I am a sales manager leading a team of 15 and our work requires the team to travel often to regional offices. A particular problem I have noticed is that the best of my sales executives face a problem during these travels as they do not feel aligned to any location’s teams. This is affecting their productivity as there is a huge disconnect between team members from across locations. I have tried to understand the problem and spoken with my team, but have been unable to bring much change. How do I change this issue which is really affecting my team targets? Should I ask HR to intervene?
From your question, it is not clear as to how you are structured, what business you are in and why people travel; hence, it is very difficult to give the right answer.
Regional offices are part of the extended teams of the people from the head office. The moment your head office people start looking at the regional offices as extended workforce who have symbiotic relationships with HO, your problem will get minimized. Maybe you have a structural problem, or maybe there is no expected synergy or role clarity. You have also stated that there is a disconnect between people across the locations and in turn, this is affecting the performance. Such disconnect will typically be a result of lack of team building efforts, lack of role clarity, lack of visible reasons for synergy creation, etc. This could be also due to political environment.
If the synergy and teamwork is necessary between people across the locations, the need for the same has to be apparent, the interdependence has to be clearly well established through the value chain, the benefits of the team work have to be loud and clear with adequate role modeling behaviors, examples of the positive results, etc. I guess you have to go in to the depth of the organization architecture, performance management system, rewards and recognition systems, role definitions, team culture issues, etc. to figure out the root causes of the problem and come up with the right solution.
Vivek is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based in Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region. Allow Vivek to clear your career & professional dilemmas by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org