During the pandemic, businesses and organizations around the globe adopted a remote work model. The trend continues, with some estimates predicting that up to 75% of workers will stay remote.
With virtual teams scattered across multiple time zones, companies must develop new strategies to keep their teams engaged, motivated and productive. In addition, for any company to thrive, it must have efficient methods of assessing remote employee performance.
Needless to say, managing remote workers and measuring their performance can be a challenge. Thankfully with a few best practices, managing remote employees and tracking their success is possible. Here are five tips to help you manage and measure the success of your remote employees.
1. Create measurable goals & metrics
Establishing specific, attainable goals for remote workers is essential to effective management. Make them specific and measurable, leaving space to accommodate unforeseen situations.
Decide on the best metrics to measure each goal's performance. Metrics should measure individual employee progress toward an established plan.
For instance, if the goal is to increase customer retention by 20%, you might measure success with a metric like "percentage of customers retained after six months."
Here are a few more examples:
- Increase customer satisfaction score by 5% within three months
- Reduce response time to customer inquiries by 50% within 30 days
- Reduce the number of missed meetings by 10% within two months
- Increase task completion rate by 15% within 90 days
Consider using a project management system to track tasks and assign specific roles and deadlines. With clearly laid out goals, you'll ensure employees complete each job regardless of the number of hours worked.
2. Be clear about expectations
Remote employees need clear expectations too. A lack of face-to-face contact can cause confusion about roles and responsibilities.
For example, clearly state:
- The amount of time to dedicate to a task
- Progress reports expected, and when
- Specific skills needed for a project
- Timelines for completion
Understanding builds trust and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
3. Check in regularly
Regular check-ins measure remote employee performance, and feedback keeps them on track and motivated. Here are a few ways to stay connected with your remote team:
- Schedule regular virtual meetings or phone calls
- Send out performance updates and surveys
- Create an online discussion forum or chatroom
- Use task management software and progress-tracking tools
Managers should also monitor engagement in company culture. Encourage team members to join virtual events, meetings and other activities. Doing so will help them feel connected and foster collaboration within the organization.
Furthermore, provide ways for each worker to participate at a level that makes them feel comfortable.
4. Follow up on goals (aka track the metrics)
Keeping track of remote employee productivity can be a challenging task. Rather than only assessing productivity with time-tracking or monitoring systems, use meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) to get a holistic view of performance.
KPIs measure results and focus on meeting goals, not just how long someone is working. This way, workers can have flexible schedules - increasing job satisfaction, motivation and productivity.
Here are some example KPIs for measuring remote employees:
Productivity: are goals getting met?
To effectively assess remote workers, pay careful attention to the quality and quantity of work they deliver (on time). Regularly monitor their progress concerning goals to evaluate how significantly they contribute to your company's success.
How are their communication skills?
Effective communication is critical for remote work. How are they at articulating ideas, collaborating with others, responding to feedback and using communication tools?
Are their technical skills up to par?
Naturally, technical proficiency is fundamental when working from home. Evaluate technical abilities by assessing knowledge of software and tools, experience and ability to adapt to new technologies readily.
Is the remote worker flexible and adaptable?
To succeed in a remote working environment, adjusting and staying flexible to changing conditions is a requirement. Are your remote employees adaptable? Can they tackle several tasks at the same time and work autonomously? Also, consider their willingness to learn new technologies, processes and tools.
When following up on agreed-upon goals, give both constructive and positive feedback. This way, employees will feel supported and valued.
Ask employees for feedback too. Employee feedback helps you identify areas that need improvement. It also ensures your remote employees feel heard.
5. Provide resources
If you want the best out of your remote employees, provide them with the right resources and support. This includes things like:
- A fast internet connection
- Reliable hardware and software
- Collaboration tools
- Training materials
It's also important that managers are available and accessible. Consider communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging or virtual office hours. If a remote worker needs help and cannot reach someone with the answer, their work gets put on hold.
One last thing. When managing remote teams, remember remote employees have the same rights and privileges as those who work on-site. Provide them with a safe and healthy working environment, ensure fair wages and benefits and develop a culture of trust and respect.
Make managing remote teams easier
Ultimately, managing and measuring remote employee success is often challenging. Striking the perfect balance between daily business operations and managing a remote team can feel like an impossible feat.
However, if you incorporate the five tips from this article, you'll be on your way to managing remote employees and measuring their success in no time.
At Outstaffer, we make it simple to find, hire, pay and equip remote employees from around the world. Our Employer of Record services enable you to hire and employ employees from anywhere with a couple of clicks.
Plus, our #WorkFromAnywhere platform gives your remote team everything they need to thrive, including Managed Devices, Workforce Monitoring, Time & Attendance Tracking and VR Workplaces.
Ready to find top global talent and streamline your remote work management? Get started today!