Don’t Forget Virtual Team Members in Your Succession Planning


When it comes to career opportunities, the old adage of “Out of sight, out of mind,” is often a worry of team members who work virtually. Unfortunately, it’s true. In the absence of a physical presence, virtual team members sometimes don’t get nearly the attention during succession planning as those who are physically located near their bosses. Yet with more and more work being done from remote locations as close as the next building and as far as another continent, leaders ought not to overlook this pool of talent.

Virtual team members, particularly those of globally dispersed teams, develop team member skills that not only serve them well, but also leadership skills that are transferrable to a variety of situations. Virtual team members develop skills of self-awareness and self-management, managing multiple priorities and multiple reporting relationships, communication skills, and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment. Team leaders hone their coaching and performance management skills, relationship management, and cross-cultural management abilities. These skills of both team members and leaders should not be overlooked as organizations develop their succession plans.

Leaders who keep these tips in mind will find they have a richer pool of talent from which to draw as they plan for their organizations’ future.