Remote working has become the new norm as the world is grappling with the Coronavirus. Despite having shifted into remote work for more than a year now, companies are still struggling to find the best strategy that ensures both productivity and wellbeing of remote workers. How exactly does performance management work in a remote working environment?
Being able to work from home is a privilege – that also comes with additional distractions. Unsupportive working environment with children around, technical issues such as bad internet connection, and other house-related affairs can easily affect performance. As a leader, the ordeal comes from managing employee performance remotely. Here are 3 useful tips to help you keep remote employees’ performance in check.
Keep an Eye on Performance Loss
Productivity decline is prone to happen during remote work, and it can be challenging to address such problems and give suggestions to employees. Good leaders never micromanage their staff, meaning that maintaining trust between you and your employees is vital. Create a working environment where everyone has the space to talk openly in a non-judgmental way. In such an environment, it is easier to tell the employees regarding their performance loss without them feeling disrespected.
Communication is key in remote working. Instead of asking what employees are doing all the time, coworkers can let each other know about their own schedule. Having a shared calendar can be a simple yet effective solution for this. Employees can give marks on the calendar to let the others know whether or not they will be available, thus minimizing miscommunication.
Set a Reasonable Standard
Employees may deal with additional stressors when they are working remotely, yet they are aware that they are expected to fulfill their duty. Therefore, it is important to create a clear performance indicator and assist employees to reach it. The best way to do this is by being a leader, not a dictator. Rather than pointing fingers at the tasks employees should complete, you can delegate tasks while assisting them in a supportive manner.
Conducting regular personal meetings is a great way to connect with employees. Arranging a one-on-one friendly talk with employees can encourage them to be open about how they are doing in their jobs. During such a meeting, manager and employee should work to identify the source of performance issues and find the solution together. When a solution is agreed, always check and monitor progress to determine its effectiveness.
Most of the time, it is hard to pinpoint issues from daily observations. As day-to-day issues tend to be underestimated and overlooked, it could be difficult to keep track of the bigger picture. Instead of implementing daily observation on performance, managers can do the evaluation periodically. When employee’s performance is assessed, any changes on the workload can be planned and implemented shortly afterwards. Reshaping priorities can be done to achieve a project’s goal more effectively. Roles swapping can be the solution to create a better working environment and to boost productivity. If an employee keeps falling behind and there is no change despite all methods having been done, then it is time to conduct a more thorough one-on-one evaluation.
It is definite that the most important aspect of managing productivity lies in communication. Remote working might be very challenging and offers crisis upon crisis, but with proper communication, it is not impossible to tackle issues that may arise. With solid communication and collaboration, remote working can be made into an opportunity that ensures company’s growth.