Purpose – This article describes a bespoke training program designed by learning and development specialist Academee to equip managers at Finning, national Caterpillar dealer for the UK, with the skills needed to manage remote teams effectively. Design/methodology/approach – Draws on information provided by Finning's compensation and benefits manager, who was the company's training and development manager at the time of the program. Findings – Highlights the importance of: developing an understanding of the impact on managers of working with remote teams and identifying appropriate tools and techniques that will help them to be more effective; fostering a clear view of the impact of working as a remote team member and identifying approaches that can improve the working environment; sharing experience and identifying existing best practice; exploring the particular communication challenges associated with managing remote teams and identifying appropriate processes that will ensure effective team communication; and exploring the particular performance‐management issues associated with managing remote teams and identifying appropriate processes that will ensure effective performance improvement. Practical implications – Shows that, with more than 1,000 remote‐based sales and service personnel, effective remote management is critical to Finning's business success and customer service. Originality/value – Demonstrates that the power of the training program was in creating the feelings of being remote, and enabling people to discuss as a group the practical impact decisions had on the teams and the team leaders.
Human Resource Management International Digest – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2006
Keywords: Team working; Remote workers; Communications; Training
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