Discuss about the Virtual Workers and Global Labour Market.
DEF is one of the largest specialist organization offering financial advices to the people in Australia. Three financial advisors established the company in the year 1994. In the recent times, the company employs more than 300 staffs and has linked with partner firms in all over the country. The company also practices retirement seminars and financial planning besides providing specialist advice. The financial advice is facilitated in various fields, which includes superannuation, retirement, aged care, divorce and corporate activities. The organization focuses on growth and quality as it has a very strong industrial reputation.
The organization is recently expanding its business and aims to offer innovative services to its clients. With the help of financial advice phone line, the company plans to operate in business activities. The advice line team can be a virtual team, an overseas based global team or an Australian based self- management team. The report will discuss the best chosen option from the three, which is a virtual team. Therefore, planning, controlling, structure, organizing and leading of the virtual team will be discussed.
Planning is very important in outlining the course of the business beforehand. The procedure o the business usually begins while reviewing and identifying the needs that are required in the upcoming year (Krumm et al. 2016). Through planning the steps can be determined that is required to obtain the desired goal.
Increase in the level of competition and expectations, high performing virtual teams are increasing in the current times. A virtual team will be comprising of total 30 employees and would be working from Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 10 pm. Virtual team practices is increasing at a rapid pace due to various reasons. This includes shared resources, high number of cross-organizational projects, outsourcing and partnering. Due to the advent of latest technology, the people can now easily telecommute and have flexible hours.
The main objective of any team is high performance. It could be easily possible through continuous performance improvement. There should be common understanding between the people and honor individual cultures. This would lead in creating an effective team culture while working across the organizational boundaries. Team members should be able to work independently and communicate in a smooth manner. DEF will ensure that all the employees are given proper training to make the efficient in the following ways:
- Planning and managing tasks
- Understanding technology infrastructure
- Collaborating effectively in the work group (Hoch and Kozlowski 2014)
- Conducting virtual meetings
- Managing the entire client’s phone call in a highly efficient manner.
There are various macro-environmental factors that affect financial service industry. Tax changes, trade barriers, government policy changes and the demographic changes are few of the examples related to macro changes. With the help of PESTEL analysis, all the factors affecting the industry can be analyzed.
Political factor: Australia is a high developed economy, and the country’s political and economic condition is fully stable. This provides the investors a much higher degree of confidence and certainty. The effectiveness and transparency of the government is rated highly. The financial services provided are attributed to an effective system of balances and check (Ellwart et al. 2015). The country has an effective law enforcement system. Stable political environment leads to multi- lingual employees. The factors lead to sophisticated business market and perfect environment through technology and innovation`
Economic factor: in Australia the current exchange rates are highly favorable and adequate to make any financial decisions. The economic growth of the country is higher than most of the other developed country. Generally there is a very low degree of risks that affects the economic condition of the country. The financial service industry enjoys maximum advantage due to the stable interest rates, strong GDP growth, rising exchange rate and a very low level of inflation.
Social factor: the changes in various social factors can be due to the increase in demand for the organizational services. Consumer demographics and attitudes of the people towards financial services have changed a lot in the recent times. The financial service industry in the 21st industry has taken an entirely new dimension for customer satisfaction and orientation (Charlier et al. 2015).
Technological factors: technology is virtually everywhere in allover Australia. Majority of the business operations are carried with the help of effective technology. Technology had led to increase the convenience related to banking. The financial service industry’s security and privacy issues have grown rapidly due to the rise in technology. It has led to improving the quality of life of people by reducing cost and innovative strategy.
Environmental factors: in Australia, sustainable growth is considered to be an important element for carrying business. The financial service industry is vulnerable to catastrophes. The industry also faces unfavorable loss development. The industry also has to publish their annual environmental reports that help in creating a positive image of the organization and reducing several operational costs.
Legal factors: these factors are concerned with the legal environment in which the organization operates. Legal changes within an organization are affected by the firm’s cost. Before accepting or signing the contract, it is important to seek professional legal advice from all the specialized authority (Buchanan 2015). The financial service industry has to face considerable impact due to changes in state or federal laws. It also leads to delay in the takeover attempt of the organization.
Virtual team is the rising new trend that is followed across all the business sectors. The major benefit of using virtual team is that huge expenditure related to real estate, utilities bill and office expense is reduced to a great extent. This further leads to the reduction in the production as well as operational costs. Virtual team leads to increase in the productivity of the organization as it supports more effective organizational structure (Algahtani 2014). The team does not have to further deal with bureaucracy, which can slowdown the decision making process of DEF.
Moreover, virtual team creates new opportunities for all such individuals, who are hesitant to relocate, and less mobile due to being physically challenged or family requirements. On the other hand, the major disadvantages of virtual team are conflict, lack of collaboration and lack of trust. Most of the communication that takes place within the organization are mostly task related this can lead the individuals to be socially isolated.
Self-managed teams can provide their employees more job satisfaction in the daily operational activities of the business. The direct involvement of the employees can help in identifying the objectives more closely (Han et al. 2015). The employees get immense satisfaction by developing new problem-solving and decision-making skills. Self-managed teams have lower turnover rates and absenteeism and also improve the organizational productivity. Self –managed teams also have certain drawbacks like recklessness, inefficiency of the employees, demand for equal treatment and extended time.
While an overseas team management can provide chances to exploit and identify all the required opportunities that are present overseas. It provides flexibility to control or expand the operations when required. It furthermore provides opportunity to extend the intellectual property rights as well as registration in other markets. The major drawbacks related to the overseas –based team management are that the costs are generally high to expand business overseas. The risk is high and also involves various financial and legal implications in establishing the business overseas.
A virtual team exists with the help of telephonic and electronic communication. The virtual teams needs to be properly organized and should develop trust among each other to make the arrangements productive in nature. The virtual employees and the managers should be available online when the required time is available. While developing trust in one another and exercising discipline will make the team more effective.
In the world of internet and mobile technologies, it is generally easier to manage the dispersed members present within the virtual team. The team members collaborate online and participate in video conferencing by discussing the real matter to realize the common objective (Al-Haddad and Kotnour 2015). The virtual teams are easily manageable. The teams are built around with highly formalized regulations and rules. The major decisions are made by the centralized level or the higher authority or the main directors at DEF. The new team division is mechanistic in nature. The decisions that are made are followed by a specific chain of tasks and commands that highly specialized in nature. All the employees within the organization should know to whom they should report. It is highly important that the employees interact smoothly with each other. Their main goal is to provide financial services to their customers.
Leading is another major element of the organization and it is one of the core functions of the management. Leading the employees helps in motivating and influencing the employees to achieve the desired goal for the organization. The leading functions of a virtual team would help in motivating the employees to go forward to attain the goals and objectives of the organization (Buchanan 2015). Leading improves the confidence level of the employees that further helps in developing their morality. This furthermore reduces any types of chaos or conflict of interest present within an organization.
The virtual team is characterized by team that operate it business activities far away from the organization (Algahtani 2014). The communication technology tool is used an interface to interact with the main company. The virtual team offers a unique challenge while managing the business activities. Therefore, it is important for the leader of the virtual team to adopt a combination of three major leadership styles (Iorio and Taylor 2015). The major leadership style includes transformational, transactional and situational leadership style.
The best leadership style that is best suited for the virtual team to achieve the goal of the management is Transformational leadership. As per the transformational leadership approach, the different mechanics to inspire and motivate the employees can be used through this transformational approach (Puni, Ofei and Okoe 2014). It requires proper support, care and intellectual support. The virtual team leader is expected to perform the following activities:
Creating team identity in the formative stages: this involves using tools like video conferencing and orientation mail. This further helps in creating shared virtual team values and culture as per DEF organizational culture.
To build trust: trust is the major element required for a successful virtual team. It is important for the leader to foster trust among the employees as it would help the members to prepare for the deal beforehand (Pangil and Moi Chan 2014).
Encourage collaboration and cohesion: the leader should offer a share platform to the employees so that they can easily discuss the learning’s, suggestions and opinions freely. This would help the employees to reflect their opinion.
It is the duty of the team leader to provide opportunities to the team members. The members should connect with each other at a personnel level through team meetings. This would aid in building relationships, which make the employees engaged and committed to the purpose or goal of the team (Maynard and Gilson 2014).
In the case of traditional team structure, DEF used to organize business parties and ceremonies to reward and motivate their employees. The common approach to celebrate the team success would involve cash and non-cash payments in the form of public appreciation, certificates or customized merchandise (Ellwart et al. 2015). The performances of the employees were appraised both as an individual and at team level.
When the teams are distributed in a global manner, it becomes a challenge for the employees to recognize and reward their performance in an encouraging manner (Sivunen 2016). In the case of virtual team structure, such kind of rewards and appraisals are more important. The feeling of isolation is experienced more by the virtual team members as compared to the co-located teams. In the followings ways the performance of the team member would be encouraged to keep their morale high.
- All the team members should take out adequate time to appreciate the performance of each other. This should enhance the team bonding by highlighting all the particular actions that contributes to the success of the team.
- It is relevant to use opportunities like the client calls, open house and group meetings so that attention can be drawn of the employees for better performances (Lockwood 2015).
- Using e-newsletter, e-certificates and e-announcement to cite the efforts of the employees that contribute towards the success of the team.
Virtual ceremonies are highly innovative in nature but are a less utilized method to celebrate the success of the overall team. Moreover, a personalized congratulatory note by the upper management also gives immense pride to their employees (Schulze and Krumm 2017).
Effective communication is an essential quality of a high performing team or management. Without regular and clear communication the performance of the team as well as team cohesion suffers top a great extent. In a virtual team structure, the communication is done through non-verbally in the form of technology (DellaNeve, Gladys and Wilson 2015). Trust is an essential feature of an effective and smooth communication between the team members. It is important to set clear expectations for the team members. This would help in creating a shared sense to communicate in a positive manner to achieve the desired goals.
A common language should be created in the virtual team. This facilitates in setting expectations for the team. Moreover reduces any potential for uncertainty and also negative interpretation of the team member’s communication (Gilson et al. 2015). The communication channels by the virtual team should be chosen appropriately. In addition to this, both task –oriented and so0cial-oriented communication should be encouraged within the organization. Efficient selection of communication channel would help in improving team cohesion and productivity.
The controlling of the virtual team structure can be quite challenging as corporate culture is required to be created remotely (Morley, Cormican and Folan 2015). The effective strategies that showcase the importance of controlling the virtual team are as follows:
Establishing multiple communication tools: The advantage of setting up multiple communication is two-fold in nature. This unifies procedures that are used for screen recordings and conference calls. It is also important that the work system should be defined to the employees by setting well-established standards (Kasemsap 2016). The employees should be allowed necessary freedom so that the task is performed efficiently.
Schedule regular meetings: scheduling briefings to the employees contributes in creating a routine work. This helps the employees to reduce stress and managing the work more efficiently.
Creating a better work environment: while controlling the virtual team’s distraction free and positive work- environment is essential (Han et al. 2015). This leads to increase the productivity of the employees and also maximize the organizational growth. It is vital to reward and recognize the people as per their capabilities to make the team motivated.
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