Meeting the Challenges of a Dispersed Workforce: Managing Across Language, Culture, Time and Location

  • Authors:
    Peter Linkow
  • Publication Date:
    November 2008
  • Report Number:
    R-1432-08-RR

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Distance managers succeed when they cultivate relationships with and develop, support, and advocate for employees they see only rarely. A survey of managers and employers from Eli Lilly, Sybase, and other companies found that managers think they’re doing a better job at this than their employees do. Employees are critical of their distant bosses’ ability to manage their performance. Successful distant managers emphasize relationships as much as tasks, set clear goals, and secure the technological and financial support their employees need to be successful. Case studies from MetLife, Qualcomm, and Lincoln Financial showcase distance managers who are doing it right.

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