11 Oct Remote Working and Maintaining High Employee Performance: Part 1 – The Foundations
As Australia reaches its vaccine targets and employees start to return to their workplaces one thing that is very clear is many employees wish to retain the flexibility and autonomy they achieved whilst working at home. For many businesses, this may mean a transition to what is known as the “hybrid” work model, particularly to attract and retain the very best talent and keep pace with current expectations.
A hybrid working model is a work style that enables employees to blend working from different locations: home, on the go, or the office. Typically it involves a structure where:
- Some employees work on-site and others work remotely
- All employees work on-site for part of the week and remotely for part of the week
- A combination of both of the above.
Many employers raise concerns about maintaining high levels of performance, however, with some simple adjustments, a high level of performance can be achieved and even exceeded. Here are some tips to establish solid foundations to manage your employees when they are working remotely:
- Establish structured daily check-ins: Many successful remote managers establish a daily call with their remote employees. This could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls if your employees work more independently from each other, or a team call, if their work is highly collaborative. The key point is that the calls are regular and predictable and that they are a forum in which employees know that they can consult with you and that their concerns and questions will be heard.
- Establish rules of engagement: Remote work is more efficient and satisfying when managers set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for their teams. For example, using videoconferencing for daily check-in meetings and instant messaging when something urgently needs to be actioned. Many businesses establish protocols for how their team members should best interact with each other. For example, agreeing on the best ways and times to reach each other during the workday. Effective managers monitor communication among their team members to ensure that relevant information is shared on a timely basis. The key point here is that all employees share the same set of expectations for communication.
- Manage to outcomes: Good leaders focus on managing by outcomes, rather than by tasks. They achieve this by managing by outcomes and focusing on people’s actual contributions towards achieving the picture of success. This involves ensuring your employees understand:
- The What: The specific goals to achieve – the picture of success.
- The Why: The specific benefits – for the company, colleagues and customers – of achieving the goals.
- The How: The key strategies people can follow to achieve the goals.
- The Who: The various roles people will play – including the spirit they will need to demonstrate – on the way towards achieving the goals.
- The When: The specific things that must be delivered – and by when – on the way towards achieving the goals.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll explore some tips for conducting virtual performance management.
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