NAPERVILLE, Ill., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Acknowledging the increasing use of virtual employees, The Forum: Business Results Through People released a new study, Engaging Virtual Employees – Innovative Approaches to Fostering Community, that categorizes current patterns, assesses some of the tools and technologies used, and identifies strategies that contribute to successfully engaging virtual employees.
"With off-site workers now representing up to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce in companies with 5,000 or more employees and 43 percent of recently surveyed companies anticipating growth in their virtual work forces, we felt it was important to examine current methods that are helping employers better engage their remote employees," says The Forum President Patty Saari, who is also vice president, product and strategy, business loyalty at Aimia, incorporating Carlson Marketing. She explained that The Forum's latest study not only examines existing academic and professional research on the subject, but also highlights the results of extensive interviews with leaders at several organizations that have made virtual work arrangements a routine part of their business: Accenture, Adobe, Automattic (WordPress.com), Cisco, Performics and United Healthcare.
According to Saari, the study has these key findings:
- Engaging remote employees must be part of a bigger virtual employee management strategy supported by top management.
- Engaging virtual employees requires technology platforms that enable people-oriented aspects of work.
- Some face-to-face contact with virtual employees is necessary.
- The quality of talent supersedes employee location.
- Smaller companies struggle more with engaging virtual employees than larger ones.
- Virtual employee engagement should be integrated with internal branding and organizational culture.
"In the end, we found that the boom in virtual employment that is taking place due to advances in technology and other economic factors puts many organizations in the difficult situation of trying to manage and engage employees in ways with which they have little expertise because their legacy has routinely been to manage workers at a given location," said Saari. "We hope The Forum's findings provide leaders with tangible ideas to better engage an increasingly virtual workforce and maximize the success of this growing reality."
About The Forum
The Forum: Business Results Through People (www.BusinessResultsThroughPeople.org), affiliated with Northwestern University, is an organization for thought leadership advocating that the most effective way business leaders create and sustain organizational values is through partnership with people.
SOURCE The Forum