Ready or not, remote working became an overnight requirement for many companies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Google is allowing their employees to work from home until at least July 2021, Twitter and Square recently announced indefinite remote working arrangements, with many other companies looking to follow suit. Historically, managers used to be able to keep track of employees’ performance whilst working together physically in the office. However, this has become practically infeasible in a remote-working arrangement. 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 opt for engage with employees remotely. For example, setting up daily 15-minute scrum meetings by managers to check-in with the team so that every employee has a pulse on the business and be 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 today?
- What is blocking your progress?
- Anything important you want to share with the team?
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 keeping communication open with constant feedback, bottlenecks can be quickly resolved and employees will be normalised on what to expect, thus, performance is more accurately assessed in return.
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 arises from remote working is the lack of visibility of your workforce. As such, the utilisation of time tracking and collaboration tools comes in handy. Some employees might find a hard time adapting to working remotely, having the right system in place would guide employees through the process and thus help maintain their productivity. Moreover, it helps establish employer’s trust on employees’ accountability towards their work without worrying that there will be an abuse of the system.
At JustLogin, we have been accustomed to working remotely even before the global pandemic. Not only have we practiced regular work-from-home arrangement for Singapore office, employee monitoring tools like Hubstaff also give us a hand with managing the remote teams in Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar. 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. In addition, teams would be able to log in wherever they are by checking in via mobile phone. With that, managers can easily view the time tracked, what each employee has worked on and access a detailed report on performance review with just one click.
Remote working has undoubtedly brought about the challenge of keeping track of employees – and JustLogin’s in-house application JustClock solves just that by providing you the real-time visibility of employees and map records for location overview. This on-the-go solution is available on mobile devices so that employees can clock in their work hours anywhere, with AI facial recognition feature to harness the credibility of clocking data. The geofencing facility on the application empowers accuracy and transparency of data further by creating a virtual boundary around employees’ clocking location, which ultimately facilitate trust between staff and their managers.
3. Provide guidance by setting clear goals and timelines
We’re all familiar with the saying, “what gets measured gets done”. According to a 2015 study by Asmus, Karl, Mohnen and Reinhart, clear goal-setting improves workers’ performance by 12-15%. When an employee has clarity on the goal, strategy and timeline set out by the company, he/she would be able to plan and assemble the required resources accordingly in order to achieve milestones for success effectively.
As a manager, it is of utmost importance 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. Managers can adopt SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) principles to help employees set attainable and achievable benchmarks, which would lead to the company’s fruitful development and success.
For goals to be effective, meaningful performance reviews need to be held on a regular and systematic basis. As such, performance management tools facilitate clarity and accountability to your team by defining goals and objectives in an actionable manner.
To help your company cultivate a goal-driven and high-performance work culture, Synergita’s SMART Goal Management system assists you with tracking lead, lag or on-track status of the goals for monitoring work progress. Employees can update goals and check out team’s progress directly from Synergita’s mobile app conveniently, which help them stay engaged and focused on the goals of the business. For managers, they can share performance and development feedback tagged to the goals that have been set out.
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, management should stay open-minded about embracing and leveraging technology to enable greater communication and collaboration. Without a doubt, having appropriate processes and systems in place provides a channel for employers to manage employees more efficiently, but more importantly, it will set an indispensable foundation for building a culture of trust in the workplace, which will pay dividends in long run for the individual, teams and the company as a whole.
Information About Hong Kong Government Support During COVID-19
As a business owner based in HK, it is imperative that you know the financial assistance that are available to you in order to keep your business running during these uncertain times. For your convenience, we have compiled together a free e-book for you to download to find out more information about the various government support schemes that can benefit your business. You may download it here. Alternatively, book a consultation with us for more info or if you have any inquiries on how JustLogin’s HR module can improve your HR processes.
For happy HR, bosses and employees, you want a platform that can help your team remain productive and focused, while providing excellent employee experiences that impresses and retains talent. JustLogin is the HR employee experience platform that delivers both through a comprehensive suite of HR applications.