This week’s tip is all about getting you to think about matrix management. In the virtual space it is likely that your team members are part of multiple teams and may be reporting to several different leaders.
Remote team members may have a local leader or supervisor they see on a regular basis, and also a more remote team leader who actually works more closely with them on the macro level.
For example, maybe a person is part of a continent wide marketing team. This team is continent wide in focus, and because they are based in a more remote location, they report into a local office regularly. They are expected to work with both the local and regional leaders. Each team has different ways of working and different cultures. The regional marketing team is more laid back and creative, while the local team is detail oriented and fast paced. It can be a challenge for the employee to navigate both sets of working relationships, work cultures and leadership styles.
Key to this process is being intentional, and proactive, in discussing many of the issues that may emerge. If three-way meetings are possible – between the employee, the local leader and the regional subject leader, it can be useful to talk through how as a partnership you can be most effective in supporting the employee in getting the results needed for the organization.
Some key issues you will want to clarify early on in your communications within matrix relationships include:
- Clarifying roles, responsibilities and reporting structures
- Identifying overlaps and gaps
- Clarifying goals and priorities (especially if there are different priorities)
- Identifying resources available
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