Managing a Remote Workforce

The remote workplace is different.

The setting is different and cubicles don’t divide the virtual space. Neither do city lines, time zones, or continents, for that matter.

The employees are different, too. Without the immediacy of a group, employees have to be more independent than their on-site counterparts.

As a consequence, management needs to be different. “Traditional” workplace motivation and efficiency strategies simply aren’t going to work. So, here is the challenge: how do you manage staff that isn’t sitting in front of you?

Here is what we suggest:

Get a Platform. Find a goal setting and performance management platform that works for your company. Use it to clarify targets, measure progress and give very regular feedback. Once a year just isn’t going to cut it with the remote workforce.  As your staff isn’t onsite, a cloud solution would be best. Make sure that there is something in it for the staff, too. The platform should allow them to understand their own performance so they can self-manage.

Engage them. Engaging staff is difficult when they work remotely, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Make sure they feel connected to the mothership. There are tons of technology solutions for this. I am not suggesting you let everyone use Facebook 6 hours a day, but there are several great enterprise social network solutions on the market now.

Make sure they get a say. When you are looking for employee feedback, make sure you don’t just ask the guy or girl sitting outside your office. Reach out to your remote employees for feedback, as well. Perspective is key, and their is unique.

Best of luck!