Remote employment is nothing new the to agriculture industry. However, that doesn’t mean that hiring remote project managers is without potential issues. Remote project managers can sometimes feel left out, and with good reason: Virtual workers can be easy to forget about since they aren’t physically in the same location. If you want to reap the real benefits of hiring a rock star, use these tips to build strong relationships with your remote project managers.
Little Things Make a Big Difference
It actually doesn’t require too much work to build a strong relationship with your remote project manager. The key is to not treat them like a faceless name on an email list. On the project manager’s first day, have a teleconference, preferably with video, to kick off the onboarding process on a personal note.
During team conference calls or even one-on-one calls, start off with a bit of small talk, and don’t forget to ask the remote PM how their day is going. Treat them the way you treat your team members who you see walking the halls every day. A little bit of small talk and interest in the PM as a person can make them feel like a part of your team.
Make Yourself Available
One big advantage your in-house staff has is access to you. They can simply walk up to you during the day and ask questions or fill you in on a problem or success, whereas your remote project manager has to hunt you down via phone or email. Being unavailable can delay their work and frustrate them, leading to reduced productivity and lowered morale.
It’s important to set regular check-ins with a remote PM, to facilitate the growth of your relationship and to manage questions and concerns that are not necessarily emergencies. However, it is also important to prioritize responding to their phone calls and emails, so they feel like they are valued and can achieve their defined goals.
Use Great Tools
Technology facilitates remote work and provides you with endless opportunities to stay connected to your project manager. Whenever possible, use video chat so you can see one another and ensure the project manager stays engaged with the conversation.
Also, make use of tools like Google Hangouts and/or Slack, that allow for instant messaging when the project manager has questions or concerns that need to be dealt with immediately. Just make sure to set yourself as available when you’re at your desk and busy when you step away so the PM isn’t waiting for a response and left feeling ignored.
Are You Looking for Talented Project Managers?
For more tips on working with remote talent or to learn how you can connect with productive and effective project managers for your agriculture business, contact the expert recruiters at Magnify Resources today.