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Effective Management of Employees Ranked by Executives as Top Concern with a Mobile Workforce

December 22, 2010

New survey by Runzheimer International has cited effective management of remote employees (54 percent) as the biggest concern for executives in workforce managment.

Despite this concern, employee satisfaction (26 percent) and competitive advantage (25 percent) were also ranked as the top benefits gained with a mobile workforce as well as cost savings.  

The Runzheimer survey, which polled close to 100 executives – director-level and above – from a range of businesses across the U.S., also offers interesting contradictions that could indicate companies need to tighten management of mobile workforce programs.  

The survey found that most respondents (60 percent) believe their companies are effectively managing mobile workforce programs, but do not necessarily have measurement mechanisms in place. Thirty-three percent (33 percent) of these same respondents said they have not yet implemented formal, centralized processes that can be tracked or benchmarked over time.

"The issues raised in the survey results highlight key considerations for companies as they contemplate future plans," said Greg Harper, president of Runzheimer International (News - Alert), in a statement.  

Harper said that corporations need to look more deeply at the infrastructure supporting their mobile workforce and truly assess if perceptions match the actual processes and metrics that are in place.  

He said that the biggest opportunities for improvement can be identified by asking employees and managers what is needed as well as using industry data to compare policies and costs.  

As organizations develop their corporate strategies for the coming year, a detailed review of their mobile workforce programs should be on the agenda, including a close look at employee satisfaction, manager challenges, and cost/return-on-investment.  

Runzheimer said that opening lines of communication by asking questions related to what employees and managers like or dislike about current programs and what would increase productivity can go a long way toward increasing employee retention and promoting higher levels of customer service.  Formalizing this process through an annual survey and employee reviews offers critical insight.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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