Apart from motivation, the employees' competences and skills are the most crucial factor in teamwork and a key to success.
Companies that can accurately assess their employees' skills make better decisions relating to: recruitment of new employees, internal promotions and talent development programs.
The employee competence assessment begins with characterizing the desired skills for specific job positions. In the case of virtual teams, there is a particular set of recommended skills, particularily suited for this style of work. The most important ones include: being independent in planning and organizing your work, business awareness, being goal-oriented and result-oriented, effective communication using electronic communication tools, decision-making skills.
We characterize the skills by describing the behaviors we expect from the employees.
Certainly the best way to assess the employees' actual skills is to directly observe their behavior and to compare it to what you want it to be. However a virtual team manager does not have many opportunities for such direct observations except during teleconferences and through electronic correspondence.
The solution we offer here is the Virtual Assessment Method, i.e. a set of online tools which include tests, questionnaires and case studies. This system also provides a way of monitoring the assessment process and controlling the pace and style of replying to queries. On top of that, what we offer our clients are tools addressing the skills specifically related to virtual teams. Of course the results of the remote skill assessment are not as accurate as the results of the classic Assessment Center / Development Center workshop (which we offer as well), but this is the cheapest solution to the problem and it's very convenient for dispersed teams. Let's imagine we're recruiting a new team member after receiving many job applications from the candidates:
Other main aspects of virtual team management: