Clear goals - Goals create both focus and alignment. In a virtual team, it is important to help the team look at things from both the individual and the team level. Make sure to stimulate conversation/focus on the individual level and also the team level around questions such as
What are your key priorities?
How does each team member connect into the larger interface of the team?
What is the overlap or gaps between individual and team goals?
What resources are needed?
In terms of sequencing, what needs to be completed first before another person can start?
Being clear on what success looks like and what is necessary to achieve this (resources, feedback loops, reporting structures)
Roles and responsibilities – In virtual teams it is important to spend time being crystal clear and granular in terms of what the roles and responsibilities of each team member are. Clarify issues such as:
how their work intersects with others.
Who they report to,
Who they receive feedback from and when.
Being detailed on this helps to clarify, and bust, assumptions which may be held.
Matrix relationships – It is likely that the employee will have a series of matrix relationships in some instances, especially if they are global. Being clear on what the reporting structures are and how and when issues should be flagged with each leader. Being intentional around the feedback loops are also important.
Creating Connection - In virtual teams it is very easy to overlook the fundamentals like creating connection across team members. In future posts we will explore different approaches and activities to create connection across the team. For now, take a look at these past posts which address the issue of creating connection.
Where are you as a team in all four areas? Take note of what needs attention.
With best wishes,
Potentials Realized | Coaching Team Leaders
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching(Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Team and Leadership Development | Coaching | Retreats
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