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Managing Virtual Work Teams by Frankie S. Jones, Ph.D.

Managing Virtual Work Teams by Frankie S. Jones, Ph.D.

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Managing Virtual Work Teams by Frankie S. Jones, Ph.D.

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  1. Managing Virtual Work Teams by Frankie S. Jones, Ph.D. Employee and Labor Relations ©SHRM 2008

  2. Managing Virtual Work Teams This module is divided into three lessons: • Lesson One: An Introduction to Virtual Teams • Lesson Two: Building a Virtual Team • Lesson Three: Managing Conflict Virtually ©SHRM 2008

  3. Lesson One: An Introduction to Virtual Teams At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: • Define “virtual team”. • Explain why virtual teams are becoming so common. • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities of leading virtual teams. • Discuss the competencies and skills required of virtual team members and their leaders. ©SHRM 2008

  4. What is a Virtual Team? • Scholars and practitioners differ on the definition of team and the degree of virtuality. • The common factor is the predominant use of technology. • Definition:An interdependent group of individuals who predominantly use technology to communicate, collaborate, share information and coordinate their efforts in order to accomplish a common work-related objective. ©SHRM 2008

  5. Organizational Opportunities Virtual teams: • Enable organizations to adapt more quickly to the global economy. • Leverage talent. • Increase the diversity of perspectives. • Decrease travel and mandatory relocation. • Improve work-life balance and job satisfaction. • Decrease operating costs. ©SHRM 2008

  6. Manager Tracks and coordinates project tasks. Measures performance. Gives formative and motivational feedback. Distributes information evenly. Builds trust. Understands local issues. Senses team member conflicts. Spots talent. Communicates without the use of nonverbal cues. Team Members Access their manager. Receive formative and motivational feedback. Receive information. Feel trust for team members and the manager. Field local challenges of which the manager and other team members are not aware. Have special talents. Communicate without the use of nonverbal cues. Team Challenges ©SHRM 2008

  7. What is the role of the HR Professional? • Be proactive by recognizing virtual team trends in your organization. • Be strategic by planning and implementing policies and procedures that support and institutionalize the virtual team. • Ensure that virtual managers and team members have the competencies, skills and technologies they need to succeed. ©SHRM 2008

  8. Manager Coaches and monitors job performance (performance management). Ensures the appropriate use of information technology. Manages across cultures. Aids team members’ career development and transition. Builds and maintains trust. Networks. Develops and adapts standard team processes. Team Members Effectively manage projects. Network. Use technology effectively. Can self-manage. Span boundaries. Have good interpersonal awareness. Competencies and Skills ©SHRM 2008

  9. Case Study Part I • Scenario • Small Group Activity (15 minutes) • Debrief ©SHRM 2008

  10. Break for 10 minutes ©SHRM 2008

  11. Lesson Two: Building a Virtual Team At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: • Understand the similarities and differences experienced by virtual teams and collocated teams in the team life cycle. • Explain the characteristics of effective teams and how those characteristics are enhanced or put at risk when the team is virtual. • Create a kick-off meeting agenda that outlines the ground rules that should be set for virtual teams. ©SHRM 2008

  12. Team Life Cycle ©SHRM 2008

  13. Effective Virtual Teams Have: • Shared team objectives. • Knowledge of what to do. • Equipment to do it. • Ability to do it. • Desire to do it. Brown, Huettner, and James-Tanny (2007) ©SHRM 2008

  14. Set Ground Rules • Team goals and objectives • Roles and responsibilities • Formal and informal communication • Project and task coordination • Collaboration • Relationship and trust building • Performance management ©SHRM 2008

  15. Case Study Part II • Scenario • Small Group Activity (15 minutes) • Debrief ©SHRM 2008

  16. Break for 10 minutes ©SHRM 2008

  17. Lesson Three: Managing Conflict Virtually During this session, you will learn how to: • List and troubleshoot common conflicts experienced by virtual teams. • Evaluate the match between technological tools and work tasks. • Summarize the best practices of managing virtual teams. ©SHRM 2008

  18. Common Conflicts • Uneven knowledge dissemination. • Mistrust (e-mail lags). • Misinterpretation (no socio-emotional cues). • Relaxed inhibitions. • Reaching consensus is more difficult. • Longer to make decisions. ©SHRM 2008

  19. The Wrong Tool for the Task • Using IM to make complex decisions with several group members. • Trying to resolve conflict through e-mail. • Using a videoconference to ask simple questions. ©SHRM 2008

  20. Case Study Part III • Scenario • Lauren’s Agenda • Conflicts ©SHRM 2008

  21. Lauren’s Agenda • Getting-to-Know-You Activity • Team Goals and Objectives • Technologies We Will Use (open discussion) • Virtual Community (pictures and bios) • Status Reporting • Team Meetings • One-on-One Meetings ©SHRM 2008

  22. Conflict: Lags in E-mail • Delays in e-mail responses generate mistrust between two team members. ©SHRM 2008

  23. Conflict: Tool Not Matched with the Task • One team member complains that other team members use instant messaging to solve complex problems and a resolution is never reached. ©SHRM 2008

  24. Conflict: Knowledge Distribution • There is an uneven exchange of project knowledge. ©SHRM 2008

  25. Module Recap Activity • In pairs, list five things you’ve learned about managing a virtual team. • Share at least one of your ideas with the class. ©SHRM 2008