Whether you have workers that are based in the office or that are on the road, the objective is always the same for owners and managers – keep your workforce happy and motivated. Good staff morale can result in higher productivity, lower staff turnover, fewer absences and help to recruit the best talent.
But keeping a workforce happy is obviously much easier said than done, especially with staff members that are not office-based. Workers that are constantly on the road could quite easily feel like they aren’t really part of a company despite the fact they are probably the public face of the firm. Keeping in regular contact with your workers on the road is obviously one way to ensure that your employees still feel valued. You don’t have to be contented with talking to your team on the phone and CC’ing them into emails, you could also invite them to regular meetings in the office.
The opportunity to spend some time away from the road is likely to be a welcome boost for travelling sales people that are always in the car. Have a couple of meetings a month in the office just to catch up with your road team and ensure they are happy with what they are doing.
You could also look at some of the other measures below:
Have faith in your workers
Most professionals like to be given autonomy to do their jobs – it allows them space to think creatively and it means they can create their own preferred work environment and routines.
But if you give your remote workers autonomy, you need to trust them to do their jobs. This doesn’t mean owners and managers have to relinquish all forms of control. Rather, managers must set objectives and outline business plans for remote workers to adhere to. As an example, a field sales team may have individual or collective targets on the amount of revenue they should generate every month.
If you allow your remote workers autonomy, management must regularly review performance against the targets that are set. Consistent under-performers could be trained or re-assigned to a different team to help them learn best practice from better performers.
Offer up incentives
If you set targets or objectives then it follows that there needs to be some form of incentive for remote workers if they hit or exceed their targets. You may want to set individual targets (to generate competition between team members) or collective targets (to help create a good team ethic).
Financial incentives can prove to be a strong motivator but not all incentives have to be monetised (particularly in these relatively austere times). You could look to provide staff with promotional gifts if they hit their targets. For example, travel mugs from companies like4imprint and MP3 player adaptors should be well-received by staff that frequently travel by car or train.