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Dear Work Therapist - communicating with someone unengaged


My valuable teammate lost his phone .We all work remotely and trying to find him has been a challenge since I can't make calls and he is poor in responding to slack messages .How do I get his involvement ?

3 answers

It's so simple, but setting rules of engagement for how teams should communicate with each other is paramount for effective teamwork.

  • Does everyone provide updates through software at a certain time each day/week?
  • For quick questions, is it best to ping via chat tools or send an email? Or is setting up a meeting for designated back-and-forth preferred?
  • Who should respond to team questions and what is the expectation on how often they should respond?
  • What MUST everyone use to check in with each other and what is OPTIONAL?

Once you get a hold of your teammate, perhaps enacting rules of engagement for your team will help prevent a lack of engagement down the road. From the "Journal of Education for Business," a study on "The Effects of a Team Charter on Student Team Behaviors" showed that team charters (or explicit goals and ways of working for a team) improved performance, support, and member satisfaction. 

Of course, this doesn't help connect with your teammate right now. What might be helpful is setting up a meeting so they can prepare to connect, and using a communication tool that doesn't use mobile service. If your teammate is able to work, then they have a computer, and if they have a computer, then they can access meetings through the internet.

Good luck, @Victor Kenneth , and let us know what happens!

@Christine P. Dela Rosa You have conveyed it so rightly!

Like Christine P. Dela Rosa likes this

use software like Teams to call him

with no phone, maybe remote work should not be allowed for him (until he got a new one) because he has to respond to some calls.

if you and team members can not reach him, your boss has to make some decisions...

I agree with you though ,there is one challenge .He is a valuable member .He had  started working on a project that would be a challenge to delegate .The Boss option is great .What if I am the boss in the situation ?

as boss

tell him that it only works, when he is rechable via phone (or software phone) in the regular business hours when you work, like the other team members

Like Victor Kenneth likes this

talking to him in a serious way and informing him that without a phone he must be attentive to Slack or get another phone because this way he cannot work with him. The problem is not the phone but the way they act and their lack of availability.

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