The current situation in higher education, with new remote offices and supervision, came without the usual months-long planning and implementation plan. Many of you are likely figuring it out on-the-fly, which is a strategy many will attempt. The author of the article, Gary DePaul, recommends strategies to do better than just fine.
I thought this was an interesting topic for anyone who has had to move to a remote office location, or has a supervisor who has moved remotely.
You might be tempted to figure out what to do as you do it. Don’t. When transitioning to virtual teaming, you need to plan carefully your steps. Start doing this by managing your communications.
When I analyzed how managers behaved for one of my clients, I discovered that some managers didn’t distribute work fairly. They gave the most challenging and interesting assignments to their best-skilled performers, but their least-skilled performers either didn’t have enough work or were left with transactional work.
Manage the Work
Early in my career, I applied for a job that had a team of in-person and virtual performers. I interviewed with one virtual teammate who asked about how I managed virtual employees. I forgot the answer I gave, but the high performer made it clear that I didn’t answer it to her satisfaction. She told me she needs a boss who will leave her alone and let her do her work. I didn’t get the job.
As the work occurs, monitor appropriately (see the previous topic). Ensure that your team understands the expectations, and provide conformational or corrective feedback when needed.
Managing UpBy Gary A. DePaul, PhD, CPT, HigherEdJobs.com, March 18, 2020
As your team works and matures their virtual interactions, communicate progress to your boss. Verify expectations and that your team is doing the right work with the right priorities. As with your team, ask your boss for feedback. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help.