How can leaders better manage the mobile workforce?
When leaders and workers are set up for success, with the right tools and consistent processes in place, managing a mobile workforce can be both enjoyable and productive.
Managing the mobile workforce goes beyond providing laptops, mobile phones, and email accounts. Tools to help manage time and labor, absence management, and workforce health and safety are critical. To ensure the business remains productive and stays on track, organizations must provide multiple channels for ongoing communication and collaboration, project management, and performance management, as well as access to other HR tools and documents.
Beyond the tools and processes, some managers simply don’t know how to manage the mobile workforce, so it’s critical to provide them with adequate training to ensure that both they and their employees understand what’s available, what’s expected of them, and where to find guidance and support.
Encourage leaders and people managers to get to know and better understand their team members, practice empathy to meet workers where they are, and focus more on performance and results than hours worked. Prioritizing results over hours is another way to help focus on worker mental health and well-being to ensure they don’t experience burnout.
Leaders should also take steps to ensure mobile workforce employees are happy and want to remain with the company in the long term. Aside from ensuring that they have what they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently, it’s important to make sure workers feel supported, valued, and appreciated. Listen and ask for feedback regularly—not just during performance reviews. Consider deploying regular surveys to monitor sentiment, then see where improvements are needed, take action, and make workers aware of the results.
Another way to ensure your mobile workforce stays engaged and happy is to provide opportunities for them to connect and collaborate—beyond their core team—to give them a sense of belonging and a feeling of inclusion.