Even the best managers struggle when they're given remote workers. The traits that make you a great manager in person don't always translate to a mobile workforce. With less face-to-face contact and fewer shared hours in the office, connecting with employees and motivating them to excel can be a challenge. Don't despair. When you're asked to manage a mobile workforce, implement these tips to be the most effective manager possible.
Engage in Transparent Tracking
Managing a mobile workforce can become tricky. A lax manager may find assignments aren't being completed or assignments are being done haphazardly. An overzealous manager may so closely monitor their employees that they neglect their own job and alienate their employees. A good manager creates specific benchmarks for their employees and tracks those goals with the knowledge and support of their employee.
One of the benefits to mobile work is flexible hours and allowing employees to use that benefit while still getting their job accomplished is essential. Using a workforce management system is a great way to get you and your remote workers on the same page about job duties and responsibilities. Sit down with employees to talk about their specific metrics and goals and then track them. Tracking with a workforce management system is an easy, shareable way to keep you and your mobile employees on the right path to success.
Embrace Collaborative Technology
The rise of today's mobile workforce came with the explosion of technology and many mobile workers are more tech-savvy then their cubicle-dwelling counterparts. Using today's technology to engage and excite your mobile workforce is a great way not only to increase productivity, but also employee satisfaction. Use online solutions like cloud-based collaboration systems and online meeting programs to connect with employees. Embrace technological solutions to make conversing with remote employees easy.
Make It Easy
Employee drives and company files used to be the norm when it came to business information. Employees who wanted to work after hours found themselves trekking back to the office to get things done. Today, mobile solutions make it easy for not only office employees but also mobile employees to access all needed information online. Facilitating the access of company information for your mobile workforce not only makes your job easier but also your workers more productive.
Consolidate your employees’ files on cloud-based systems so both in-house employees and remote employees can access and collaborate on the same information. Whether they're flying across country or checking in from the road, giving employees access to necessary information is a key component of managing a mobile workforce.
It's easy to let remote workers fall by the wayside. You're busy with meetings, worried about reports, and suddenly it's been a month since you've spoken with your employees. Even if employees are steadily completing assignments, it's pivotal to stay connected and engaged with your mobile workers. Set up weekly meetings using Skype or Google Chat to get face-to-face time with employees. Ask how they spend their workday and how you can improve their productivity. A weekly or monthly meeting can help you connect with employees and allow your employees the time to ask questions and improve their performance.
You don't need to reinvent the wheel when transitioning from managing a fully in-house workforce to a mobile workforce but you do need to get more creative. Using collaboration, consistent contact, and simple solutions such as a workforce management system to track employee productivity and progress can ensure that your mobile workforce feels engaged and satisfied while still keeping productivity high.