Capstone Project Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Capstone Project Case Study Analysis

In addition to this, the literature discusses the relationship between the arrangements made by the managers, which enables the employee to work from home and their quality of work or productivity. The information provided in the study could also contribute to the current understanding and knowledge on virtual teams as well as support in promoting the social change through applying and creating identified actions & strategies, in order to build and maintain trustworthy relationship; reducing the chances of project failure, improving the job performance, and training of virtual team leaders and members. The literature discusses the style of managers’ leadership, who are accountable to foster the collaboration and communication among the employees.

Some researchers in their study stated that the individuals prefer to work from home, in a telework environment because of the fact that they could work in the environment which is conducive to the increased concentration and connection, with an inclusion ofminimal interactions and interruptions, which allow them to work efficiently. Additionally, some researchers highlighted other benefits of working in a telework environment, which include: anincreased performance of employees, lower organizational expenses, high employee’s morale  and employees’ autonomy. On the other hand, some researchers mentioned the drawbacks of  working remotely, in a telework environment, which include:weak relationship with coworkers and managers, feeling of less concentrated and less connected to the organization, feeling out of the loop in the politics and decisions and feeling of personal and professional isolation and being less motivated.

Additionally, the prominence of communicating in a telework environment in today’s era shows that the organizations are not reluctant enough to conduct meetings with employees. The adoption of remote work in almost every organization, has led to a higher extent of productivity and efficiency.

In addition to the sudden adoption of remote work in the corporations; the responsibilities and roles of the managers as E-leadersare required for successful outcomes of the meetings in telework environment. It is because of the fact that the manager as an E leader, faces numerous challenges and difficulties in maintaining and building a trustingrelationship, project coordination and team work among the members of virtual team. Also, the relationship between the levels of diversity and team effectiveness could be simplified through knowledge sharing and mutual trust.

Furthermore, conducting meetings in a telework environment also lead to the loss of interaction and connectionwith other colleagues, employees and managers, which is related with the skill and career development of employees. The interactions and connection could be informal conversation, mentoring form supervisors and colleagues, interpersonal networking as well as transfer of tacit knowledge. Not only this, the employees are confronted withthe challenges of participating and involving the group norms and values, due to not sharing the same experiences.

Moreover, the employees feel satisfied with working remotely in a telework environment when they are allowed more flexibility and autonomy in how their work is done, which in turn enables them to meet the job and personal demands. The elementsthat are highly preferable by employees when it comes to working from home in a telework environment, include: flexibility after competitive benefits and salary.

The literature discusses various favorableas well asunfavorable factors in conducting meetings in a telework environment. To successfully conduct the meeting in a telework environment; the manager should act as E-leader to build mutual trust and knowledge sharing among employees and to make them connected, motivated and engaged. By doing so, the managers would be able to maintain the flow of work and communication, due to which the team would mutually reach to the desirable outcomes in response to their commitment to the organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the attention of the current research study has been focused on determining the role of the managers or E-leadership in virtual environment, in order to provide practical tools and theoretical insights to the virtual leaders, to lead distributed teams effectively. Additionally, the research paper is designed to have a closer look over the moderating effects of the virtuality on the productivity of the virtual team members and ultimate profitabilityto the organization.

The role of the managers around the world in the management of the remote workforce because of the novel coronavirus, is evident and could not be ignored as the managers are engaged in designing a remote-working policy to ensure that the current policies work to deliver the desirable outcomes. For many employers as well as the employees; teleworking is perceived to be favorable due to a number of benefits offered by it, which include; fewer distraction, an increased productivity and flexibility, but it might not be an optimal choice for everyone.

The prominence of communicating in a telework environment in the response of the deadly disease – coronavirus, is the reminder that the technology could assist the employers of the organizations in managing several risk and threats, for example: teleworking allows the organizations to reduce the degree of risk of losing productivity due to the catastrophic or regular traffic disruption.Due to the idiosyncrasies of running the business operations virtually; it is significantly fundamental for virtual leaders to understand the role of technology.The computer mediated technology has become a fundamental medium of communication, with the passage of time.

In addition to this, it has facilitated an online business environment and virtual business environment for many periods.There are number of advantages of running the business operations virtually for corporations, such as: more flexible arrangement for work, lower cost of running premises, improvementin the quality of local air, less traffic congestion in metropolitan areas and decrease in the greenhouse gas emissions.

At the individual level; the productivity is reported as a perceived benefit of working in a telework environment for the organizations due to many reasons, which include: reducing incidental absence, working in an environment which is conducive to the increased connection and concentration, reducing the interruptions and distractions and working at peak efficiency hours.It has been found by the researchers that effective leadership is necessary for the virtual team’s optimal performance. The members of virtual team should embrace the abilities, skills & knowledge associated with the conscientious work, in order to counteract the threats of less salient identities of work, heightened self-regulation need, reduced cohesion and trust, asynchronous communication and cue deprivation.

Due to the team dynamics, the leaders are confronted with the unique challenges with virtual teams. The leaders of the virtual team should provide feedback, have effective skills of communication, as well as rely on knowledge to their team members. (Eissa, A framework for leader effectiveness in virtual teams, 2012). There are many challenges which are required to be overcame by the virtual team, which include: lack of personal social contact, building trustworthy relationships, overcoming the cultural difference and communication barriers (Levasseur, 2012).

 Recommendations

The coronavirus epidemic has presented unprecedentedchallenges, which are continually evolving with the passage of time. With core consideration of coping with these issues; there are many organizations that are finding and exploring ways of assisting their team members and employees to productively work from home, in a telework environment. However, it is pertinent to note that the shift from the face to face management to the virtual management is not simple or straight forward. The management of the virtual team is not as simple as handling the regular work teams. The managers responsible for conducting the meeting with the employees or virtual team; face various challenges while communicating and coordinating with them, which could be overcame with an intentional management and planning. In the uncertain as well as fast moving situations; many managers of the multiple organizations all around the globe, are facing challenges in conducting impromptu meeting with the employees and communicating with them, throughout the crisis.

Virtual communication tools

As a leader, the managers need to act as the leaders and make the employees well-informed through posting information in a highly visible location, regularly. The location could be the company’s intranet, virtual – email, Facebook channel or Slacks. There are various ways through which the managers of the organizations could conduct an impromptu meeting in the telework environment and allow the team members to read the emotions of one another, and help to boost each other’s morale and productivity. Additionally, the alternative means of communicating with the employees in a telework environment, improves the decision making by brining alternative voices into the conversation more fruitfully and allowing them to debate on the ideas more efficiently and effectively. (Matviak, 2020).

The managers of the organization could switch to real time and better media to conduct impromptu meeting, which include: virtual facetime, Skype, web chats and video conferencing. Facetime could be used for personal as well as professional purposes, such as: for communicating with a group of up to 32 people. All of these tools could be used by the managers of any organization, as it allows the teams members to have an increased understanding and mutual knowledge, which reduces the sense of isolation among the employees.

For the video check in meeting, the managers can use video conferencing, which is done for the establishment of the rules of employees’ engagement. Another way of communicating with employees in a telework environment, is Google Hangout, which is focused on video conferencing and business solutions, under the name of Hangouts Meet. Furthermore, Zoom video conferencing software allows a free options of up to 100 participants. In addition to this, Join.me is an online meeting and free screen sharing software, which allows the managers to customize the meeting background, enabling the participants to have smooth communication and collaboration between them.

In addition to this, Microsoft Teams is a robust way of conducting impromptu meeting with the employees, as it tends to bring the employees together for video meeting, chat, audio calling into one hub, which is very useful for teamwork. Additionally, it is the persistent chat based platform for communication and collaboration among employees, with useful feathers, such as: online meeting, document sharing and many other useful features for business communication.

Another recommended online meeting tool is the DingTalk, through which the managers of the organizations could conduct impromptu meeting through gathering tens of people in an online room as well as sharing his screen with other employees. It is a globally used tool, which ensures smooth communication and collaboration.

Guidance for managing work remotely

Foster communication and collaboration

While communication is quite necessary for the managers, it has become of paramount importance when working in the teleworking environment – not only in terms of conducting impromptu meetings and documenting decisions but also for reaching out to the members of the team. In accordance to the study outlined in the Harvard Business Review, it is stated by 46 percent remote workers that the best managers were those, who checked in regularly and frequently. (Wingard, 2020).

Additionally, the managers could gauge where a member of the virtual team might be on the spectrum of change through communicating with them about their concerns, feelings as well as answering their queries. It is significantly important for the manager to pay attention to whether the team member is focusing on the past or future,and, to listen to their reactions in the non-judgmental mode.

Revisit the basics

The move to the home based working is one of the greatest opportunities for employees to revisit the basics for the purpose of assuring that everyone understands the objectives of the team and their individualistic roles. Coronavirus is a disruptive event that persuades the organizations to generate competing and new tasks across the business. In a consequence, the managers of the organizations need to clarify the goals and objectives at the individual as well as the team level, in order to keep the team members to stay focused on the key priorities. It is natural for the employees working from home to feel isolated, lonely and disconnected, which lowers the engagement and productivity. The manager are responsible to keep the conductance of impromptu meeting with employees or team on track. Under these circumstances, the managers are required to become exclusively task focused. They should make time for the personal collaboration and interaction, to address these challenges.

Connect virtualteam members

The manager should be responsible to connect each and every member of the virtual team because of the fact that people feel comfortable when they engage with each other, which tends to afford the greater degree of mutual trust. The role of the manager as a leaders, is to keep the employees connected with each other, in order to have a productive meeting. The managers of the organizations should have personal-professional check in at the start of every meeting. This could be done through giving one minute to employees or team members as well as to go around to communicate with themabout what is going on in their lives professionally and personally. The manager should also inform everyone to not interrupt any person with whom he is communicating.

Knowledge sharing

Nevertheless, there is an increased awareness influence dynamics, including: knowledge sharing and the employee engagement, which are is pivotal to the successful business performance. It is imperative to note that the firms with high engagement level tend to have lower employees’ turnover, higher productivity, higher total shareholder return and better financial performance. On the other hand, the knowledge sharing hold equitable importance since it can build learning organization, facilitating decision making capabilities, as well as stimulating innovation and cultural change. In a changing marketplace, it is important for the managers to focus on influenced dynamic, as the foundation for offering an insight into the knowledge sharing and employees; engagement for the enhancement of the performance.

Encourage collaborative problem solving sessions

In addition to this, the meaningful environment and the involvement of employeesare associated with the engagement of employees. The manager should encourage collaborative problem solving sessions, which would replace the standard report outs that most likely weigh the meetings down. It is when the managers or the leaders of the virtual team raise a topic for the group discussion and the team members see each other as a source of advice.The reason behind this is to unearth the viewpoints and information as well as to generate fresh and innovative ideas in response to the challenges being faced by the businesses.

Engaging workforce

The timeliness and nature of the effective internal communication dramatically impacts the conductance of corporation, and specifically engage and impact the valuable employees. Engaging workforce is intellectually, emotionally, physically and mentally essential for the success of an individual as well as the organization,defining the clearly stated rating scale for the behaviors and competencies of the employees related to the specific level of the performance.

Provide feedback

The managersare required to deliver the feedbacks to their employees in a timely manner. The peer feedback would effectively work, in terms of building accountability to the team’ success and creation of an engaging and collaborative work environment. To create an open environment that fosters the communication within the team members, would result in many benefits, such as: an increased and improved efficiency and morale, continuous improvements, necessities fulfillment, innovation, synergy, better & faster decisions as well as pool of expertise, ideas and resources.

Assign Yoda

In order to get the team members engaged and actively participate in the virtual meeting; the manager should assign Yoda,as it keeps the members of the virtual team in line as well as assures that each and every member stays on topic and remain active at the same time. At the critical point during the virtualmeeting with employees; the managersneed to turn to Yoda as well as ask “so what is happeningin here that nobody is communicating about? This in turn, allows the Yoda to encourage the risk taking and express candor of the team.(Ferrazzi, 2015).

Conclusively, the managers or leaders should prioritize the development of clear guidelines and boundaries, and act asmentors for the team members when transitioning a team in a telework environment. At its most basic, the managers or leaders should help the team members in delineating their presence and availability,allowing the team members to have an access to them when they feel a need to reach for different needs. Additionally, the expectations should be set by the managers or leaders for their entire team members, and they should share measurable and new metrics of success. Staying focused on the goals and objectives is fundamental when embracing the remote workforce.................................

 

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