5 pitfalls facing remote support teams

| By: Jeff Bishop

IT Nation is ConnectWise’s annual all-inclusive technology solution provider (TSP) conference in Orlando, Florida. In addition to high-impact breakout sessions, powerful keynotes, and awesome parties, the event itself embraces a specific theme.

This year, the focus was on technology teams within the IT space, and the bustling conference halls were covered top to bottom with reminders of the importance of trust, empathy, agility, and modesty as the foundational elements of healthy, successful teams.

These principles aren’t made up. They’re part of a vetted, research-based methodology by a best-selling American author…

Enter Patrick Lencioni: writer, team aficionado, and IT Nation 2017’s guest speaker! In his meaningful keynote, he showed IT Nation attendees how to identify and cultivate the ideal team player in their current and future employees. He also identified the five core dysfunctions that stand between teams and success. From top to bottom, they are:

  • Inattention to detail
  • Avoidance of accountability
  • Lack of commitment
  • Fear of conflict
  • Absence of trust

Let’s take a deeper look at the 5 dysfunctions of a team through the lens of a remote support service team.

1. Absence of trust

This is the base layer of Lencioni’s dysfunction pyramid because without trust, any team is doomed to fail. Think of it this way: have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you couldn’t trust your colleague to carry out a task, or give you accurate information? How did it make you feel?

If you work on or manage a remote support team with people you can’t trust, then you know how difficult it is to ask for help, express vulnerabilities, and bond with them. That makes it much harder to excel at your job.

What you can do about it: ConnectWise Control® offers up a community of remote support professionals you can trust. With the Host Pass feature, you can invite other techs to interact and help you through complex situations. Ask your questions, learn best practices, and draw insight from their experience in just a few clicks.

2. Fear of conflict

A wise, pointy-eared Jedi Master once said: “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Maybe fear of conflict with your remote support teammates isn’t that dramatic, but when you break it down (like I’m about to) you’ll see that a fear of conflict is a real threat to a healthy, high-functioning team.

Looking closer, remote support team members need to feel comfortable talking through issues and disagreements with one another. Great ideas for process improvement, service delivery, and more can come out of conflict when other teammates feel safe to express their opinions and perspectives.

Members of high-performing remote support teams are eager to learn and take pride in being the one to solve an issue, and then share how they succeeded with the rest of the team.

What you can do about it: High-performance teams stay in constant communication with their peers. So, create an environment at work where people don’t feel intimidated to speak up, even on sensitive work-related topics. Hosting daily standups can help with this, and is an effective practice of Agile Methodology.

Encourage everyone to participate so no one gets overlooked and everyone’s opinions can be observed. Make it part of their daily tasks to document their notes, and make those notes accessible to the rest of the team for reference when they need it.

3. Lack of commitment

Ambiguous priorities…missed direction…these are the contributors that breed lack of commitment in remote support teams. When it’s not clear who’s supposed to be doing what and when they’re supposed to be doing it, it’s easy for team members to bow out of their daily responsibilities.

What you can do about it: Remote support teams need to be in alignment when it comes to goals and objectives. Provide clear direction and help other team members move forward together without confusion or hesitation.

4. Avoidance of accountability

We’ve all worked with that one person that can’t be depended on to uphold their end of shared responsibilities, and even refuses to admit fault when doing so. And one person’s poor performance on a remote support team can quickly spread if it’s allowed to go on for too long.

What you can do about it: Encourage accountability between teammates, set goals, and hold regular performance evaluations on those KPIs. Make it known that poor performance won’t be tolerated, and then stick to your guns.

ConnectWise Control’s audit log offers visibility into the details of each session, including when a host created, connected to, disconnected from, or deleted a session, and more, to ensure the team focuses on their tasks.

5. Inattention to results

So, you’ve checked the boxes on dysfunctions one through four, but you’re not out of the woods yet. Members of remote support teams whose performance is measured solely on their individual performance will always fall short of their growth potential, and here’s why:

Great teams grow together. Remote support teams who are tied to mutual goals are more likely to work together to ensure commitment, good communication, and accountability to reach that shared goal. Teams that reach their goals can enjoy success together, which is a fantastic motivator to get stronger, better, and faster.

What you can do: Provide your team with the tools they need to meet the goals you’ve set. Invest in an ecosystem of solutions that scale with your business and offer single-pane-of-glass visibility that’ll let you create and foster a culture of accountability by tracking the granular details of every task.

How much your employees and colleagues love their jobs (and how successful they are at those jobs) is highly dependent on how well they get along, how knowledgeable their teammates are, and how much they respect the experience of their supervisors.

Ready to inspire teamwork at your office? Start with the remote access software that comes with a global community of remote support professionals ready to help you say “goodbye” to the five dysfunctions of a remote support team for good.