WINDSOR, Conn., Aug. 10, 2009 – Almost 34 million Americans, or one-fifth of the workforce work outside of the traditional office setting at least once a month* and with the proliferation of high-speed Internet, technological advances, as well as increasing gas prices and other costs, experts estimate that number will continue to grow in the coming years.
But how do managers identify which employees are best suited to work outside of the office?
LIMRA and LOMA recently launched a research-based assessment and management program that helps managers determine which job applicants; and current employees have the skills, work preferences and personal attributes to succeed as remote workers.
“In this competitive market, companies that offer flexible work options can attract and retain valuable talent,” said Barbara LoRusso, Ph.D., assistant vice president of LOMA’s Assessment Solutions Group. “But it’s not always a natural fit for every employee and many managers feel uncertain about how to best coach and manage virtual workers.”
The first component of the Virtual Worker System is a Web-based, multiple-choice test that assesses whether people have work preferences that match the demands of virtual settings, the skills required to perform tasks in a virtual setting and the personal attributes required for success.
Using this tool, managers can learn about their employee’s initiative, conscientiousness and adaptability; their technology and communication skills; and their desired level of supervision, comfort with independence and decision-making confidence.
Once managers have determined who is best suited for the virtual work environment and have the right people in place, they need to be prepared for this out-of-culture experience. To help managers stay connected, coach and optimize their employees’ performance, the Virtual Worker System also offers an online management training program.
The management training program shows how to integrate the assessment into effective recruiting, selection and development activities, as well as establish meaningful performance goals and improve their employees’ productivity in the remote work environment.
* Source: Telework Trendlines 2009, WorldatWork February 2009
About LIMRA International
LIMRA International is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.
LOMA, founded in 1924, is an international association through which more than 1,200 insurance and financial services companies from over 80 countries engage in research and educational activities to improve company operations. www.loma.org