How To Effectively Manage Remote Employees
Many managers and small business owners are now managing employees who work in separate (remote) locations. Remote employees may be working in a different city or country, a different branch office on the other side of the city, or even from their own homes (teleworkers). If you manage remote employees or projects, you know how important it is to communicate effectively with your remote employees. One of your best options is to create interactions that mimic face-to-face contact using virtual face-to-face technologies like Skype or Facetime.
When it is done right, virtual face-to-face communications can be just as effective as physically sitting across the desk from someone. Once I led an organization that provided services in brick-and-mortar locations with caseworkers conducting face-to-face discussions. To expand our geographical footprint, we installed “virtual offices” in some larger cities where we had no prior presence. The virtual office was a kiosk-like computer placed in a small private space that was co-located with a partner organization who served similar customer populations and referred customers to our kiosk. We positioned the computer screens on desks directly in front of the customer, who sat down and pressed a simple “start” key. Immediately, our remote representative appeared on the screen, greeted our customer and conducted the interaction. Customer satisfaction surveys showed the customers reacted very positively to the experience. But I knew we had hit the mark when one senior lady finished her interview, thanked the virtual representative and hugged the computer screen! Creating a virtual face-to-face experience that feels “real enough to hug the screen” can help you improve communication with YOUR remote employees.
Let’s chat about your experience managing remote employees in our Facebook Community, She Leads – Women’s Leadership Development. We can’t wait to meet you there!