Across the UK and the US, news of increasing numbers of coronavirus cases has governments again recommending that people who are able to work from home continue to do so. Leaders managing teams of employees working from home need to be proactive and set employees up for success in order for businesses to thrive even as quarantine continues.
In this post we’re going to concentrate on two things:
- How to measure the effectiveness and accountability of remote employees.
- How to create the structures and routines necessary keep remote employees connected, engaged and productive.
4 ways to measure the effectiveness and accountability of WFH employees
This video from Mike Paton of the EOS network offers a simple structure for evaluating how effective and accountable remote employees are by asking four simple questions:
- Do they hit their weekly number?
- Do they complete at least 80% of their quarterly goals?
- Do they complete their weekly “to-dos” consistently?
- Do they share the company’s core values?
Here’s the video in which Mike elaborates on these ideas. Give it a watch – it’s just 4 minutes long.
Setting your remote team up for success: key structures and routines
The indicators of effectiveness and accountability Mike outlined above align almost perfectly with the approach to structuring the experience for remote employees we’ve been advocating. Before leaders start measuring, it’s important to create the structure and framework that supports those objectives.
We’ve developed an ebook focused on keeping employees working from home fully engaged and productive.
There are five key things leaders need to do to create the structure and framework that will set remote employees – and the whole company – up for success:
- Create regular routines for your team, to bring them together and get them talking. We recommend teams start the day with short, 15-minute stand-ups to connect on the day ahead. Similarly, we use a similarly short meeting at the end of the day to share the day’s wins and signal the close of the workday. The communication and accountability these meetings generate is invaluable, and they ensure no-one starts or ends their day in silent isolation.
- Manage by outcome, not input. Trying to manage remote teams by monitoring their activities is a fool’s errand that will end poorly: it’s a form of micromanagement that will actively disengage employees. Developing a culture that’s based on outcomes and encourages employees to figure out solutions themselves creates energy, intellectual capital and improves employee engagement. Related reading: This Company’s Approach to Remote Work is the Worst I’ve Ever Seen
- Commit to consistent and clear communication. We can’t emphasize enough the power of clear, transparent and consistent leadership communication, especially for remote workers. Sharing the company’s vision, strategy and progress against goals will unite the team and put them on the same page – and provide important context for individual goal-setting. Clear communication also insulates against rumor and speculation. It’s a panacea for many corporate ills.
- Start practicing your purpose. Your company’s purpose should be the banner beneath which employees unite. It gives them the “why” they show up at work each day. It can be an unbelievably powerful force for employee alignment and engagement. Focus on the impact each person can have on delivering it, and create opportunities to celebrate wins. Related reading: In a Crisis, Companies Must Know their Purpose
- Survey your team now and get a clear view of how the organization stands. You’ll quickly learn whether employees understand the current strategy and have the tools they need to deliver it, see which teams are struggling and understand how to help them, and know which leaders within your organization are equipped to lead successfully through change, and who needs some support. If you’re new to Engagement Multiplier, we’re providing free access to our surveys. Related reading: What Can You Learn From an Employee Engagement Survey during COVID?
Keeping employees working remotely connected to the business and each other has been top of mind for Engagement Multiplier this year. In fact, our founder, Stefan Wissenbach, held a webinar on this very subject at the beginning of the month. If you missed it, here is the replay.