Whether employees work from home, clients' offices or across the globe, more and more managers do not see their direct reports on a day-to-day basis. This trend benefits employers, as remote workers have a 60% higher intent to stay than employees in traditional office settings.
Virtual employees are happier, have more life/work flexibility and become more productive workers.
In the Virtual Manager: Cutting-Edge Solutions for Hiring, Managing, Motivating and Engaging
One of the greatest challenges of managing virtual employees centres on the issue of trust.
Trust can not be mandated; it must be earned. However, it is difficult to earn trust when most of our interaction occurs via email, Intranet and voice mail. So how does one make this trust come about, develop and sustain itself for a virtual team?
Extraordinary virtual managers know that in order to let go and fully trust their employees, they must be very scrutinising and careful during the employee selection process. By hiring only people they innately trust from the word-go, managers are able to start out on the right foot with new employees and support their autonomy. Virtual managers, who cannot let go and continue to micro-manage with, annoying checking in or, checking up on their remote employees, will damage trust at their business.
Trust must begin with, and be led by, the virtual manager. Teamwork requires trust from all sides, and the most successful virtual teams are no different.
Management must foster a culture of trust between employees to create the most engaged and driven virtual workers.
Engaged leaders foster engagement in virtual workers who will be worthy and capable of being trusted. Because trust is the foundation of a virtual team, organisations will benefit from hiring virtual leaders.
Reference: Coach2Coach e-newsletter, April 3, 2012