Performance management is the process of ensuring that an employees activities and outputs meet an organisation's goals in an effective and efficient manner. To supplement the annual appraisal, managers rely on daily interactions and face-to-face meetings to get an overall picture of an employee's performance. So, how does this work when managing remote workers and how can you ensure you manage performance effectively and fairly?
Now, it’s worth noting that remote working isn’t a new concept. The number of UK workers who have moved into remote-working roles has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over a decade. Highlighting the growing trend as workplaces adapt to modern ways of working. In addition to this, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has also compelled organisations to consider long-term remote working.
As an organisation it is vital that you establish a remote-working policy, which sets clear rules and guidance for all staff. This will help managers to lead teams better as everyone will have an undertsanding of how they can carry out their roles from home.
When it comes to managing remote employees there are a few challenges you may face, taken out of the office environment managers have to rely on different communication tools, establishing trust, activity tracking and clear objectives to ensure they can effectively manage remote workers.
As the trends indicate working from home is becoming increasingly popular, as a manager it is essential that you invest in developing your skills. We’ve put together some top tips below to help you better manage the performance of remote workers in a way which benefits them and the organisation.
Setting clear structured goals, objectives and KPI’s for employees is the best way to help you manage their performance. Having objectives helps create a plan of action which you can follow up on and helps workers structure their time and dedication on tasks.
Top Tip: Use the SMART approach to set good quality objectives and make sure to include deadlines and timescales.
Communication really is key. There is a whole host of digital tools which make it simple for teams to communicate. It’s important to share times when you are available and also offer flexibility to be contacted. This helps build trust and allows for more open communication.
Top Tip: Let your employees know times when you are available to have a chat whether that is work related or personal. This encourages open and honest communication and shows employees that you are there for encouragement and support.
Just as you would face to face, virtual meetings and check-ins are a must. Ensuring there is dedicated time for each employee you manage means you can catch-up with them and talk through any work, or issues they may have. It’s also a great way of keeping up to date with each other in general.
Top Tip: Schedule a weekly call over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If you’re used to having coffee catch-ups make sure you grab a drink before your call.
Trust is a vital factor in every relationship. When it comes to employees, having trust is important as it allows you to manage in a more open and honest way. By establishing clear objectives and communicating effectively you can create a strong relationship.
Top Tip: Try some virtual team building to help build trust between teams and engage remote workers to make them feel included.
It may seem difficult to manage employees when you and/or your employees are working from home but setting objectives, communicating openly and building trust will ensure when it comes to managing performance of your remote employees you can do so effectively and fairly.
For more top tips on how to manage the performance of remote employees click here to view our infographic.
If you would like to find out more on how you can effectively manage and lead remote teams, view our Leadership and Management courses. Alternatively if you would like to discuss how we can help find a solution tailored to your organisation contact us for a consultation.