For many of today’s organizations, hiring remote workers is a great way to grow their talent pool – enabling them to hire the best person for the job, regardless of location. Yet, knowing how to manage an employee you do not see face-to-face every day can be tricky. Understanding these nuances is critical to a productive and rewarding work relationship for all. Here are a few helpful strategies to consider when managing your remote team members:
Hire for Success
Not everyone is cut out to work remotely and as employers we have to face this fact. To have a successful working relationship with your remote employee, he needs to be adaptable, self-motivated, organized, reliable, and possess a strong work ethic. These are not skills that can be easily trained; therefore, when recruiting, be sure to assess these behavioral traits to ensure you are hiring someone who is built for remote working.
Set Expectations on Communication
Communication is usually the make or break of any relationship. The more frequent your communication with your employees, the better. This holds true even more so for remote employees. Determine what form of communication works best (e.g., video-chat, phone, email) and set a schedule. When able, encourage video-chatting with your remote employees. The more facetime you can have, the better.
Encourage a Sense of Team
The last thing you want is for your remote employee to feel like she is on an island with no connection to the team or the company. Create a sense of team through video calls, getting to know them on a personal level, and do your best to invite them to the office at least once a year for a team get-together.
There are certainly more similarities than differences in hiring and managing a remote workforce versus a traditional onsite employee. However, as a manager, it is important to recognize the differences so that you can nurture a healthy, productive, and rewarding experience for you and your remote employee.
Looking for ways to better support your remote workforce? Email us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure their employees are supported and set up for success. We would love to do the same for you!