Then theres the issue of people copying the universeeffectively drowning colleagues in emails, said Fernald, who like many managers can get upwards of 300 emails a day.
Hes tried many approaches to dissuade people from this practice, including instituting Web-based forums where employees can register their feelings about an issue, or posting topics designed to assist everyone. But emails are quick and dirty and Fernald said the only way to wean people to new practices is through a combination of incentives and education.
Language Barriers: Its tough enough to communicate when both CIO and staff share a native tongue, let alone with people whose native language doesnt match yours. Schmidt said at Arch Chemical they tend to recruit people who speak English at least as a second language. In their foreign offices English is used as the common bases for speaking.
Clearly Defining Processes: With accounting, recruiting, finance, HR and other key departments moved off-shore to India, Kucheria said language nuances matter more than ever, along with clearly defining processes.
Its imperative to set expectations properly to know who was responsible for what tasks in each location. simultaneously, establishing metrics for measuring job performance of remote staff was important for both the company and the employees, he said.
Culture, Motivation and Capability: Stevenson considers these three factors key to managing staff or subcontractors remotely. A persons cultural background will affect how they react. A CIO who doesnt understand cultural nuances will be prone to misjudging an employee or subcontractors motivations, how they deal with relationships and their business style, he explains.
He also notes that its tough to determine someones capability from a distance and get a true understanding of how they will perform on an assignment or mission without spending prior time with them. Maybe they're outstanding in technical issues or poor on human skills. If you're not sure, you can make a mistake that hurts the entire organization.
Stevenson advises locating people with knowledge of the foreign culture in question. For example, if dealing with an Australian then find an American with knowledge of the Australian mindset.