How to Manage the Performance of Remote Workers

We’re often asked how to manage the performance of remote workers. Especially, when we help an organisation implement a programme of smart work?

The thing to remember is that Trust impacts productivity whether workers work in the office or remotely. We find that best leaders adopt a management by outcomes approach as opposed to over-observation. They want to maintain Trust while measuring productivity.

We train Smart Leaders to set action plans and agree outcomes with their distributed team, wherever they are working.  They learn how to evaluate performance based on outcomes. When employees are fully involved in the process, they are also more likely to fulfil their responsibilities.

Here are some tips and approaches for managing smart workers:

  1. Establish a clear shared vision of the outcomes you require from each and every individual on your team. Shorter timescales between reviews of outcomes can be helpful for remote workers.
  2. Build 2-way trust with each and everyone in your team.  What makes them tick? Hone in what is important to them and their families as we work through Covid 19.
  3. Observe the quality of work, just as you would an office worker.  For example, is your employee  frequently asked to re-do much of their work or are they competent and you feel confident the will deliver?
  4. Consider whether your employee completes tasks in a timely manner and meets deadlines and whether their time spent on work tasks is comparable to their office based counterparts. Be prepared to be impressed by your remote team!
  5. Use NPS or surveys to enquire about the level of service the worker has given your clients.
  6. Danger!  Some organisations conduct random checks on workers using spy technology. We worry this approach causes Trust to erode and prefer to train leaders and their smart teams to build 2 way trust.
  7. Look out for a person’s creativity and the value that adds to achieving the vision. How do they collaborate and share that creativity with others on the team? Creativity is a powerful addition to your team toolkit. Cultivate it.
  8. Understand individual roles – ensure both you and your employee agree a clear job description based on outcomes. Build an organogram showing how all roles fit together to achieve the vision.
  9. Celebrate improvements in team performance on your weekly round up calls.  Call out any drop in team performance but never name names.  Instead, arrange one to one Zooms with each of the team to search out any barriers and get them more motivated and engaged in achieving those outcomes.
  10. Finally, get yourself a cuppa and reflect on the Teams performance and what you could do better that may improve it.

Distractions reduce productivity

Offices can be extremely distracting places and that’s one of the reasons that we’ve seen increases in productivity during Lockdown. For example, at home, do you get distracted by the “tea and cake break”? I don’t.

The beauty of employing smart workers is that they tend to start earlier, take shorter breaks, and work while everyone else commutes. In fact, most Smart Bosses are more concerned about their remote teams overdoing it.

Disconnecting at the end of the day is an important strategy……find a way to remove yourself electronically from your computer or phone otherwise you’ve never really left work

Research, such as the well known CTrip case study, saw productivity increase by at least 13.5%. Nine percent of which was because the remote team were working while the control team commuted. We’ve found that Sick Days for employees working from the home or a local hub plummet too!  People who walk or cycle to a hub tend to be fitter than office counterparts.

If you want your Leaders to learn how to manage the performance of remote workers why not get in touch here

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