Keeping Employees Engaged While On The Road

Keeping employees engaged with the company and their own personal work projects is a challenge. Maintaining employee engagement while you yourself as a manager are traveling is a different beast altogether. The reality is it’s a double-edged sword and there are multiple perceptions of what is actually occurring. On one hand you get to travel and create awareness about your business product or service, but on the other you have a team of employees waiting on you for direction.

Obstacles from the manager’s perspective

As a manager you’re constantly playing cat and mouse with your staff. Whether you’re on a business trip wrangling up new prospects or at a conference giving a speech, in the back of your mind you’re most likely asking yourself at least one of these questions:

  1. What are my employees working on?
  2. Did they complete that project?
  3. Did they show up on time, or did they leave early?
  4. How long did they take for lunch?

Your mind is reeling with endless thoughts about how productive your team truly is while you’re away from the office.  As a result you begin to doubt if the work your team or employee is producing is ‘good enough.’

Obstacles from the employee’s perspective

While your manager is traveling, getting clear and direct communication can be tough, especially if you’re working on multiple projects that all have deadlines and you have questions on any of them that leave you in limbo for finishing them on time. In addition, you may not be receiving recognition on the work you’ve been putting into these projects. As a result, your anxiety trigger kicks in and you begin to doubt yourself.

You see? It’s a double-edged sword

There is doubt on both sides whether it’s directly or indirectly created from either party. The outcome is still the same – both parties are unsure where they stand and it can be extremely disruptive within the workplace if not handled accordingly.

The good news is, where there are challenges there are also opportunities. Whether you’re sitting in the captain’s seat or the co-pilot’s chair you can overcome your obstacles simply by following the helpful tips below.

Designated Check-In Times

Regardless of how often you are on the road, you can still schedule 15-30 minutes every week for a brief one-on-one with your employee/manager. If you have multiple people within your department, schedule team meetings. In either case, this will give you the opportunity to touch base on open projects and address questions your team may need clarified.

Project Updates

Set realistic time lines and goals for completing projects. Depending on how big the project is, creating processes for your employees will help streamline efficiency.

Track Your Employees

You can set up a system where your employees track their arrival times, breaks, how much time they’re spending on a project, and when they leave for the day. Another option is cloud-based time and attendance software, which will give you the ability to effectively manage your team while remote.

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