Creating accountability in the virtual workplace is necessary and important. There are many ways a leader can establish accountability such as:

  • Setting clear goals, expectations, policies, and procedures
  • Using realistic metrics for measuring performance
  • Utilizing software such as messaging programs, file sharing, or other technology
  • Measuring performance by outcome rather than by how busy a virtual employee appears

While the ability to use technology in managing team projects and human relations is what sets virtual teams apart from traditional teams, an effective virtual team leader must possess core competencies such as effective leadership and communication skills, the ability to use and assimilate technology to share information, manage a complex and uncertain work environment, and demonstrate emotional intelligence including cultural sensitivity.

Presence (Availability)

Maintaining presence in the virtual environment is critical for monitoring team dynamics and progress as well as to let team members know you are there to help and support them in reaching their goals. Some examples for how leaders can maintain presence include: 

  • Developing a relationship with each team member
  • Communicating consistently and frequently across multiple communication pathways such as email, virtual meetings, instant messaging
  • Being available and making it known