Have both on-site and remote employees? Then you get to enjoy the best of both worlds:
- On-site. A local employee physically shows up each day. You know when he’s working. You can tap him on the shoulder and have a quick, informal conversation. You can look him in the eye and gauge his nonverbal cues when you’re communicating. He can walk into a conference room to collaborate with his team on projects.
- Off-site. With greater control over where and when he works, a remote employee is typically happy and productive. He saves you on overhead. And because he can live anywhere, he’s the best of the best – not just the best person in within a 20-mile radius.
Employing both types of workers has a number of advantages, but it’s not without its challenges. Specifically, on-site and off-site employees are susceptible to developing a negative “us versus them” mentality. Left unaddressed, this mindset can undermine your culture, team performance and organizational success.
The best way to guard against a divisive mentality in your organization? Effective management. Use these tips to keep your dispersed workforce functioning as a cohesive unit:
- Address the issue. Hold a videoconference with remote employees, on-site staff, managers and support staff to talk about potential barriers to success.
- Talk about remote employees’ biggest fear: being forgotten. Simply acknowledging employees’ fears of being overlooked can keep those feelings from taking root and undermining team efforts.
- Discuss the unique management, technology and support needs of remote staff. Ensure that all employees have the resources the need to be good internal customers and to deliver great internal customer service – no matter where they work.
- List obstacles to working well together and brainstorm potential solutions.
- Adjust your management style. Take advantage of on-site employees’ physical proximity to manage them effectively. Use these tips from an earlier post on managing remote employees to approach their unique management needs constructively.
- Build trust and community. Break down the barriers of distance by systematically building a successful team culture:
- Communicate respectfully. Avoid sarcasm and teasing in distance interactions. Handle sensitive issues with discretion. And when in doubt, over-communicate to prevent misunderstandings.
- Encourage informal communications to build bonds. Ask remote and on-site employees to occasionally call one another, even when an email would suffice.
- Celebrate wins and learn from losses as a group. Bring remote and on-site employees together to debrief (videoconferences are great for this). Discuss what worked, what didn’t, and how the win or loss can help you grow stronger as a team.
Build a cohesive team with Corps Team.
Whether they work on-site or virtually, Corps Team professionals hit the ground running, mesh with your culture and make an immediate, positive contribution.
Call your local Corps Team professional staffing and search office for flexible access to exceptional talent – wherever and whenever you need them.