By 2015, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2% of the total workforce, according to an updated forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC)1.
In the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), the mobile workforce will see a healthy compound annual growth rate of 5.6% as it expands from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million mobile workers in 2015.
The trend is clear: Broadband networks and mobile technologies continue to accelerate the progress of mobile work. The challenges of internal communication, employee engagement, process monitoring, and collaboration are just a few of the complexities leaders must manage in this new brave mobile working world.
Each is a key factor that influences an employee’s motivation and overall performance on the job. Here are five ways for how you can succeed in engaging your mobile workforce:
1. Know Your Team
Getting to know team members is critical, even when face-to-face interaction is limited. Take time to learn about each worker’s career aspirations, strengths, development gaps and style.
2. Improve Employee Recognition
Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Consider creating a team newsletter that highlights individual efforts, start a team chat and share successes or host yearly award banquets over the web.
Frequent phone, video conferences or mobile chats with employees will allow you to present new assignments that align with their interests and strengths. Remember to use these or separate conversations as a way to gather feedback. Listening provides an opportunity to learn more about remote workers and ways their work experience can be improved.
4. Strengthen Exchange
Allowing work teams to engage across distances can lead to higher career satisfaction and sense of belonging. Go beyond email to develop an mobile communication or enterprise messaging platform (like Beekeeper) that allows your distributed workforce to share ideas, post accomplishments and ask questions.
5. Meet Face-to-Face
Schedule face-to-face team kick-off meetings and regularly scheduled subsequent live meetings. These face-to-face meetings can be incorporated with team-building exercises to give staff additional opportunities to develop a personal connection and build camaraderie. If meetings are infrequent, create virtual team-building games, such as having everyone send in little-known facts, then displaying it for the group to guess who it describes.