Quickly disappearing are the days of companies where all employees are based in one office. With the need to keep competitive in today’s business landscape companies need faster speed to service for their clients, they need to cut travel cost to see clients, and they need improved customer service. This all creates a workplace which is spread out across the globe to better meet client’s needs. In fact, the virtual employee scenario is quickly growing. Research has suggested that now over 75% of US companies have some portion of their employees that work in separate locations from their teammates or manager. If you have to pick up the phone to communicate with your employees, then you have a remote workforce (aka teleworking, virtual or field employees). This creates challenges in company expectations of remote employees and in effectively managing a remote workforce.
So how do you manage a team of people who work in different locations? What are the different techniques you need to employ? Below are the 7 key areas that remote managers should focus on to ensure their team of virtual employees stay productive, focused, accountable, and engaged. Click on each to see the short 1 minute video about each key.
- Increased communication
- Build a team community
- Manage to goals , not tasks
- Enable micro-monitoring for accountability
- Socratic coaching
- Motivate rather than move
- Build trust
The changing business environment and ensuing structure does not need to spell painful transitions for employees and corporations. By understanding the needs and techniques, for managing this new business format of distributed and mobile workforces, companies can capitalize on success by implementing these new management techniques. As many companies struggle, to figure out the new workforce, those that have streamlined it, will excel in the marketplace, and with their clients.
by Jenny Douras