Wi SHRM Managing Virtual Teams Handouts


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Wi SHRM Managing Virtual Teams Handouts

  1. 1. Managing Virtual Teams Wisconsin SHRM Conference October 16, 2009
  2. 2. Goals for this workshop Our goal is to provide practical advice that empowers you to implement or optimize your virtual team starting tomorrow. What is your goal for today? ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  3. 3. Common concerns How can I manage what I can’t see? Won’t they run errands/do laundry when they should work? What if some employees don’t want to work from home? What if I need someone and they’re not available? How do I schedule a meeting if we live all over the world? How do I train virtual workers? Will productivity decrease? What if everyone wants to do this and no one’s in the office? Will this work for hourly as well as managerial? Vice versa? How do I ensure that work will get done on time? Are virtual workers as committed as onsite ones? Won’t customer service levels decrease? ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  4. 4. The value of virtual teams Increased productivity Increased customer satisfaction/retention and service levels Increased employee retention/engagement Reduced absenteeism rates Reduced real estate costs, overhead “Employer of Choice” recruitment and retention strategy Employees closer to customer locations Coordination with virtual offices Supports green/CSR initiatives Offsets commuting costs in time and money Disability accommodation Supports work/life and flexible workplace initiatives Business continuity/disaster planning ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  5. 5. Need more? 60% of teleworkers are less likely to look for another job. --2008 Clean Air Campaign study 87% of employees and managers agreed telecommuters’ productivity improved or stayed the same. --2008 Study by National Science Foundation Teleworkers were more engaged and had more favorable opinions of senior management. --2008 study of 10,000 workers by Kenexa Research Institute ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  6. 6. Case in Point: Sun Microsystems Open Work: a network of people, places and technologies started in 1995 56% of their employees work remotely at least 2 days/week $387 million saved over six yrs in real estate and utility costs 60% of the time employees used to spend commuting, they now spend working 85% of employees say they’d recommend Sun as an employer $1700 in fuel costs is saved annually by the average employee telecommuting 2.5 days per week Telecommuters score higher on performance ratings than their on-site counterparts Lower turnover, higher employee satisfaction ratings ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  7. 7. What is a virtual team? Arrangements vary: Emergency (snow storm, sick child at home) Occasional (1-2 days per week) Consistent (at least 3 days) Ongoing (no on-site office) Locations vary: Home office Co-working site Coffee shop, library, etc. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  8. 8. What’s the secret to managing virtual teams? The skills you need to manage a virtual team are the same ones you need to successfully manage an on-site team. It calls you to leadership, goal-setting, performance management and communication. It requires you to spend time deliberately managing your team. In the end, both offsite and onsite team members benefit. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  9. 9. Create a high performing team What does that look like? Collaboration Productive meetings Communication/Info-sharing Individual accountability Trust/respect for one another Recognition/Celebration Opportunities for learning Transparency Great people No silos Shared goals ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  10. 10. Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George S. Patton ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  11. 11. Setting up a virtual team Approach A: Create a proposal and offer telecommuting/flexible work options to eligible team members. Offer a pilot program for 3 to 6 months with an evaluation, and option for ongoing arrangement. Approach B: Allow entire organization, department, team to work flexibly. Then: Establish and agree on rules of engagement. Have everyone sign a Virtual Work Agreement and review/revise every six months. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  12. 12. Virtual Teams Agreement Should include: How quickly team members are expected to reply to voice mails/emails The agreement is reciprocal-”we flex you, you flex us back” How often team members should report their activities, progress toward goals How often team members should input information into project tracking systems, customer updates, shared calendars, etc. Core hours Days/times everyone should be in the office Frequency of regularly scheduled team meetings, 1:1 meetings, etc. Whether new employees have to work in the office for 3 mos/6 mos. first Attendance at retreats How decisions will be made and documented Conflict-resolution procedures ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  13. 13. Your management style matters Trust vs. Control ? ? Where do you fit? ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  14. 14. Technology for virtual teams Enables communication, team-building and performance tracking: IM (MSN, AOL,YAHOO) Group Chat/IM (Campfire) Email WIKI’s (clearwiki.com) Project Tracking System (Basecamp, WorkZone, FogBugz) File Sharing (Google docs, Google calendar, Filesanywhere) Twitter Teleconferencing (VOIP to save $) Virtual meeting software (gotomeeting) Virtual whiteboard (Scriblink) ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  15. 15. Managing a virtual team Key Components: Create a new sense of place Communicate deliberately Set goals and track performance Choose the right people Global teams have extra needs ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  16. 16. Create a new sense of place ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  17. 17. Create a new sense of place If I can’t see you, how do I know you’re working? The average office worker wastes 1.7 hours/day surfing the internet, socializing with co-workers, tending to personal business, and running errands. Why? Not enough work: 17.7% Hours too long: 13.9% Underpaid: 11.8% Lack of challenging work: 11.1% 2007 Wasting Time Survey, Salary.com ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  18. 18. Create a new sense of place Meet every morning on Campfire (group IM chat) to say good morning, socialize and talk about any pressing issues for the day. Conduct virtual coffees/happy hours/birthday parties where no work discussion is allowed. Encourage team members to post their photo, photo of their home office, pets, and info about their likes/dislikes/hobbies/etc. Plan quarterly retreats devoted to team-building and getting to know each other. Welcome new members in group conference calls. Assign an onsite “buddy” to each virtual team member to keep them up on the latest gossip, happenings, etc. Celebrate successes, recognize great work, communicate with all team members electronically so remote workers aren’t left out of the loop. Take 15 minute water cooler breaks during the day. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  19. 19. Communicate deliberately “Don’t spend more than 30 seconds being angry without telling someone.” James Tyree, Chairman & CEO, Mesirow Financial ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  20. 20. Communicate deliberately Set guidelines for how and when to communicate. Be open and honest. Greet every team member every day via IM, email, or phone. Schedule a regular 1:1 meeting and stick to it. Don’t reschedule. Cultivate diversity of opinion. Record meetings for team members who miss. Publish all team members’ contact info in an easily retrievable place. Consider personality profiles and preferred communication styles of each team member. Customize your communication style to fit each employee. Pay close attention to written communication. Look for emoticons, changes in tone or length of communication. Ask about how team members are feeling. You don’t have the benefit of non- verbal cues, so you have to ask. Ask more questions of virtual team members to be sure you know where they stand. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  21. 21. Set goals and track performance Managing virtual teams means letting go of face time and shifting your orientation from “how” work gets done to “what” work gets done. It’s about performance and results, so everyone must be clear about goals and expectations. Both manager and team member share the responsibility for communicating the status of projects. Team members hold themselves and each other accountable. This creates transparency. Productivity increases because there’s nowhere to hide. The virtual worker either meets the deadline and produces quality work or doesn’t. As a manager, you’ll know either way. Performance problems rise to the surface and are dealt with. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  22. 22. Performance tracking technology Technology assists this transparency. From one dashboard, you can see each team members’ projects, tasks, contacts, to-do lists. Late items are flagged, contingencies are visible and at any moment you can view whether a project or deliverable is in jeopardy. You assign tasks, leave messages, share documents. You document conversations, save contact and client information. You track multiple projects, run reports by team member, by project, by late tasks, etc. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  23. 23. Choose the right people Some people are cut out for virtual teams, others are not. Consider a candidate’s interests, personality, motivation to learn and improve, track record of working independently. Get to know them: blogs they follow, leaders in the industry they look up to, books they enjoy. They must demonstrate that they can work well by themselves and enjoy it. Key traits: Self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-disciplined, strong work ethic Traits to avoid: Needs direction, wants peer approval, likes structure, looks to work for social life ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  24. 24. Tips for global teams In addition to the general advice for managing virtual teams: Enable team members from other countries to communicate during meetings. For team members who are less confident with their English, invite them to submit their comments via email at the end of the meeting. Rotate meeting times, so everyone takes turns being up in middle of the night. Create deadline days for when work is due. The “end of the week” means something different to other cultures and in other time zones. Pick a time zone that is the standard for meeting times, deadlines, etc. to avoid confusion. File sharing and project management software is critical for tracking customer notes, daily projects, and creates a seamless transition from one “shift” to the next. ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  25. 25. Additional Resources Co-working sites: See list at blog.coworking.info Regus-individual and corporate subscriptions For more information about virtual teams: lifemeetswork.com telework.gov teleworkexchange.com Resources from Sun Microsystems www.sun.com/aboutsun/openwork/ http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/openwork/managing_virtual_world.pdf ©Life Meets Work, 2009
  26. 26. Thank you! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me: Kyra Cavanaugh President Life Meets Work kcavanaugh@lifemeetswork.com 888-462-5691