Setting Expectations for Virtual Teams

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  • 0:03 Why Are Expectations…
  • 0:34 Roles
  • 1:09 Establish an…
  • 1:39 Clarify Roles and…
  • 2:11 Clarify Stakeholder…
  • 2:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tonya Brewer

Tonya has a Master of Science degree in Accounting.

In this lesson, we'll learn about setting expectations for virtual teams. We'll see how establishing a purpose, clarifying stakeholder expectations and conveying roles and responsibilities help in setting expectations.

Why Are Expectations Important?

If you think back to your first day on the job, you were given instructions on what you needed to do. You wouldn't have been able to do your job if you didn't know what was expected of you. When it comes to a virtual team, a team whose members interact primarily through electronic communications or devices, setting expectations is even more important. Even if you have the greatest bunch of individuals in the world, if they don't work together, the team won't be worth a dime. Setting expectations starts with managers and team members.


A manager is responsible for ensuring that clear expectations are set and that the team members clearly understand how they will be held accountable. Managers must work with the team to develop expectations, but it is the team member's responsibility to ensure that they understand the guidelines given by the manager. Team members should ask for assistance if they are having trouble meeting the expectations set.

A manager can help their team succeed by doing the following:

  • Establishing an understood purpose
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • Clarifying stakeholder expectations

Establish an Understood Purpose

In order for a team to succeed, they must have a purpose. To accomplish this, managers can create a purpose statement. This will explain the desired outcome. It is much easier for everyone to accomplish goals when they know exactly what is expected. It allows each person to be on the same page and equally motivated and committed to the purpose. Some items that you could see in the purpose statement include:

  • How work is to be submitted
  • Regular and ad hoc communication standards
  • Deadlines

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