The Gap Between Strategy and Implementation: How the Virtual Workforce Changes the Game
Having a strategy for a virtual workforce is a vital part of creating one, but the right level of implementation is also highly important. Some of the confusion a company may experience when trying to set up a virtual workforce comes in when trying to mesh the strategy they have with the way the workforce actually has to be implemented. A company that can address that and reduce conflict between what things should be and what they actually are will go further than a company that struggles to adjust to the ways in which their virtual workforce is developing. Here are some steps to help mesh implementation and strategy.
Choose an Identity for the Company
A manager who is working toward the development of a virtual workforce needs to know what that workforce will mean to the company. Because of that, the company identity is something that should be clearly addressed and figured out. Companies that are strong entities and that know what they want and what they are can move forward with a virtual workforce more easily. They have to be clear on what the workforce will offer to them, or there is actually no point in development of the workforce at all. The information provided by a company to that virtual workforce hinges on the company's identity and development.
Remember That Bad Leadership Can be a Big Threat
Good leadership is the way in which strategy is conveyed to the virtual workforce so implementation can take place. Without strong leadership, a company that works to develop a virtual workforce may find that they can get very little accomplished. That is generally due to conflicts between what the workforce really should be doing to implement new ideas and meet goals, and the strategy that the company and management is using to make sure the workforce gets things done. In short, it leads to confusion that needs to be addressed, and when that is not taken seriously the virtual workforce is at a loss for how to proceed.
Focus on Growing and Developing
Every company needs to grow to succeed, and the same is true for every virtual workforce, as well. With the right interaction between the workforce and the company itself, the strategy that the company has can be implemented. Then the company can use the workforce as a catalyst for growth, which is a lot of the reason why a company would use a workforce like this in the first place. No matter how much the company wants to grow, and the strategy it has to do this, the virtual workforce needs the ability and authority to implement this strategy or there is a lower chance that the company's changes will be successful.
Move the Strategic to the Everyday
Strategy is important, but if it is not implemented it will not get a company very far. By using the virtual workforce to move the strategic over to the everyday, a company can get much further in a shorter period of time. This is done by taking each strategy for growth that the company would like to use, and breaking it down into actionable ideas that can then be spread out through the virtual workforce. When each person is working on a piece of the company's strategy, the workforce is better able to implement that strategy in a faster and more effective manner which benefits everyone involved in the process.
Be Selective With All Opportunities
A virtual workforce can help a company utilize options and opportunities, mostly because it is so diversified that a variety of opinions and ideas can be collected, discussed, and offered. This is important to note, since the strategy a company might have for something could seem viable on paper but not actually helpful when it comes time for implementation. By letting the workforce help decide if an opportunity is a good one, it is easier for the company to get valuable, quality input and then be selective with the kinds of risks it takes. Without a virtual workforce, less information is available for the company to consider.
Utilize the Best of the Cultural Differences
While cultural differences can cause difficulties, they can also be great sources of inspiration, guidance, and value. For companies that come up with strategies they want to implement, discussing those with a virtual workforce where there are a lot of different cultures present can be a very good idea. If there are cultural reasons why a particular strategy would be a poor choice, it is wise to discuss these before anything is implemented. That allows the company to make changes in order to reduce the chances of offending a particular culture or simply having that culture not respond to the new product or service.
Cut Costs, But Do Not Cut Quality
Cutting costs is usually very important for almost all kinds of businesses, and having a virtual workforce is one of the ways to implement cost cutting measures that a company may be interested in. Despite that, though, it is important not to cut quality. Hiring a good workforce is necessary, whether they are virtual or traditional. A company that employs a strategy to cut costs will want to develop numerous ways to implement that strategy, and choosing to hire a quality virtual workforce is one of the ways that can be done. Virtuality typically costs less, even with the need for good technology and other requirements.
Shaping the Future Happens in the Now
For every company, work must be done today to create the future that is desired for tomorrow. Continuing to work on strategy is very important, but so is implementing that strategy the right way. With a virtual workforce that costs the company less and provides that company with a lot of great value and information, it is possible for the company to implement its strategies more easily and effectively. That benefits everyone at the company, including the employees within its virtual workforce.