How to Manage Employees from AfarMarch 16, 2017 No Comments
Featured article by Nate Vickery, business technology expert and futurist
Modern technology has allowed us to hire people with exceptional skills from neighboring countries or even from other continents. This has created a lot of opportunities for both employers and employees. For employers, remote hiring has allowed a wider scope of potential employees. While for employees, remote employment has created an opportunity to work for a company that is far away without having to travel there every day.
However, managing employees remotely is a difficult task. It’s not simple to maintain the same level of engagement and to maintain a good relationship with remote employees, as it is with in-house employees. A manager must step up their game in order to make remote employees feel they are a valuable part of the team. A manager must also pay attention to these employees more often in order to retain them. Here are a few ways you can manage employees from afar.
The key for maintaining a healthy work relationship with remote employees is good internal communication. Remote employees are not present in the office, so they may not hear the news first hand or from a colleague. Also they cannot attend meetings and consultations in person. This is why it is very important to communicate with remote employees as often as possible.
Keep your remote employees informed by adding them to group chats and instant messages groups. You can use video calls in order to enable your remote employees to be present at meetings. Also, don’t hesitate to engage in small talk with them as much as possible. As you may know, you can’t sit for a coffee with a remote employee, but you can chat with them through video calls and IMs instead of just formally communicating with them through e-mails and business newsletters.
You should get to know your remote employees better. Take some time to simply chat with them on a regular basis. You can use a video call for a more personal feeling. Ask them about where they live, about their family, friends, hobbies and plans for the future. Get to know each other on a more personal level. After all, it will help you maintain a good and friendly relationship with your remote employees.
Part of the Team
Just like your in-office employees, your remote employees must feel like part of the team in order to stay engaged and not look for a job elsewhere. After all, if your remote employees are a valuable asset, then you should let them know that they are indeed an asset and not just a remote tool. Make sure you offer them the same benefits your local employees have and praise them for a job well done. You can use employee benefits software that can assist you in bringing human resources department to a remote location with ease. When your remote employees know that you are tending to their needs, they will become more committed to your company.
Another thing you must consider is career advancement for your remote employees. Your remote employees should have the same opportunities for advancing in your business as your in-office employees. This will help you retain your remote employees.
Celebrating a successful business milestone or reaching a business goal will give your employees a sense of encouragement and accomplishment. You can organize an event or a party and invite your remote employees to join in on the celebration. However, this can be difficult if they are really far away. Still, they can join in virtually or you can arrange for them to fly in and visit for a few days ‒ company treat of course, it would be bad management to invite remote employees for a party at their own expense.
Another thing you can do in order to celebrate success is send out gifts to your remote employees. Anything can be perceived as a gift ‒ from small tokens of appreciation to paid vacations. It is entirely up to you to choose a gift depending on how valuable your remote employees are.
Managing remote employees is, in fact, quite difficult. However, you should manage them the same way you manage any other local employee. Since you have to do it remotely, there can be some complications, like bad Internet connection or different time zones. Although you will have to commit more time and more energy into this matter ‒ with a little bit of extra effort, you will be able to effectively manage your remote employees.
Nate Vickery is a business technology expert and a futurist mostly engaged in finding and implementation of the latest technology trends into management and marketing processes for SMBs and startups. Nate is also the editor-in-chief at a business oriented blog- Bizzmarkblog.com.