Working Together is Success.

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Category: Leadership

It’s hard to find work places that truly exemplify teamwork. American institutions like schools, family structures, and pastimes emphasize winning, being the best, and coming out on top. Workers are rarely raised in environments that emphasize true teamwork and collaboration.

People in every company talk about building the team and working as a team, but few understand how to create the experience of teamwork or how to develop an effective team. Belonging to a team is the result of feeling part of something larger than yourself. It has a lot to do with your understanding of the mission or objectives of your organization.

In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. You work with fellow members of the organization to produce results. Even though you have a specific job function and you belong to a specific department, you are unified with other organization members to accomplish objectives. The bigger picture drives your actions — your business functions exist to serve the bigger picture.

You need to differentiate the overall sense of teamwork from the task of developing an effective intact team that is formed to accomplish specific goals. Managers confuse these two team-building objectives. This is why so many participants of team building seminars, meetings, and retreats dismiss the experience as a failure. Managers failed to define the team they wanted to build. Developing an overall sense of teamwork is different from building an effective, focused work team.

Spend time and attention on how you build a team that will contribute most effectively to your business success. Your team members will love you, your business will soar, and empowered people will “own” and be responsible for their work processes.

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Tips for Managing Virtual Teams.

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Category: Professional Perspectives

Kim Beckett shares tips useful for companies that are using virtual work teams. She joined Diversey in 2002 and has served in positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s Global Human Resources organization. In her current position as senior manager, Global Talent Acquisition, she is responsible for the design of Diversey’s global Talent Acquisition and Assimilation program.

Virtual teams are becoming increasingly popular as companies struggle to cut travel costs and still maintain global team synergies. For managers, it is essential to understand their roles and responsibilities in leading a virtual team.

No matter if the team is virtual or traditional (place-based), the manager must possess a skill set that enable the teams to achieve their goals. However, the skill set changes slightly for a virtually led team. The manager must build trust, communicate effectively, maintain strong technical skills and develop a cultural intelligence, while still applying traditional leadership skills.

Tips for Success:

  1. Draft a virtual team charter to create a successful virtual team. You should explain your mission, define objectives, assign each person a role and, most importantly, delineate the decision making process.
  2. Communication etiquette is also very important. Quickly establish a standard, so all team members understand what is expected of them. Your ground rules may include expected email response time and appropriate behavior for conference calls and video conferences.
  3. Conduct the initial team meeting face to face whenever possible. Studies have shown that team members who have met in person are more committed.
  4. Make all your actions as the manager transparent. Team input is very important, as is communicating information back to as many team members as possible. Be assessable and responsive; virtual managers need to encourage and model open communication.
  5. Create team profiles of interests, hobbies, and areas of expertise. If your team has not had the opportunity to meet in person, you may want to consider adding a picture of the team member.

What has worked for you in managing virtual teams or being on a virtual team? Let us know.

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