just aren’t the only thing necessary to keep your team members motivated to provide the kind of work you expect from them.
It’s not necessary to go all out of your way to dish out the compliments, that might make you come across as a little over the top, but taking the time to appreciate the work, dedication, and simple fact that your team members are individuals too, will help you keep that company morale in the sweet spot of optimum productivity.
Bridging The Gap
Clearly, in this day and age, it is entirely possible to work from a home office where you never even really get to meet the people involved in the projects you are working on. For some people, this really isn’t an issue and doesn’t effect their work flow, but for the majority of people out there, there is still something missing.
It’s that basic human element of being able to look somebody in the eyes, hear the voice, and build even the most basic of working relationships. A simple monthly or even quarterly videoconference can help convert those names in an email into actual living, breathing people.
Keeping It Professional
Using videoconferencing to get to know your team members is a great way to keep things professional without getting too personal. Clearly you could use social media to stay in touch with team members, but you probably don’t want to see a string of selfies that your new intern posted of their night out when they should have been working instead. Also, you got to be careful how much of your own self you put out there.
Social media is great for certain projects, but there should always be some sort of strict line between business and personal life when it comes to coworkers. This makes sure that when it comes to your relationship it is clear the point and focus of the communication. Small talk is fine, but stepping too far into the personal realm can be more disastrous then never getting to know your team members at all. With such diversity in the work environment you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner where you are at odds with political, personal, or religious views of a team member. In a videoconference you get to meet your team, focus on the task at hand, and then get back to work. Social media should be for your friends and family, not coworkers.
Break It Down
Break down the wall that separates your team by using a few strategic and routine videoconferences. It helps the team realize that they are working with real people without jeopardizing working relationships from getting too personal. Long-term commitment and target productivity rates are achieved by more than simple financial motivation. It takes a little bit of interpersonal nourishing too.