Values and Goals as Guidance

Learn how values and goals are vital to the success of the team.

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With fewer opportunities for informal interactions, formal values and goals for your staff become more important.

  • Values define the way in which the team works so that people can asynchronously make progress in a unified way. For example, is it important to bias toward action rather than asking permission, or is consensus always required? Should you move fast and break things or tread carefully as a team?
  • Goals define what the team is aiming for so that everyone is aligned. With a distributed team, goals become more important since they allow staff to work autonomously. As a manager you should be working with your team to set goals collectively and individually. Then, you can refer to them when planning iterations of work and also in your one-to-ones with your staff. Where possible, link goals back to measurable company metrics. Are you making the company more money, or increasing the time that users spend in your application?

Defining team values

You can run a workshop to define team values. By taking half a day, for example, your team can learn about each other and suggest and discuss values that you feel are important. For each, you can then define:

  • What does this value mean to us?
  • What does it look like in action?
  • How might it be misinterpreted?
  • How will we evaluate adherence to it?
  • How will it change our relationships or our interactions?

These can be drafted, worked on further, and ratified to further help remote workers understand how to act independently and autonomously.

Working toward goals

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