Discussion, Business, Communication

2021/2/15 Topic: Class 17 Discussion: Effective Groups and Teams

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This is a graded discussion: 100 points possible due Feb 16

Class 17 Discussion: Effective Groups and Teams Joseph Barnes

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If I could turn back time, I would have spent far more time in college learning how to create effective groups and teams. This is so important to your career as a business leader, especially because we have far more remote groups and teams due to the pandemic. And it’s expected that more people will continue to work remotely than pre-pandemic times.

By the end of March 2020, over 100 countries had instituted some form of lockdown, confining millions of people to their homes (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52103747) and forcing many companies to ask their employees to work remotely. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

Even though COVID-19 has added to the number of people working remotely, the World Economic Forum reports that an estimated 7% of employees in the US (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/working-from-home-coronavirus-workers-future-of- work/) already had the option to work from home before the pandemic arrived. This implies that the virus may have given a boost to a trend that was already moving in the direction of remote work. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

Learning how to create and facilitate effective groups and teams is a critical skill for your success.

One step is understanding how the Gallup/Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment you took in BUAD 1000 comes into view. By making a group/team assignments on projects based on each person’s strengths, everyone can be more successful.

There is a difference between “groups” and “teams:”

“A group is a collection of individuals who coordinate their individual efforts. On the other hand, at team is a group of people who share a common team purpose and a number of challenging goals. Members of the team are mutually committed to the goals and to each other. This mutual commitment also creates joint accountability which creates a strong bond and a strong motivation to perform.” (bizjournals.com 2013)

Several elements make remote work different from the traditional work structure. Thus, remote work requires different skills from those needed in the typical work arrangement. For instance, remote work calls for better time management, the ability to follow written procedures, and the knack to communicate using information and telecommunication technologies effectively. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

2021/2/15 Topic: Class 17 Discussion: Effective Groups and Teams

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As a leader, it would be a mistake to think that since people already know what they should do in the office, it should be clear to them what is expected when working remotely. Thus, it is vital to ensure that everybody clearly knows what is expected. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

A study published by the Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2017/11/a-study-of-1100- employees-found-that-remote-workers-feel-shunned-and-left-out) concluded that “remote workers feel shunned and left out.” If not appropriately managed, isolation and loneliness could become the basis for physiological and physical health challenges. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

There is no dispute that you have to establish procedures and expectations for your remote team. However, this doesn’t mean that you are the only one who should develop them. It is for this reason that you should invite the team to participate when creating these rules. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

When team members work in the same place as the manager, it’s easy for an employee to walk into the manager’s office and inquire about something. When working remotely, your team members may not always have an idea of where you are at a given time. Thus, you would want to be clear about how you will keep an open line of communication and remove any communication barriers (https://online.scu.edu.au/blog/communicating-in-virtual-teams- risks/) . (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

One way of ensuring that communication happens regularly is to block certain times of the day [or week] and inform employees that they can book short sessions with you during those blocks. You could then have a calendar so that remote workers know which blocks are taken. (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

To ensure that everyone is clear about how communication will happen within the remote team, consider creating a communication strategy. This will determine the number of meetings you will have with your team. In the strategy, look at such issues as limiting noises in the background, decorum around what team members can have in their backgrounds during video calls, and the use of meeting templates (https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/topics/one-on- one-meeting-template/) . (peoplemanagingpeople.com 2020)

As for group and team meetings, I found having the following makes meetings far more effective:

Purpose of the Meeting Intended Results Agenda

When I use this structure I send out the information before a meeting so everyone is on the same page. And it works!!

Question: Using your group/team college experience thus far, and thinking about your reading, as a future business leader what do you think are the best group/team guidelines and why?

2021/2/15 Topic: Class 17 Discussion: Effective Groups and Teams

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peoplemanagingpeople.com (2020) 27 Best Practices For Managing Remote Teams In 2020. Retrieved from: https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/general/tips-managing-remote- teams/ (https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/general/tips-managing-remote-teams/)

bizjournals.com (2013) The difference between a group and a team. Retrieved from: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2013/06/the- difference-between-a-group-and-a.html (https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how- to/growth-strategies/2013/06/the-difference-between-a-group-and-a.html)

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