People Centric Virtual Work Program – The Engine of Engagement
Work Integration Team edited by Norma Owen and Charlie Grantham
How to Launch, Engage, Sustain your Virtual Team: Cracking the Virtual Team Program
Why even think about this?
When canvasing and researching managing remote teams you may be left with feelings of being overwhelmed and ready to run to the hills. Or, perhaps as HP notably did, decide remote is for the birds and everybody should continue to stay at the office. The only problem with that decision is that studies now show that keeping everybody under one roof increases cost while alienating key talent. The pros and cons nicely shared with those who care to dig deeper by Global Workplace Analytics.
We are going to focus here on the Healthcare industry. Why? $500B in administrative expenditures, that’s why. Healthcare delivery in the United States can be expected to undergo a significant transformation within the next 5 years. A combination of relatively high global costs; sub-par outcomes and shifting demographics will drive this change. Further, it can be expected that these changes will be propelled by the regulatory environment as well as increased within sector competition[i].
So, here’s the bottom line. We know from previous research and experience that approximately 30% of that cost can be removed, and team productivity increased by 15% if those functions are moved to ‘virtual work’ environments. Huh? Reduction in real estate costs, lower turnover and recruitment costs, decreased errors in processes. But over time the real force multiplier is increased capabilities of the employees, more engagement and increased customer satisfaction on the front end.
As daunting as this may seem, with a little strategic foresight planning, you and your team can successfully launch, engage and sustain a remote team. We’re going to use a mechanical metaphor because some of us are recovering ‘gearheads’. Here are three cornerstones to start your planning: The Pinion Gear: Hiring, Policy, Tech Tools, all with employee support, Gear Velocity: Engagement and People Centric Processes, (Communication, Connection, Collaboration) Machine Output – The RPMs: Client Centric Company Results
Each of the gear functions is a thesis paper and rightly an engineering project into itself. For today and the 5 minutes you have to garner some key wisdom, we’ll walk through a high-level overview. Quick tip to keep in mind, as the graphic shows, these are interrelated and if one gear moves it has implications for the others. You need to envision the entire gear train as a system. Transmissions without an engine is nothing; and unless tightly connected to the wheels where ‘the rubber meets the road’ not much going to happen to drive your business.
Setting the Pinion Gear: Hiring, Policy and Procedures, Tech Tools, and all with employee support to remove barriers and add enablers. A pinion gear is the smallest of the gear set in terms of energy needed to make it move.
Gaining and Sustaining Constant Gear Velocity: The process of people engagement within the work process. Communication procedures and methods. Connection creating social networks to mitigate isolation. And collaboration to reduce friction in the work flow. $1 dollar in, $2 dollars out.
Machine Output – The RPMs: Ultimately this is the stable, constant velocity part of the business operation that yields results per manager (RPM). System sustainability is created here. Programs which leverage engagement from previous gears are now instutionalized through a formal ‘virtual worker’ certification program which increases the employability of the virtual workers (WIIFM). $2 dollars in $10 out.
- A People Centric Virtual Program and several interlocking parts
- They must be designed and maintained as a sustainable system
- Leverage is gained at every step along the process
The good news is that we know how to make this happen. We’ve been around this race track before. We are about “Virtual Work Done Right”. Who are you going to call? We’ll let the Fab Four take us out:
 See our “The Future of
Healthcare and Technology” Executive Briefing. Available upon request.