The Shearin Group - Engaging the mobile work force

Our primarily mobile health care team does 11,000 visits every day to care for people and allow them to remain in their homes. With 6.4-million visits annually, we have an almost unheard of opportunity to collect data, test and prototype, and improve quality. But from a business standpoint, there are some real challenges for leaders of mobile staff when it comes to communication. It can be difficult to share your vision, build strong bonds and encourage engagement.

Despite my occasional longing to be able to see everyone all at once, there are untold advantages to a mobile work force. I believe that harnessing the strengths of these independent problem solvers may just be the secret of innovation.

Let me share with you some of the strategies we’ve implemented. I hope they get you inspired and energized.

Love the one you’re with

Are you spending time hoping your mobile workers will magically check the company intranet more frequently? Or come to the head office more regularly to connect? News flash – they won’t. The key we’ve found is to work with the inherent strengths these dynamos bring to your team. Think independence. Agility. Adaptability. Empowerment. Develop ways to tap into their natural talents. We recently implemented SoapBox – to gather and share ideas in a virtual way. It builds on our pre-existing virtual community and taps into the insights of staff who see clients every day. We’ve allowed the community to grow organically, and although it has been an investment, we believe we will see better results based on this strategy.

Video killed the radio star

It’s obvious that technology can bring people together to socialize in ways we never thought possible. But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that if we load up our mobile workers with tech gear, everything will be beautiful. There are so many components to technology and the mobile worker: Will they use it? How long will it be relevant? How much does it weigh when you are dragging it around?

But perhaps more importantly is the idea that we cannot ever lose sight of the fact that technology is an enabler and not the outcome. True innovative technology can transform human interaction for the better.

We are the world

To truly connect and galvanize your work force, you need an anthem – a mission – a bandwagon everyone can jump on and feel great about. Exceptional leadership takes people on a journey to a better place.

Finally, we recently held a company event where we brought everyone together. We offered employees three different ways to participate: in person at movie theatres across the country, via live webcast, and we made it available immediately afterward so anyone who missed it could watch it later.

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