Name: Ahmed Conteh
Instructor. Paul White
Date: July 30, 2023
The article, “Managing Virtual Teams” by Felgate (2020), is my selected reading which elaborated on the situation of how managers and teams have to strategize, recast, and re-engross with their teams. The outbreak of covid-19 forced organizations to adapt to virtual work environment that constituted the “World’s largest work-from-home experiment” (Times magazine) 2020. One of the author’s key points is how managers used to manage teams in offices, but now have to engage them in virtual teams management. The author wants readers to learn and appreciate the possibility and importance of working outside the traditional work environment under the physical presence and supervision of a manager.
Here is an overview of my work:
The shift from in-person to virtual work came as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the author targeted people in managerial roles, who are in felt need of providing safety for their employees and retaining or improving their work output.
The article is useful to team leaders/employees and business leaders, because the covid-19 pandemic is counter-productive and a good example that creates the opportunity for everyone to know the effectiveness of alternative work environments in emergency situations.
The choices the author uses to connect with their audiences are by itemizing or identifying the major concerns of the audiences, with clear and concise approaches and solutions to their problems. He particularly cited the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a global crisis that could easily attract the attention of the audiences. The article contains six recommendations that provide the main strength of the author’s argument (individualization, clear expectations, workflow adaptation, technology provision, communication, and support).
In Yendor Felgate’s article Managing Virtual Teams (2020) He uses strategic methods and disciplines to educate managers about the new virtual work environment, so, my claim is that he wrote a convincing message in the article about a more effective way of managing teams virtually. And my supporting reasons in his analysis are the six recommendations he stated to guide managers to a successful adaption to the new work setting outside the traditional work environment. “individualization, clear expectations, workflow adaptation, technology provision, communication, and support” 2020.
He made reference to Gallup’s study on employee engagement: “Gallup, 70% of the variability in employee engagement is dependent on the manager”, and from the Times Magazine,
Covid-19 pandemic created the “World’s largest work-from-home experiment” (Felgate, 2020) He also identified and provided solutions to the problem, and he targeted his main audiences: managers, business leaders, and employees.
The author Felgate, in his article “managing virtual teams,” highlighted six recommendations to strengthen the process of managers to re-think and strategize on how to manage workers from a distance and meet the same expectations as the traditional work environment. When the covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the only meaningful choice for organizations was to move all operations to work from home. However, it was difficult for managers to adapt to the new work situation, due to the fact that some of them felt they had to be physically present to be good coaches, unsure that they could manage their remote teams from a distance, 2020. And those managers who lacked strong relationships or trust with their teams and were used to doing things by themselves, not delegating tasks, had difficulties in holding their teams accountable from a distance, so they struggled to recover in the remote work environment. He made the following recommendations: (1) “individualization is key”; treating employees individually plays a key role while working from home, as every person’s needs may be different, though this can be hard when working from a distance with a larger team. Also, managers need to know how each employee performs best, their concerns about workflow, and how they handle their emotions while engaged in telework. (2) “Communication”; Managers will need to prepare for more open communication like conference calls, because some employees need more interaction to boost their morale at work and provide assurances that they are not alone. They may also feel cut off from resources that are available in the office.
(3) “Set expectations early and clearly”. In order to engage employees to run on the same page, expectations should be set earlier and clearly communicated, in line with the five P’s in strategic planning: prior, proper, planning, prevents problems. (4) “adapt your workflow”. Managers are to set expectations for employees, with the same rules and workflow at home, as they did in the office, so as to enable them to perform better by working with familiar rules. (5) “provide the right technology”; For employees to effectively perform their duties, they require the right tools. A successful and vibrant virtual work management requires appropriate, complete, and effective equipment to enhance a positive collaboration with the team and work output. (6) “support your managers”. Managers need the support of employees during this tough and unusual time. All managers are worried about the success of the task they are accountable for, most of them with the perception that they have to be physically present to manage a team successfully, and they are also worried about managing teams they can’t see. The transition period from office to virtual work is difficult for managers to adapt to, and can create a negative psychological impact that can reduce work output. Employees must therefore support their managers to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
This paragraph identifies the main points that helped me form my analysis.
The claim made by the author is strong. He focuses on managers to rethink, reimagine and re-engage with their employees about the new virtual work environment. Felgate, 2020, in his article illustrated several sources to back up his claim and see the true picture of the situation at hand. The message in the article is useful to readers for their understanding of the potential challenges managers encounter during the transition to the new virtual system. He also gives useful recommendations to support managers in a successful new work environment: (Individualization, clear expectations, workflow adaptation, technology provision, communication, and support) which provide the main strength of his argument. Additionally, he provided references from Gallup’s study on employee engagement: “Gallup, 70% of the variability in employee engagement is dependent on the manager”, and the “Time magazine, the
pandemic, that the Covid-19 pandemic created the “World’s largest work-from-home experiment” (Felgate, 2020) since the pandemic has accelerated the need for work from home, or remote work, which was a necessary option for the safety of employees. Also, he shared his concerns and then provided solutions on how to handle the situation. Furthermore, the author is able to capture the attention of his audience through a systematic approach in a clear and concisive manner of communication.
Author: Yendor Felgate Document Type: Article Date: December 2020 Source: MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMS.
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