• Rarely, if ever, is no news perceived by employees to be good news. Senior leaders should conduct virtual "town hall" meetings to share information, clarify expectations and foster dialogue.
• Use "convergence software" (like WebEx, GoToMeeting or Live Meeting) to facilitate online meetings with audio and video. These tools also offer virtual document sharing, white boards and breakout sessions, mirroring what can be accomplished in person.
• Leverage online social networking and collaboration portals (like Huddle) to manage team documents and use message boards. An existing intranet portal may also be enhanced for these activities. Consider these options for formal and informal exchanges among employees.
• Use communication tools like instant messaging for real-time interactions and questions. This is a great way to communicate efficiently and build rapport among colleagues.
• Teams and work groups should schedule regular times to meet in the office to ensure alignment around key activities and enhance rapport
• Formal and informal opportunities for cross-level and cross-functional interactions should also be established. This will help prevent people from becoming "siloed" and isolated.
• Clarify any changes to roles and expectations for all employees, including themselves (in particular, any new responsibilities around virtual interactions).
• Partner with employees to set short-term goals for projects and assignments. They should also conduct regular teleconferences/videoconferences to discuss achievements, next steps and additional support needed.
• Hold weekly conversations with each employee about current performance and development goals. Make sure to allow time just to catch up and talk about how they're adjusting.
• Help their teams develop guidelines for how they expect to work together in the virtual environment, referring to the guidelines as needed.
LEARN MORE: Please read how Accenture uses a variety of tools to connect its virtual workforce.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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