Managing the Mobile Workforce

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In Managing the Mobile Workforce by David Clemons and Michael Kroth, mobile workers are defined as those who are not physically located within a centralized building or who move between work locations, and who are able to access company resources through private networks, the Internet, and mobile networks. It is estimated that mobile workers worldwide will surpass one billion by 2011, which comprises 75 percent of the U.S. workforce. These technology-enabled workers will have unlimited global job opportunities and easy access to companies that will value them. Wireless broadband networks, mobile devices, social networking, cloud computing, and a global economy are changing communications and computing. For businesses, this is an opportunity to apply new forms of work and technologies that will lead to competitive advantages in their markets.

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Managing the Mobile Workforce

  1. 2. MANAGING THE MOBILE WORKFORCE Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams AUTHOR: David Clemons and Michael Kroth, Ph.D. PUBLISHER: McGraw-Hill DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2011 244 pages
  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK In Managing the Mobile Workforce , David Clemons and Michael Kroth concentrate on what is required to develop and lead the mobile workforce. It includes research, examples, and tools managers and employees can use immediately to develop highly motivating work and work environments.
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA As David Clemons and Michael Kroth explain in their book, Managing the Mobile Workforce, mobile workers are employees who are not physically located within a centralized building or who move between work locations within a centralized region, and who are able to access company resources through private networks, the Internet, and mobile networks.
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION This book is intended to provide managers and executives at all levels with essential strategies for coping with this new reality and empower them to create, maintain, support, and reward a highly passionate and productive mobile workforce.
  5. 6. PART ONE: THINKING STRATEGICALLY ABOUT THE MOBILE WORKFORCE Wireless broadband networks, mobile devices, social networking, cloud computing, and a global economy are changing communications and computing at an unprecedented pace. For businesses, the stage is set to take advantage of the incredible opportunity to apply new forms of work and technologies that will lead to competitive advantages in their markets. Mobile workers throughout the world now have globally-available, useful knowledge that can be accessed and applied immediately. Clemons and Kroth argue that top executives need to rethink their businesses from the perspective of a mobile workforce environment.
  6. 7. PART ONE: THINKING STRATEGICALLY ABOUT THE MOBILE WORKFORCE <ul><li>Developing a high-level mobile workforce strategy can be broken down into four specific steps: </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate for strategic fit </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the costs and benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and align the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Execute and improve </li></ul>
  7. 8. PART ONE: THINKING STRATEGICALLY ABOUT THE MOBILE WORKFORCE <ul><li>The authors offer seven strategies to consider when building a mobile workforce: </li></ul><ul><li>Build a center of excellence – a team that is responsible for the definition and details </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate mobile practices and technology into existing systems – use the people and technology in which the company has already invested </li></ul><ul><li>Keep policies straightforward and technologies simple to use </li></ul><ul><li>Define roles and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Train, learn, and improve </li></ul><ul><li>Support mobile workers as if they were customers </li></ul>
  8. 9. PART TWO: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND THE MOBILE WORKFORCE <ul><li>The first direction is to use technology to improve performance by giving workers less autonomy—increasingly assigning them tasks and scheduling their work for them. This strategy has these characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile performance management systems </li></ul><ul><li>Externally set schedule and appointments </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized or automated work practices </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual tracking </li></ul>
  9. 10. PART TWO: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND THE MOBILE WORKFORCE <ul><li>The second direction is giving workers more autonomy—increasingly giving them control over their own schedules and tasks. This strategy has these characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Results-oriented work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Self-managed work schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of importance of work location </li></ul>
  10. 11. PART TWO: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND THE MOBILE WORKFORCE <ul><li>In the area of human resources, the principles of hiring and training mobile workers are no different than they are for any other kind of worker. There are four critical steps to bringing someone into a mobile workforce: </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure role clarity within the job description </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what the position requires behaviorally </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the person’s values match company values </li></ul><ul><li>Hire the skill set </li></ul>
  11. 12. PART THREE: TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS, AND TEAMS <ul><li>Clemons and Kroth describe the following six competencies that are important for organizations that wish to adopt a mobile workforce strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a learning organization – Continuing to educate the staff and move the company technology and process forward </li></ul><ul><li>Self-review – Innovation, renewal, and transformation enable organizations to keep up </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration – To keep up, it is necessary to know how to work with others </li></ul>
  12. 13. PART THREE: TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS, AND TEAMS <ul><li>Consilience – Think creatively, nonparadigmatically, and opportunistically </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment – Be able to assess and decide based on long-term benefits, not just because something looks sexy at the time </li></ul><ul><li>Execution – Have the character to stick to the platform and strategic direction when short-term, attractive technology choices glitter </li></ul>
  13. 14. PART THREE: TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS, AND TEAMS <ul><li>In order to develop successful virtual teams, leaders need to know these eight things: </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that no one can be an expert in everything </li></ul><ul><li>Have good people skills </li></ul><ul><li>Practice strategic thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Have the confidence to trust the team </li></ul><ul><li>Do things right from the start </li></ul><ul><li>Provide equal access to technology </li></ul><ul><li>Keep time zones in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Set the expectation that communication is proactive </li></ul>
  14. 15. PART THREE: TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS, AND TEAMS The advent of mobile workforces is not just a trend, but it is the direction in which business is heading . Managers and executives at all levels are wise to learn the essentials for coping with this new reality.
  15. 16. Business Book Summaries is a product of EBSCO Publishing. The website is updated weekly with 4 to 5 new summaries chosen from among the top business books printed in the United States. For more information or to sign up for the weekly newsletter, please visit http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BIZSUM.COM

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