3 Tips to Manage Remote Employee Performance

Whether you’re rejoicing or lamenting, remote work is here to stay. Even before the pandemic began, remote work was a fast growing trend that more and more organizations were starting to embrace.

As it becomes the new norm, both employees and employers are realizing that remote work has a lot of benefits. Employees are now saving time and money by not commuting, while employers are accessing wider pools of talent and minimizing employee absenteeism.

However, this abrupt transition to fully remote work can be challenging in terms of managing your employees’ performance. As an HR professional, it’s your responsibility to help leadership keep employees engaged, motivated, and at the top of their game. 

So how can you do this while your employees are working from home?

Here are 3 tips to help you better manage your employees’ performance as they work remotely:

1. Increase Team Visibility

In a remote setting, keeping everyone on the same page and tracking who’s working on what can seem a bit tricky. However, with the right collaboration and project management tools, it becomes a lot easier.

Video conferencing tools like Slack or Skype enable your team to communicate easily. Using more informal approaches to communication, like GIFs and memes, will also improve employee engagement. Consider hosting quick 15-minute team huddles every day so that employees are in sync with one another and aligned with project goals.

Likewise, a project management tool like Trello or Asana will help your team collaborate faster, assign and prioritize tasks, and track deadlines with ease. 

With such tools, you can gain greater visibility into each employees’ performance, along with your overall team’s progress. Plus, having an awareness of your employees’ workloads will help them avoid burnout. If an employee has a lot on their plate, you can reassign some of their work to someone who has space to help out.

2. Focus on Output Instead of Input

When working from home, many employees likely have to juggle other commitments as well, such as working remotely while their children are home.

So while it’s important to check in with your employees to see if they’re hitting deadlines, understand that each individual has their own way of completing work. Instead of fixating on the number of hours they put in, focus on their output and quality of work.

Even though work-life balance should always be a priority, it’s especially important to emphasize while your employees are working from home. Encourage your employees to take frequent breaks away from their desk, sign off once they’ve completed their tasks for the day, and get plenty of sleep and family time. Don’t expect them to be available 24/7 just because they’re working from home. To keep employees connected, create a Slack channel for them to have non-work-related conversations, such as sharing their favorite productivity-boosting music.

If someone is not producing the quality of work they’re expected to, schedule time to check in with them and ask them what you can do to help. Ultimately, it’s crucial to cultivate a remote work culture that’s based on trust, which can be built from day one with proper background verifications during staffing. A culture based on trust promotes flexibility and work-life balances. Showing your confidence in employees’ abilities will increase your employees’ productivity and overall performance.

3. Give Timely Employee Recognition

82 percent of employees wish they received more recognition for their work. In fact, lack of recognition is the 3rd biggest reason why people leave or would consider leaving their jobs. However, providing employee recognition in a remote setting can seem extra challenging.

To increase employee retention and keep them motivated to do their best, you must ensure that their hard work and contributions don’t go unnoticed.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to recognize your employees for their performance remotely. From personalized messages to virtual gift cards, you can show your employees appreciation as they work from home. To help them continue to grow, you can provide them with professional development opportunities, like online course subscriptions or memberships.

Giving recognition publicly also motivates employees and boosts morale. Whether it’s on a Zoom meeting or in a Slack group, recognition drives motivation for everyone on the team, stimulating more of the same positive behavior from other employees too.

Even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, working from home will likely still be common. To many employees, the liberty of work remotely is desirable and might even be non-negotiable once offices reopen.

As a matter of fact, according to a Buffer survey, 98 percent of respondents said they want to continue to work remotely, at least for some of the time, for the rest of their careers.

In this new remote work, it’s crucial to manage employees’ performance properly. To ensure that these tips are actually put into practice, work with leaders across your organization. By doing so, you’ll be able to manage performance better and ultimately create a positive culture that results in happier and more motivated employees.

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