Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on the topic, Takeaways & Learnings from Leading Teams Virtually in 2020. Thank you to our panelists, Mary Ball, Director, Rollout & Deployment at Target, Matt Herrmann, IT Director, Sales Enablement at Medtronic, and Bill Trubeck, Vice President, Information Technology at Abbott, for sharing what they have learned about leading teams in 2020. Thank you to everyone who has joined us as well! 

Below you will find an overview of the most popular questions from our members and a summary of what was discussed. 

What are the biggest challenges your teams faced, and how did you overcome them? 

The main challenges teams are facing are not having an in-person “drive-by,” where they can connect with their teams. It breaks up the day where now people are not taking as many breaks during the day. Many teams have always been working in a global environment and have always been virtual, but there isn’t a balance between work and home. Even in this virtual setting, spend time with your teams in a non-work setting and make sure you know the difference between work and home priorities 

What changes, if any, are you implementing for next year on how your team operates? 

The leaders agreed that they still want their team members to do what they would do if they were in the office. They want them to still have lunches, work out, etc. Leaders are also trying to have all team meetings to bring everyone together more often. While production value has increased, leaders are excited to bring people back into the office slowly.  

How did your teams work through adapting to this new working arrangement? Did you find that productivity & engagement was degraded, same, or improved? 

There is no substitute for being present in the office but seeing all the communication tools that are out there; does make working remotely work. Leaders have also been allowing people to create their own schedule. This helps keep productivity and engagement up. The leaders also thought it was important to understand that team members have bad days, especially with other things that could be going on at home.   

What are a couple of things that your team has adopted that work well? 

  • Regular touchpoints 
  • Making yourself available and flexible 
  • Give people latitude 
  • Starting meetings 5 minutes after the hour to give people time to decompress before the next meeting  

Given the greater acceptance of remote work today, to what extent are you seeing folks being recruited by west coast firms/how are you addressing this threat? 

Leaders understand that people need to do what is best for their career. With everyone being remote, it opens more doors for candidates. Leaders want to create an environment that team members never want to leave. They want to keep them excited about their organization.