Bizcertainty: Leadership in volatile times.
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teamonascreen by bizcertainty

How stay at home is forcing a new kind of management

Introducing Team on a Screen

Team on a Screen offers:

Remote Management Strategies

  • Access to suitable software
  • Contact plan
  • Hours of operation requirements/expectations
  • Clear expectations and reporting
  • Summarise and confirm agreed expectations
  • Provide consistency, clarity, confidence

Virtual Team Development

  • Establishment of team goals and recognition
  • Importance of reimagining expectations and operating methods
  • Acceptance and recognition of change

Communication Strategies

  • Regular communication times and availability
  • Involving all participants
  • Care with tone, pace, volume
  • On time requirements for meetings
  • Individual communication and feedback patterns
  • Positive feedback and recognition of effort and involvement
  • Listen carefully and acknowledge comments and input from the team

Engagement & Retention

  • Maintenance of calm and suppression of panic
  • Honesty and openness
  • Establishment of routines and sense of normality

Performance & Deliverables

  • Setting of reasonable expectations within new environment
  • Suggestion that individuals consider and put forward own and team performance standards and deliverable expectations

Step by Step Action Planning

  • Remember that much that is normally taken in occurs visually and compensate for this by verbal clarity, well thought out communication and materials sent through for consideration prior to discussion
  • Check that sent materials have been read and understood
    Use a document sharing and editing system that is easy to use and available to all such as Google Docs
  • Document everything that is discussed and agreed to and send after meetings and start each meeting with a reflection piece on what has been discussed and agreed to in the previous meeting
  • Remember to seek clarity from participants and summarise what has been agreed to/decided
  • Have participants submit ideas and materials for sharing at an established deadline prior to meetings

Team on a Screen – 10 Management Tips

These tips were compiled by Dolores Cummins, a leadership expert, business transformation and change management consultant.

Team on a Screen
  1. Provide structure – in order to effectively synchronise the time, efforts and outputs of a remote team – allocate & clarify key roles, tasks, expectations & deliverables. Set aside time throughout the week to check in individually and collectively with the team.
  2. Set the team up for success – leverage technology, systems and message channels. For example zoom, slack, skype, Microsoft teams, Onenote, yammer, WhatsApp are all useful. Ensure shared access to diaries, files and required resources for effective work flow.
  3. Invest time to build a sense of community – establish shared goals and a common purpose. This builds mutual trust, respect, & accountability which increases team confidence, commitment, collaboration and intrinsic motivation.
  4. Manage the team process – establish realistic boundaries on working hours and delivery expectations. Allow flexibility for team members managing multiple priorities at home. Encourage down time, thinking time, and exercise time. Encourage creative and innovative thinking.
  5. Daily work rhythm – help the team establish daily work routines and schedules.
  6. Communication – the more the better. Meet regularly to clarify priorities and responsibilities. Be available to answer questions, provide feedback and direction. Communication is especially critical when operating in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) or in a situation where team members are concerned about job security or the future of operations etc. Providing as much certainty and reassurance as possible reduces stress and anxiety which in turn improves mental wellbeing and increases performance.
  7. Client management – ensure consistency of message, approach and delivery priorities.
  8. Incentivise teams – use outcome based performance incentives rather than time based. Acknowledge and reward efforts and achievements.
  9. Support wellbeing – Build in social connection time. Introduce fun activities e.g. bring your pet to work, ‘funny hat Friday’, Thursday afternoon drinks etc.
  10. Step up and lead the team – with calm, confident and courageous leadership and the ability to adjust between giving directives and enabling autonomy. Celebrate wins.

References & Further Reading:
Gilson, L., Maynard, M., Young, N., Vartiainen, M. & Hakonen, M. (2015)
Virtual team research: 10 years, 10 themes, and 10 opportunities. Journal of Management, 41(5), 131-1337

Levasseur, R. (2012)
People skills: leading virtual teams – A change management perspective. Interfaces, 42(2), 213-216


Illustration by Samantha Zaleski