Creating a shared vision - Without a compelling purpose it’s difficult to get people excited especially when working remotely. Achieving high-energy levels is very important for virtual teams. It’s vital to set achievable but challenging goals and make sure they are aligned with the vision and are measurable and specific. We know from experience that highly productive teams are those who are entirely focused on outcomes and results.
Team Set-up – We believe teams that are organised into cells or pods are more efficient. Building autonomous small teams of cells/ pods can create high-impact and dynamic sub-teams within the main structure. The cells or pods should be cross-functional and self-managing.
How are your teams currently organised? As a tactical response to remote working, if your teams are not divided into Pods, we would recommend introducing a Pod structure within your team. If your teams are already in pods of 5-6, it might be worth considering sub-dividing the Pods into smaller groups of 3-4 for certain activities particularly during COVID-19 lockdown. This is a subtle change which can strengthen support networks, promote intimate collaboration and drive accountability. We would recommend having a QA presence in each Pod/ Cell to provide file review and subject matter expertise.
Pledging - A daily affirmation from each analyst which details the precise amount of work they intend to complete each day. Pledging helps to incite and maintain behaviour change. It also promotes a self-steering approach to managing and owning a portfolio of work which drives engagement and productivity. We believe that team members are more likely to achieve the goals they have personally set themselves. Individual goals would need to align with the overall team objectives.
Virtual dashboards- Designed in a way that replicate the intensity and content of traditional whiteboard sessions. Make the standout performers visible. Make the successes visible. If people are all striving for a common goal, they are likely to be more focused and engaged which is very important when working remotely. Make sure you end each day with a list of wins and achievements- this builds team camaraderie and drive engagement.
Recognition and reward- Providing public recognition for a team member’s effort can have a hugely positive affect on team dynamic and future performance. How are you rewarding the stand-out performers or those who have made significant progress? Have you considered a monthly incentive scheme to drive team engagement and performance?
What can you do to better support your team in times of turbulence and disruption? It’s important to understand each team member’s personal situation and accommodate flexible working where possible. A team member will be far more driven to produce results if a leader has taken time to acknowledge their personal situation and has agreed a specific working arrangement.