When Team Members Are in Remote Locations 340 Team leaders can learn much about this from managers who have experience in working with col- leagues in other locations. For example, sales managers manage their sales staffs in locations far removed from the home office; dispatchers manage truck drivers who are continually on the road; and chain-store operators manage stores in hundreds of locations. Study the way these people manage their employees. Emulate Joseph, the sales manager for a large housewares company. He manages 20 sales areas in the United States and Canada, each employing from 10 to 15 sales representatives and support crews. He attributes his success in keeping the sales staff motivated and productive to five princi- ples: 1. All area managers and their staff members are treated as full members of the sales team, not as second-class citizens.They're continually informed about all the same things that employ- ees in the home office are told. The company shows them previews of advertising campaigns, sales brochures, and other materials before the materials are released and encourages their input. No matter where team members are located, they're kept informed of team and departmental goings-on. Joseph believes that a major factor in building team spirit is the day-to-day chitchat among team members about their interests and activities. Because employees miss out on this type of conversation when they work in different locations, the company sends to every salesperson a weekly chatty newsletter that includes tidbits about what's going on in its em- ployees' lives. The team leader takes a personal interest in each team member.Joseph telephones each of the area managers at least once a week just to chat about how things are going. If a sales rep does something special, he personally makes a congratulatory call. On an employee's birth- day, he sends a card or an e-mail message, and on special occasions, such as weddings, births, or special anniversaries, he sends flowers or a snack basket to the team member's 2.