Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Manage remote workers by building personal relationships

I wanted to share another tip from IBM's Jayne Nanavaty-Dahl about how to implement a successful remote worker strategy in your organization. Her recommendations are taken from lessons she's learned from implementing OTTO (Other Than Traditional Office), IBM's remote worker practice. Today's recommendation is manage workers by building personal relationships.

One of the best ways to support OTTO workers is to provide special training on how to manage them. IBM studies show that managers who are responsive to these communication methods, and also take interest in maintaining a relationship with their team members, connect better with their virtual team.

This could include, for instance, remembering birthdays or defining moments, asking how family members are doing, how vacations went, etc. Developing this type of relationship with a virtual team will strengthen employee commitment, increase retention, reduce stress, and improve overall team effectiveness. Employees should partner with their manager to create a plan that works best for their situation.

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