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Topics: Communications Management, Talent Management, Teams
Project managers need to work for improving the morale of a team working virtually. Do you agree or not?
Project managers have to work harder to improve the morale of a team working virtually.
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Yes we need to specifically focus on this. Having one on one connects with employees as well as doing weekly or monthly feedback type poll might give you a clear idea.
I will start with a question. Why you feel it is different than connecting one 2 one?
Yes it is difficult to monitor the motivation if we are not connecting fave to face, but we still need to ensure that team is motivated in either case. The importance is on understanding the need. The ways of implementation could be different for virtual.
They should be doing it anyway. For those who did not do it pre-COVID, it will be a hard lesson to learn.
Yes, but would not say harder but disciplined .
In too many f2f situations PMs treat team morale as a natural result of their personality. This does not work anymore, if it ever did.

In 2001, I saw a multi-million project win an award which used a TMI (team morale index) as the main instrument to track progress and identify problems. It works much faster than other tools who only can look at the past.
Manju -

Dispersed team members is nothing new, but having ALL team members dispersed is for some PMs. While "what" we do might not change, "how" we do it and the level of effort spent might need to be increased to keep team members engaged and to build a good team culture.

I've been working with dispersed teams for years. It's always a challenge.

One of the things I always allow time for during my first meeting is some kind of virtual team building / get to know you activity
Dear Manju
Certainly, though it is a challenge to keep dispersed team members motivated it is possible with little extra efforts from Project manager's end after getting known to each other and the background of all the members.
Here my view with my experience says the most important to have systematically arrived at realisitic and agreed schedule by the team schedule, truthful transparency, empathy that creates trust of the team members amongst themselves and in Project manager ,and at times manager to show that no body is indipensible by exhibiting his own skills and command.
One thing to note is that it is not just a dispersed project team. Pre-COVID, many of us worked in an office with other coworkers, even if they're not on our project teams. Now everyone is working at home and all personal contact is virtual.

That is different, and can be more challenging as working exclusively from home can introduce new impacts to morale, to some personality types more than others. In addition to the personal isolation, there are other factors such as economics, family issues, etc. that have nothing to do with our projects themselves, but are negatively impacting the morale of team members.

So far, I have seen it done to varying degrees of effectiveness by different leaders with different levels of Emotional Intelligence.
Yes, Project manager should work smartly and diligently to optimize and energize workforce always, especially with the COVID-19 era.
No difference with you have to do when team is not working virtually.

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