Tips for staying in touch with virtual team

To work remotely you will need to make changes to:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • workplace chats.

Territorians need the work we do in the Northern Territory Public Service to continue over the coming weeks.

Find out about how to manage a virtual team and how to set up your virtual team.

Employees and managers can find out more about working from home and work arrangements.

Types of remote meetings

Not all meetings need to be structured. Use any of the below that suits your needs.

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Director and senior leads can meet daily.

Follow the below steps.

Step 1. Prepare agenda

An agenda sets the purpose and ensure your results are clear.

It can include touching base, commit to actions for the day, and find out about the changing situation so you can be ready to respond.

Step 2. Set a facilitator

One person facilitates and calls on others for input.

This ensures there is time for all to speak.

Remember, you may have staff skyping and others phone in.

Step 3. Set a time keeper

One person is the time keeper.

Their role is to give each person a few minutes to talk, with a 30 second 'times up' notification.

Step 4. Focus on the days work

Adding a video at the start can help with team cohesion and active listening.

It will help the team to focus on outcomes and deliverables.

Focus for the team’s day. Be brief, with specifics.

You should tie back to required outputs, strategic priorities and  KPIs as required.

Step 5. End of meeting

You should review of outcomes and actions.

If you are not having them, you should start.

Test and adjust to see what frequency works best.

You can choose to do them:

  • weekly
  • fortnightly
  • every three weeks.

Step 1. Prepare agenda

An agenda sets the purpose and ensure your results are clear.

It can include touching base, commit to actions for the day, and find out about the changing situation so you can be ready to respond.

Step 2. Set a facilitator

A facilitator will help with any collaborative work / or to have free flowing conversations.

Their role is to check all team members have had input.

They can also make sure communication happens outside of the regular meeting.

Step 3. Start the meeting

It’s always helpful to start with good news.

Try to include a divisional wrap up for both personal and business achievements.

Focus on what priorities are and who needs what input and help.

Raise what’s not working by distance or more generally, so you can fix issues as they arise.

You can also share what’s working.

Step 4. End of meeting

You should review of outcomes and actions.

You can keep the team connected by meeting weekly.

These meeting can focus on relationships in your team.

They are important to help reduce isolation.

They can be fun, silly and meaningful to touch base.

Working in isolation can have a negative impact on people’s well being over time.

As a leader, your job is to set up routines that bring your teams together.

Its important to stay connected when working with virtual teams.

A weekly team chat can include the following:

  • take three big deep breaths together
  • share what’s good - high fives and thanks on this week’s best bits
  • recognise anyone who helped you.

Consider having a ‘question of the week’.

For example what work from home routines have been helpful / not worked?

Make sure everyone who has something to contribute gets the chance to do so.

Consider having a week in review team catch up.

There is lots of good information backed by research.

Get support

You can find support for managers and your team through this unusual time of COVID-19.

Get an insight into how to lead your organisation in a lockdown economy by Esher House on YouTube.

Go to the Mckinsey & Company website and hear about surviving in today’s COVID-19 world.

The Collective Impact Forum website has different approaches you could consider to help adapt in a changing world.

Find out what a formal and informal daily huddle is and why it contributes to top tier organisation’s success on YouTube. Teams may benefit from a similar approach.

Last updated: 07 April 2020

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