“Having a virtual team does not throwaway accountability, rather it demands accountability”.
That was a key takeaway from our session with Mrs. Ebele Chukwujama – MD/CEO of Poise Nigeria Limited on the Fidelity SME Forum. Poise Nigeria is Africa’s leading personality branding and image consultancy with core competencies in enhancing corporate culture and that is why Mrs. Chukwujama was an ideal guest on the show. In this interview session, she delved into the strain on SMEs due to the pandemic and how every business owner or manager can make the best out of it.
According to a recent study in the last year, 70% of professionals around the world work remotely at least once a week. SMEs have had little or no choice but to adapt to managing virtual teams and taking conversations online to keep business operations going. Leaders are now tasked with learning new skills to maintain productivity even while teams work from home.
“Success in business was attributed 20% to technical knowledge and 80% to interpersonal skills”Mrs. Ebere Chukwujama
In her opinion, this makes the resilience of SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic all the more laudable as times of crisis birthed creativity and innovation. She shared the following tips for how SMEs could set up effective virtual teams to enable business operations thrive in these times:
- Build a character of Trust between employer and employee.
- Invest in effective communication tools for video conferencing, scheduling appointments and task management.
- Track and measure team goals, commitments and productivity.
- Always show appreciation and empathy.
- Finding cost-effective power and data solutions
She went on to say that one of the biggest benefits of having a virtual team is the expanded employee pool SMEs have access to without the barrier of location. She ended the interview saying, “There is no denying that remote working is here to stay and now is the time to get good at it. Where it is needed, build capacity, use technology, form partnerships and collaborations and then just breathe.”
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