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How to Manage Employee Performance Remotely

Ready or not, remote working became an overnight requirement for many companies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies such as Twitter and Square recently announced indefinite remote working arrangements, with many others looking to follow suit. Historically, managers have been able to keep track of employee’s performance whilst working together physically in the office. However, in a remote-working arrangement, managers must now contend with managing employees’ performance remotely. Therefore, it is imperative that organisations equip their people to navigate this shift to a remote workforce.

How can companies effectively manage employee performance as remote working arrangements become the new normal?

1. Have regular check ins to engage with employees

During a time of great uncertainty and volatility, regular communication with your employees is crucial. This is particularly important where workplace interactions are now online, and employees may feel more isolated than if they were to be in the office with their peers and managers.

There are several best practices that companies can employ to engage with employees remotely. Managers can set up daily 15 minute scrum meetings to check-in with the team so that every employee has a pulse on the business and is able to think through their to-do list for the day productively. The scrum meetings are usually guided by these questions:

  • What did you do yesterday?

  • What will you do today?

  • What is blocking your progress?

Beyond the daily scrum meetings, managers should also ensure they are providing continuous feedback to employees during this time through regular one-on-ones. By giving constant feedback, bottlenecks can be quickly resolved and employees will be normalized on what to expect.

Having regular two-way communication with your employees is key to building the trust required for making remote-work policies successful.

2. Utilise time tracking and collaboration tools

One of the challenges that arise from remote working is the lack of visibility of your workforce. As such, the utilisation of time tracking and collaboration tools is crucial. Most employees are not used to working remotely, so having the right system in place would help employees with their productivity. With the right tools, managers will be able to trust that employees are able to be accountable with their work without worrying that there will be an abuse of the system.

At JustLogin, we have been accustomed to working remotely, utilising tools such as Hubstaff’s employee monitoring software to manage teams which have been working remotely in Philippines and Malaysia even before the global lockdown. This software helps employees keep themselves accountable for their time as they can be tracked through random screenshots of their desktop whilst they are working. Not only that, teams would be able to log in wherever they are by checking in via their mobile. With that, managers can easily view the time tracked, what each employee has worked on and access a detailed report with just one click.

For most managers, remote working would bring about the challenge of keeping track of employees – and JustLogin’s in-house application JustClock solves just that. With the app, you would be able to have real-time visibility of your employees and map records for location overview. This on-the-go solution is also available on mobile devices, with a facial recognition AI feature to help employee clock in their work hours. The geofencing facility on the application also helps to create a virtual boundary around the employee so they remain focused on their work and ultimately facilitate trust between themselves and their managers.

3. Provide guidance by setting clear goals and timelines

We’re all familiar with the saying, “what gets measured gets done”. When an employee has clarity on the target and timeline aligned with the company’s critical goals for success, he/she would be able to plan accordingly and clearly set out milestones and the required resources needed.

As a manager, it is vital to set goals not only for yourself but also for your team to ensure that everyone in the company is motivated and aligned with the targets that have been set out. During this time, managers can utilise SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) principles to help employees set attainable and achievable benchmarks that can lead to the company’s development and success.

To help your company create a goal driven high-performance work culture, Synergita’s SMART Goal Management system can help you track lead, lag or on-track status of the goals for monitoring the progress. For employees, they can update their goals and check out the progress of the team directly from the Synergita mobile app. This will help them stay engaged and focused on the goals of the business. For managers, they can share performance and development feedback that are tagged to the goals that has been set out.

Leaders can also tie goal-setting into a rewarding experience by linking goal achievement to rewards and performance score when setting compensation for employees. Synergita’s Continuous Engagement Platform (CEP) is timely in this era of remote-working as it integrates engagement drivers into the performance management system. The platform promotes continuous conversation and provides custom rewards & recognition to boost team morale in line with the current status, learning & development feedback. The CEP also has a gamification element that provides a fun way to assess of employees’ reflection on the organisation’s core values.

This pandemic has provided companies with an opportunity in the midst of adversity to empower their workforce in new ways. As the future of work takes the form of remote working, companies need to start embracing technology to enable greater communication and collaboration. Undoubtedly, having processes and systems in place will help employers manage employees more efficiently, but more importantly, it will set the foundation for building a culture of trust in the workplace.

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