Many CEOs are managing their teams remotely for the foreseeable future, with many firms committing to remote working for at least the medium term. But how can they manage the performance of their remote employees?
Learning to trust that colleagues have things covered would be crucial for managers who used to sneak a peek at staff' screens to make sure they were working on that report they promised to turn in by the end of the day.
"Trust is certainly basic, according to most of the evidence we've seen in a remote context," says Aaron McEwan, vice president of research and consulting at Gartner.
"While perception is lacking, employees do poorly while working remotely."
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At the same time as trusting employees to control their very own time is a good start, there are other elements to consider to make sure that far-flung performance management is going easily.
Giving comments or asking a question is simple and straightforward when you're in the same room as your staff. You look them in the eyes, tap them on the shoulder, or simply walk up to their workstation. In-person, you can read their body language and gauge their reaction.
But what if one of your teammates works from home? It's easy for feedback to get lost in the shuffle. Your employee may be anxiously awaiting your reaction on Slack, fearful that their effort has failed. They notice the green dot that indicates you're online. Bring on the jitters.
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The trick is to become familiar with the technology. "Everything is mediated through technology, from the ubiquitous e-mail to how to have conferences," stated Kevin Eikenberry, co-founder of the far-flung leadership Institute in Indianapolis. "We need to find out how we will collaborate and what we may additionally expect from each other," he stated.
With a 115 % increase in the last 10 years, remote work is here to stay. As a result, every leader will need to understand how to manage remote workers. Here are some tried-and-true management tips for remote workers.
1. Be clear approximately your expectations from the beginning.
Employees can perform better when they know what to expect. Understanding what their parameters are is one of the most difficult issues that remote workers face. Remote workers, unlike office workers, are unable to learn just by observing their coworkers and managers. They'll have a considerably higher learning curve if they don't know what's expected of them if they don't have any direction.
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Define work requirements clearly from the start. Going overboard with as much information you give a remote employee is the best approach to onboard them. What is their daily routine? Are they adaptable? Do they get a lunch break of one hour? What method of communication do they prefer?
2. Schedule one-on-one meetings on a regular basis.
Regular check-ins keep both parties informed about progress and expectations. Checking in with remote workers on a regular basis might assist encourage feedback and creating relationships.
Annual reviews are insufficient since recalling a year's worth of work in a single meeting is impossible. Regular one-on-ones will keep you informed throughout the year, giving employees more opportunities to speak directly to you about their triumphs or difficulties.
Employees are hungry for feedback, and they need your full attention. Remember to take notes on any concerns that need to be addressed and appropriate action items after the meeting. When the person isn't in view, it's easy for a manager to overlook or forget about these things, but they're always on your remote worker's mind. We advocate taking notes ahead of time and encourage your employee to create a meeting agenda. Even better if you can do it on a common platform.
3. Provide continuous feedback.
Remote workers won't over-analyze your message if you're explicit about feedback. It's all about how well coworkers and management communicate with one another. Be present at the moment, but keep in mind that a remote worker won't be able to read your body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions to better grasp what you're thinking.
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While you want to praise and feedback to flow freely, you also want these messages to be clear. Make a listing of what works and what does not. If you receive unfavorable feedback, make sure you handle it with the person directly rather than in a group situation.
4. Inquire about status updates.
Encourage status updates so that you and your remote workers have a reference point. Request that staff keeps a weekly work journal. Both sides will be able to keep track of what is being accomplished. Even if you don't check the log every day, you'll be able to see how far you've come.
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These updates will also come in handy for both of you during one-on-one evaluations. It keeps you from overlooking accomplishments as a manager while simultaneously holding employees accountable.
5. Have faith in your employees.
You can count on your remote workers to be open and honest with them. Make sure to follow suit. Don't think an employee is slacking off if they aren't responsive or meet a deadline. Instead, make an effort to connect. They could be stressed out or coping with a personal issue. When they're not in the same room, it's difficult to tell. Continue to communicate with them and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Remote workers' performance management requires a bit more thinking and effort, but with the correct tools, it can be simple and uncomplicated for both the manager and the employee.