How To Manage Employee Performance Remotely
Updated: Jun 10
Where working from home was previously seen as a luxury reserved for managers in progressive corporates or tech startups, it has become the new norm for businesses that are able to continue their operations in this manner during the COVID19 pandemic. Here follow some tips for how to steer performance while your staff are working remotely.
As a manager you want to set your team up for success, therefore your two primary duties with regards to managing performance of staff that work remotely are to:
1) Create structure
2) Provide support
Let’s break this down.
1. Creating Structure
Creating structure for your team gives some stability in an otherwise turbulent time. It will also be invaluable to those team members who themselves are not particularly structured by nature. There are various ways in which you can create structure for your team members:
Workspace - encourage staff to have a dedicated workspace, or home office, at their residence. Having somewhere specific to go at a specific time can mimic the routine of getting ready for work which creates a sense of normalcy in abnormal times. Having a dedicated workspace and a routine will help staff to be more productive during the day.
Working hours - have virtual working hours during which team members can contact each other. Ideally, each team member should state what is the best method of contacting them as well as what time of the day works best for them. Work hours (especially when working from home) give employees a time they can “clock off” and relax. It is important that employees who work from home can still maintain work-life balance as burnout is not conducive to productivity.
Suit up - request staff to continue dressing as if they are going into the office. Working in sweatpants sounds amazing but dressing for success can actually have an impact on performance, as studies have shown. If you look and feel the part, you are more likely to achieve what you set out to do.
Catch-up – maintain or implement regular check-ins; both one-on-one as well as team catch-ups. They should ideally be at a specific time, at regular intervals and on a specific platform. Also allot time for social chit chat, either before or after check-ins. This allows for the team to stay connected even though they don’t see each other at the office. Regular catch-ups also help to stay on track with projects.
Objectives - set individual objectives that are in line with team objectives. This is crucial in the performance management process because if team members don’t know what their objectives are, how can they meet or surpass them? Communicate objectives clearly and consistently across the team. Have deadlines attached to each objective. Also, use check-ins to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding team objectives and on track with their individual objectives.
2. Providing Support
Providing support enables staff to continue working. But providing support goes beyond telling your team members to download Zoom on their work computer. Here are some ways in which you can support your team:
Emotional support – empathise, being understanding of the various emotions people go through while adapting to drastic changes in everyday life goes a long way in lifting the spirits and building trust. If you can keep your employees positive, their performance is likely to benefit from it.
Social support – create opportunities for team members to socialise with each other by allocating certain times during virtual meetings which team members talk about topics other than work.
Data – supply data and/or dongles to staff members who don’t have access to adequate internet.
Technical support – provide your team with the tools they will need to do their job effectively while working remotely.
Need help with managing your team’s performance? Reach out to Leapfrog HR – your HR Partner.