It’s no secret that the number of remote workers is on the rise due to better technology, globalisation, and changing workplace culture.
Add to this the recent changes to us all being asked to work from home if at all possible, it’s safe to say the number of remote workers is likely to accelerate even further.
But with the scale of remote working we’ll likely see in the coming weeks and months, it’s never been more important to consider the impact it can have on your employees’ performance, development and well-being.
Good remote management of your people is essential, not only to help your people achieve their best work, but also to ensure they don’t feel isolated. That’s why it’s critical to make sure existing business processes and support are tailored to the individual and not the masses.
1 Ensure your processes are fit-for-purpose
Remote workers can be more productive than their traditional office-based colleagues, and even experience higher job satisfaction due to factors such as lower stress levels which are often associated with commuting.
There has been research of remote workers which suggests they need more stimulation and greater challenges than average office-based workers. But, with the lack of formal face-to-face meetings, they’re also less likely to ask for feedback or demand recognition.
That’s why transferring good performance processes to remote working is essential to help your business function as usual – and your employees continue to feel supported and valued.
Being transparent about how you intend to evaluate remote employee performance can help to provide a smooth transition between the office and home.
And by continuing regular communication and performance feedback, you can help your people feel that processes are being appropriately managed and help keep them fully engaged in your day-to-day operations.
2 Account for individual personality traits
Unlike working in a traditional office environment, remote working requires a higher degree of self-motivation and time-management. And while the majority of people work well remotely, it’s not always ideal for everyone.
Thomas’ High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) is an assessment tool which measures six key traits that indicate personality and affect work performance. Personality is a stable psychological concept that affects our thoughts, behaviours and emotions. The six key traits measured by the HPTI are conscientiousness, adjustment, curiosity, risk approach, ambiguity acceptance and competitiveness. It’s a fab tool and I love using this with clients and their teams.
The three important personality traits that will influence how your employees handle remote working are; Conscientiousness, Adjustment and Curiosity, so it’s essential to keep in mind these traits and how you feel your team members manages these traits when managing remote performance.
- Conscientiousness – self motivation and an ability to work to deadlines are helpful skills when working remotely, but be aware that this doesn’t suit all employees, and some may need closely managing and greater support when working remotely.
- Adjustment – Employees with a high adjustment level are more capable of handling stress and managing their emotions. It’s a good idea to monitor people in your teams with low adjustment levels to ensure they are coping with their new work environment and managing their stress levels.
- Curiosity – High levels of curiosity and new work environments go hand in hand. That means that those with low curiosity levels will need extra support to cope with new working methods, tools and technologies.
3 Create remote performance management routines
With limited physical communication, it can be a challenge to maintain the same performance and development for people working outside the office.
Good performance management is critical to maintain office-based expectations and deliverables while your employees are working remotely.
But performance management should always be tailored to the individual. According to research, there’s a balanced split between the number of average employees who prefer feedback on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis. My advice would be to ask people how often they want to meet with you to discuss how they are getting on – let them set the frequency.
It’s also important to consider how you provide feedback. Whether it’s written – such as email and instant messaging – or via video calling, these seemingly minor considerations can have a significant impact on employee and business outcomes, so again discuss this with your team member and agree how best to have these discussions.
Good luck out there and as we’ve been working remotely for over 5 years, we have first hand experience of what works in our own team! If we can be of any help in this new working world, then book a call to have a chat with us; http://bit.ly/CallMerakiHR.