When you think of teams, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A sports team? A team is simply a group that works together for a common cause. The hard part is having a successful team. I have found most people wanting to know the difference between a virtual team and a “real-life” team.
I spent several years with a large pharmacy chain in HR. And during that time I had anywhere from 40 stores to over 700 stores at one point. Each of those stores would have a manager, at least one assistant manager, at least one shift supervisor, and several cashiers, as well as two to three pharmacists, and four to five pharmacy techs. In total, on an average day, I had about 1,000 people under me as an HR manager.
At one point I had close to 7,000 because I was covering for several other HR managers. So having a transcription company using a virtual team where I have ladies that work for me everywhere from Florida to Colorado to Canada to several in the UK and several in Australia, gives me a solid idea and some solid examples I can give you for the difference between virtual and in real life teams.
In real life teams are typically easier to manage because you’re at arm’s length. When I used to go in to my stores and they could hear my heels clicking, they knew they were in trouble. They always said that I walked with purpose, and usually at that point I was either honked off and ready to fire somebody or honked off at the company. So being in front of someone makes it a whole lot easier for you to get the response that you want in a timely manner.
Virtual Slaps don’t Hurt So Much
Not that I advocate violence. When you’re dealing with a virtual team, they’re obviously only at the end of your email reach, or phone reach. But not arm reach, typically. Because it’s very easy to ignore your phone, or ignore your email so it’s sometimes harder to get a response from your employee. So for example, it’s always possible that something’s come up and they’re busy, but it’s also possible that they’re doing something else and they just don’t want to work.
On Wednesday, we’ll continue talking about real and virtual teams in Part 2.