We recently have feedback from various managers as to how difficult it is to keep their remote employees and teams engaged.
Let's face it. If you are looking to expand beyond just a few major cities, having remote employees and teams will be an increasing norm, especially with all the current communication technology that we have at our disposal, working remotely has never been so convenient.
However, having all the latest and user-friendly web technology is not going to help you a single bit, IF you don't have the right people on board who could perform well off-site, as well as having the right skills in managing these remote employees and teams to keep them engaged.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "How to Develop Highly Engaged Remote Teams and Employees", and we explore how you can get your remote employees connected, aligned and be accountable to your team, and your goals.
How to Develop Highly Engaged Remote Teams and Employees
by c.j. Ng
Depending on the nature of your work, it is likely that you will be spending a portion of your time working remotely from your office. Such instances could be:
this list is not exhaustive by any means.
some, working remotely can be a lonely and
harrowing experience of being "exiled" some
place. To others, working remotely means
enjoying that sense of freedom and personal
space that is not available at the office.
To managers, however, the challenges are usually:
The good news for managers is that, according to Gallup, some level of remote work actually boosts employee engagement. The findings are:
Hence, if managed appropriately, working remotely could actually yield positive results.
The Right Kind of Remote Employees
Simply put, some of us are more suited than others to work remotely. This is especially for remote employees who have to work out of their home office 100% of the time.
In many cases, some managers would require these 100% remote employees to have a strong sense of discipline, since there is no one to watch over them, and they need to be self-disciplined enough to get the work done.
However, while discipline is indeed a key criteria for an effective remote employee or team member, here are some other factors that could be just as important, if not more important, than discipline:
To succeed, remote employees MUST be able to work with other colleagues remotely, as their work is very likely to interact with the work of others. Devoid of a structured environment, the remote employee would have to take initiative to reach out to others, while also know what goals and priorities she has to achieve. Also, working alone means she may need to solve problems independently, should there be delays in getting the right support she needs.
In contrast, here are some of the “no-no”s when it comes to selecting the right person to work remotely:
As mentioned earlier, the irony of working remotely is that one will actually be working with others, albeit with much lesser face-to-face interaction. If the remote employee does not take initiative to reach out to others, other colleagues may not be able to provide the right kind of support, and eventually results get negatively affected.
Monitoring without Micro-Managing
As most of the work undertaken by remote employees and teams do not have established procedures (what we define as responsibilities as opposed to tasks), managers would have to be more skilful in monitoring them.
Rather than monitoring too much on how the work is being done, which might lead to micro-managing, managers could emphasize more of what goals need to be achieved by the remote employee or team.
When delegating responsibilities to a remote employee, it’s critical that the person is held accountable for the results. To keep track of such goals or results, we use a CLEAR goals model as a guide:
the key to monitor
a remote employee's
work is to set such
the employee, and then provide
reviews if the employee is on
track to achieve these goals.
Being an Effective Remote Employee Leader
the saying goes, people join a company but
leave because of their bosses. In a
way, the boss or leader of a remote
employee will also have profound effects
on the remote employee, as well as the
Surprisingly, managing remote employees can be a more tiring than managing on-site ones, especially when you have multiple remote teams to manage. As teams operate remotely, it will be essential to keep these remote teams stay focused on team goals. At the same time, leaders of remote teams and employees would have to give encouragement and support when things get tough, be approachable and responsive (24 x 7, at times) when remote team members needed help and then respond as constructively as one possibly can.
On top of that, leaders of remote teams and employees need to be authentic enough, to build better rapport and trust without having a lot of face-to-face interaction. Hence, while selecting the right person to work remotely is important, being the right kind of leader to lead remote teams and employees is just as important AND challenging too.
Need help in developing highly engaged teams and employees? Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Power Breakfast Hour: 20 May 2014
How to Develop Highly Engaged Teams and Employees
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DATE: Tuesday, 20 May 2014
TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
PRICE: RMB 200 ONLY!
To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations too email@example.com
Tips for Sales People:
by c.j. Ng
If you had watched "The Wolf of Wall
Street", you would know what kind of
"bada**, mother****er" sales person the
protagonist, Jordan Belfort, was.
“Sell Me This Pen”
Towards the end of the movie, Jordan
Belfort was shown asking his audience to
"sell me this pen" (In fact, the real
Jordan Belfort played the host/ announcer
of this last scene).
First of all, "sell me this pen" was an
interview question for sales people used
in the 70's and 80's. It's tacky and
corny, and may not reflect a real-life
However, the lesson here comes right at
the front of the movie, at around 29
minutes or so, when Jordan asked Brad to
sell him the pen. Brad's response
was "Can you write your name for me on the
napkin", of which Jordan replied "But I
have no pen", and the sale is made.
This is NOT the lesson yet. The lesson came right after when Brad said "It's just demand and supply". Translated into simpler sales language, you have to create the need in the customer first, in order for the customer to want to buy from you. Merely stating the features and benefits of a product without creating or understanding customers, will not make the customer want to buy from you.
Them Trust You"
Unfortunately, Jordan Belfort's intention
to create trust with the customer is to
eventually betray or fleece the
customer. Not only that could be
illegal, it could also make you lose
future sales with the customer, and will
also tarnish your reputation with other
customers. Hence, fleecing customers
is a no-no.
Looping the Objections
One objection handling technique that Jordan Belfort uses is known as "looping". In simpler language, what that means is that he does not get bogged down with superficial concerns that the customer raised.
importantly, he does not get into
arguments with the customer.
Ultimately, the biggest distinction that
most sales people will have to make about
your sales strategies and Jordan Belfort's
is this: are you going to make the
customer buy with just one phone call, OR
do you have to deal with multiple buying
influencers over a period of time to build
stronger trust and understanding between
both buyers and sellers?
Directions Management Consulting
Directions Management Consulting is the partner of LeadershipIQ in China and Asia. LeadershipIQ helps more than 125,000 leaders every year through the facts drawn from one of the largest ongoing leadership studies ever conducted is used to help companies apply resources where the best possible results be achieved.
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Currently, Directions Management Consulting has served clients such as Delphi Packard, InterContinental Hotels Group, LELO, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Philips Lighting, Carrier, Ingersoll Rand, Kulzer Dental etc.
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