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Managing flexible schedules

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

On today's teams, it's not unusual for everyone to be working at different times. How do you help people work together in this situation? Some tips:

Reach agreements on what's expected when. Deal in results, rather than hours worked. For example, propose that Bill finish the Johnson project this month, and only then start on the next major effort. Agreements like this with members of the team help you coordinate their efforts and "see the big picture" regardless of when or where they're putting in their time.

Let people know how their work fits together. Help Sally understand that her report will be the basis of Joe's next effort. Encourage Fred to coordinate with Sandra, who can't complete the new product catalog until he delivers those final photographs. Ask your team members to work directly with each other to stay informed of deadlines, requirements, and options.

Bring your team together several times a year. Choose milestones--when John gets back from training, for example, or immediately after your team has completed a major project--as times to sit down and look for the answers to three big questions: What did we do right? What did we do wrong? How can we do better next time?


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