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Remote workers prove a challenge to motivate

Mobile technology and social media can easily be incorporated into reward and recognition programs to help companies engage remote workforces.

Mobile technology has greatly increased the flexibility of workforces. No longer tied to a specific desk or workstation, employees can complete assignments on the road or even work from home. This has enhanced productivity within businesses, but also creates challenges for managing remote teams.

ComputerWorld reports that the number of mobile workers will reach 1.3 billion globally by 2015. Companies should invest in the technology needed to effectively oversee these employees. Fortunately, mobile technology and social media can easily be incorporated into reward and recognition programs to help companies engage remote workforces.

Social media allows companies to create virtual communities that can help firms administer internal programs more effectively. These channels represent an excellent communication tool for sharing success stories and boosting employee engagement. Teams suffering from a lack of communication are a top concern among managers leading remote teams, according to a survey by Accenture. New technology allows files to be shared across wide-spread staff members and it allows teams to develop a common identity. Shared goals encourage cooperation and can help remote workers improve their communication with supervisors and coworkers.

Delivering results
Employee reward programs can help managers keep their teams moving in the right direction. A lack of direct oversight may cause some remote workforces to miss essential deadlines. This was listed as the second largest concern in the Accenture survey. Outlining short and long-term objectives gives workers a sense of purpose that keeps them on track. Establishing clear rewards for those who deliver ahead of deadline will encourage others to be more mindful of the challenges created by failing to deliver on time.

"The most successful virtual teams are led by managers who understand what motivates and drives performance at the individual and team levels, assigning people to tasks in line with their natural behavioral styles," said Nancy Martini, CEO of PI Worldwide. "Managers who apply behavioral insights produce teams that function with stronger working relationships, communicate more effectively and deliver on the team's collective goals."

Incentive specialists like Xceleration, can help firms incorporate new technologies into their reward programs. Xceleration hosts pages on their own site allowing secure access from a range of sources including mobile devices. This eliminates the technical challenges many businesses face in getting reward programs up and running.

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