#WFH: Why You MUST Have a Remote Performance Agreement
Developing and supporting virtual teams requires a clear and mutually agreed upon set of expectations where roles and responsibilities and all the players’ needs can be addressed. Both formal and informal communication standards need to be discussed openly and honestly. To avoid muti-ny, leadership and team members must truly work on trust and avoid misinterpretation. A strong ef-fort needs to be made by all parties, management and team members to connect. This will help set up performance management approaches that really work. Learning and development for virtual team members should include coaching skills, emotion-al intelligence and social interactions, technology, listening and relationship building. Communication needs to be multifaceted and address the individual as well as the business.
The virtual workplace is not about the technology, it never has been and it never will be. It is all about the people. People are supported by the technology and by other people. People feel secure and work effectively when they trust in each other and they trust in leadership. Training and development in the virtual workplace is challenging but necessary to assure organizational competencies and optimal performance. It is essential that leaders in the virtual workplace understand how to agree upon, establish, and measure mutually agreed upon success. Technology, although necessary, should be so accessible and usable that they become transparent to effectively getting the job done.
Case in Point: Bendz and Meeger Lighting and Staging Company
In 2021, Fred Meeger was ready to close his company. As CEO/Owner of Bendz and Meeger, Lighting and Staging Company, Inc., a design firm in New York, NY, he was frustrated. Most of their workers worked virtually, most of the time. The business was doing okay financially but his employees were suffering and complaining. Going to work was a nightmare every day. People had very low morale and were angry and resentful. “I hate this. I got into my own business to get away from this,” Fred recalls. He heard gossip about how he ran things and about his personal life. His partner, Brad Bendz, suggested they consult someone before they closed the doors. Brad really believed this was a communication issue. Since most of their employees were virtual and not in the office, this might have something to do with what was going on.
What do you think the issues might be? How would you begin if you were the consultant? What questions might you ask?
What happens when people focus on being right all the time? How does gossip effect being able to meet business objectives? What solutions might you propose?
What role does leadership play in turning things around? How do difficult conversations help turn things around?
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