Connection By Design: Leading and Growing a High-Performing Remote ID Team
Concurrent Session 6
“Virtual”, “remote”, “distance”… these terms describe a growing percentage of work teams and departments in many professional fields, including higher education and online learning. Join us as we share our experience with developing and leading a remote team of high-performing, engaged, and connected Instructional Designers.
This presentation will provide insight on the evolution and continued success of one of the most effective and longest-tenured teams within the TCS Education System organization – a team that has a) remained intact through periodic layoffs and reorganizations; b) scaled up from supporting a few online degree programs in one institution, to supporting five institutions all with multiple online and/or hybrid programs; c) become more geographically diverse over time, and d) done all this with essentially the same seven people. The Instructional Design department has been operating as a 100% remote team for several years, with an average length of employment on the team of 7 years. During that time, only one person has left the team. Team members report feeling empowered and motivated to produce at the highest levels, develop strong interpersonal and professional relationships, and consider themselves respected leaders in their areas of expertise. We would like to share how this came about, and discuss how implementing several effective strategies – both short- and long-term – may lead to similar success in your organization and on your team.
Key Takeaways We Will Explore
The following 9 team leadership strategies compose the main presented material; however, rather than simply reciting and describing these in order as if they were bullet points on a PowerPoint slide, we will instead highlight and explore each one as it arises naturally out of a larger narrative, as we tell the story of how our remote Instructional Design team has grown, adapted, and evolved over the past 9 years.
- Hire for the best fit.
- Balance expectations and autonomy.
- Balance fairness and individuality.
- Be available.
- Bring the team together.
- Grow and strengthen connections with the larger organization.
- Nurture the team’s community and resilience.
- Adapt and evolve.
In addition, the “three groups of three” structure will allow us to frame these strategies as being short-, medium-, or long-term interventions.
- At the beginning we will poll audience to identify role in their own organization/institution, and whether they consider themselves part of a “remote team”.
- During the presentation we will pose and periodically return to a thematic question or challenge for audience members to consider.
- With certain key topics, we will use an interactive ‘dyad’ format to help the audience identify and briefly discuss parallels and differences in their own current team situation, and pinpoint which strategies they can implement right away in their own organizations.