Journal: People Science - Human Capital Management & Leadership in the public sector Volume 1, Issue 2 Spring/Summer 2014 - Page 36

face, while at other times, virtual. Needless to say, we need environments to support these dynamic activities. Many organizations, including the General Services Administration (GSA) of the US Federal Government, have started changing their workplace environments dramatically to focus on the work and, as such, have eliminated dedicated desks and are creating a variety of spaces, each designed to support different kinds of work that happen throughout the day. Despite the recent proliferation of distributed work, it is no wonder supervisors struggle with the key question of “How do I manage a team I can’t see?” After all, this is a new reality for most leaders. The key is in setting goals and measuring results. By setting clear goals that are achievable and measurable, you’ll provide clarity and will naturally manage by results, not line of sight. In leading a distributed team, you have a heightened responsibility to effectively set the goals that focus the team on results and deliverables. So set goals that are achievable and measurable. This requires open and frank discussions with each team member to ensure that they fully understand and are personally committed to the goals established. Mastering goal setting is critical for driving effective teamwork and performance. When done well, each person will clearly understand their goals, how success is measured, how their effort contributes to the organization and relevant deadlines and schedules that guide their work. Be clear, concise and timely in communicating expectations to your team. Coaching and tracking the work process can help avoid project pitfalls, redundant work, and missed deadlines. Weekly one-on-one calls are a good way to stay up to speed and connect to your team, helping to ensure that the work is moving forward. Again, always measure performance by results, not the time you see people at their desk. When you think about leading a distributed team and how that is different from leading a co-located team, you’ll probably conclude that the core skills of a leader don’t change much. Fundamentally, good leaders use the same core skills regardless of where their teams may reside. However, the tools used and the emphasis on contact might differ significantly. For example, managers of distributed teams should get comfortable with using collaborative technology, ensuring that they understand how to connect with their team and their employees. Distributed teams often use tools such as instant messenger and video technology more frequently and at a higher level than co-located teams. Mika Cross One of the more important roles you can play as a manager is to help keep the work of the team visible for everyone to see. Most of the work we do, as knowledge workers, is invisible, but also highly collaborative, so the use of good technology tools that make that work accessible and visible to the team is a must. This level of transparency helps build team trust when they can see the work that their colleagues are doing. And it can also spark