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With all the web based tools available that allow us to trade globally today, most companies and managers in particular find it difficult to manage remote employees.
A distributed workforce requires different management techniques and skills to keep motivated, productive, on track, and trained.
So how to manage remote employees? Over the next few pages I will try and give you some insight in the different aspects to think about and consider. I have tried to keep my literature as simple and concise as possible without the use of long case studies and jargon. I hope these articles help my readers to understand simply how to manage remote employees.
Teams that are distributed often require more communication. There is actually more work at the managerial level to ensure productivity is continuous.
Remote employees can feel isolated, and they can have trouble adopting company standards and procedures. They can have higher turn-over, and suffer from demotivation.
Increased communication helps managing remote employees easier, whether it comes by e-mail, text message, phone, fax, or a tin can and string, communication is essential.
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Particularly when working with offshore remote employees, remote managers make the mistake of trying to establish their credibility through demands and force. This is a really bad way to establish effective rapport with your remote employees.
Rapport with remote employees is established when you respect your employees in order to gain respect. Listening to them, and offering support, help, training and advice. Encouraging and motivation positively is key.
Perhaps one of the most difficult part of managing remote employees is ensuring that the job is getting done without micro-managing. Naturally managers tend to watch their remote employees like a hawk with constant intervention. This adversely affects long term development of remote employees. A better approach would be to develop the candidate to become autonomous and take accountability for their role.
Initial and ongoing training is imperative for any organization wishing to manage remote employees. nitial training should be conducted with face-to-face mentoring either by the manager or team peers to ensure the employee can work independently as soon as possible. For all remote employees, on-going mentoring and training is critical to keep them connected to the company, goals and team.
Establish a routine, a methodical approach to staying in touch with your remote employees. For example, weekly team meetings either through tele conferencing or video calling. Or perhaps even a chat system integrated into your website.