With today’s blog post, we are now up to Strategy #12 in our ongoing video series on leading virtual or hybrid teams. Today’s tip is to set standards for response times to emails and voice mails.
Set standards for response times to emails and voice mails
Back in Strategy #1 in this series, I identified that one of the four success factors in leading virtual or hybrid teams lay in setting clear expectations on goals, timelines, milestones, and availability. A very important component of that is to set standards for checking and responding to emails and voice mails.
One of the frequent complaints I hear from both employees who are located in the office, and from customers and clients, is that they can’t reach remote employees when they need to. This problem can be avoided by setting clear expectations about how often ALL staff are expected to check and respond to their email and voice mail. This doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to be reasonable. For example, voice mail will be checked at least once every two hours, and e-mail at least twice daily. Or something else. Then make it point to let your staff and your clients know what your standards are. Most people don’t mind waiting a reasonable amount of time for someone to get back to them. It’s not knowing HOW long they have to wait that drives them crazy, and becomes the source of discontent and dissatisfaction.
For previous strategies in this series on leading virtual or hybrid teams, follow these links below:
- Strategy #11: Make a deliberate effort to give your staff positive feedback
- Strategy #10: Have weekly structured one-on-one meetings with your staff
- Strategy #9: For team meetings, have all your staff join virtually
- Or just access the full series here: Leading Hybrid and Virtual Teams Video Series