Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying your team's potential, part of Managing Virtual Teams.
Smart phones are prevalent in the business community and there is app for almost anything. But do we know every single app that exists? Probably not as there millions. In fact, most of us probably don't even know the extent to which we could be using our phones let alone the available apps. Your remote team probably has hidden potential in the same way your smart phone does. A key difference is that you can see, touch, and configure a phone, which you can't usually do with your remote team members.
You can see the result of remote employee's work but you often don't get a chance to see how your employee works. How they got from point A to point B and produced their results could well remain a mystery. While there's not an app for that there are some things you can do that might help make it easier for you to identify your teams potential. Here are some common struggles managers of remote employees face and some recommendations that can help you maximize what your team has to offer.
Let's start with the common struggles that can impede your ability to identify and promote the potential that exists with your team members. The first is, obviously, the lack of face time. If you are managing a remote team, you might already know that it can be difficult to assess someone when cannot watch how they work. Second, you often have to guess the time and effort they are taking to accomplish tasks. The last struggle to share is your employee's availability.
In general, scheduling a conversation can seem harder than it should be simply because of where your remote employees work. Especially if it's in a different time zone. Given these struggles, here are a few suggestions about how you could start trying to identify areas of potential with your team members. First, ask them. If you are interested in identifying your team's potential, consider asking them what they think. This could even be a good time to use the democratic/participative management style we discussed in the previous video.
Second, conduct skills assessments. We talked about this a bit in an earlier video. If you've done a skills assessment, review the results from each one of your team members and create a candidate workshop inventory you could consider for each employee. Third, present some scenarios. Come up with some plausible scenarios or situations your team could encounter and pitch them to each employee and ask them how they might do things. This could help you understand more about what your employees process.
That thing that gets them from point A to point B. Lastly, ask about extracurricular activities. What organizations or activities are they involved in outside of work. For example, if someone is in Toastmasters, they might be a great resource when creating or designing presentations. Finally, here is one more suggestion. Let go. Allocate items from your personal to do list to ambition team members.
The more uncomfortable it is for you to let go of a to do list item, the more it can build upon the potential of a team member. You don't have to go away and not ask for updates or not answer questions, but if you genuinely let a team member explore possibilities and produce items in their own way, using their tools and capabilities, it is a fantastic way to identify and promote your team's potential. Can identifying your team's potential be difficult? Sure.
Does it have to be? Not necessarily. You might find yourself making it up as you go along but now, hopefully, you can use these suggestions to make this process easier and more effective until they do create an app for that.
Discover how to build rapport, set mutual expectations, communicate, connect, overcome conflict, get work done, and grow the team. Also included is a look at the top five challenges managers face in leading remote teams and helpful solutions that will get your team on track.
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