This article comes from Entrepreneur.
A disengaged remote staff like this can be low on both productivity and morale. That’s why it’s vital that you, as leaders, take the necessary steps to always keep them locked in.
Establishing metrics to measure performance is nothing new. The remote workforce, however, can pose a particular challenge for some employers because team members aren’t regularly in the office. Bridge that gap by building measurable goals that in-office and remote employees can work toward together.
But how do you regularly prioritize these numbers for off-site employees? A Queens University of Charlotte study found that 49 percent of Millennials support collaboration through social tools, resources that could certainly help foster companywide camaraderie toward a common goal. Use Slack, Dropbox, GitHub, etc., to monitor progress, highlight metrics and instigate action when necessary.
According to The Growth Divide Study, more than 90 percent of employees prefer their managers to provide them with real-time feedback. Make remote employees as accountable as in-house staff by scheduling regular check-ins to track progress.
Consider scheduling a standing meeting to monitor off-site employees’ status. Go over what a remote worker accomplished yesterday, what’s on his to-do list and whether he has any concerns. Put a phone call on the books to get everything aligned, or utilize BlueJeans, Google Hangouts or Zoom to schedule video meetings and add a more personal touch. Zoom, in particular, has screen-sharing capabilities, which enables those on a call to interact or collaborate on a project.
Companies with international or remote employees run into some issues when it comes time zones. For example, Groove is a small-business customer support platform whose team stretches across nine time zones. No matter what, though, both remote and in-house employees attend a tightly structured 10- to 30-minute meeting every weekday at 10 a.m. Eastern. While this means early mornings and late nights for some, it does help get everyone on the same page to start — or end — the day.
Groove’s solution isn’t an option for every company, so it’s important to find some way to navigate around time zone and other issues for remote staff. Encourage remote workers to complete a full profile containing job title, expertise, location, time zone, fluent languages, etc. That way, leadership always knows the best times to set up even an impromptu meeting. It’s also a good practice to post end-of-day summaries to help dispersed team members stay abreast of what’s going on with business. Remember, they can’t always call you with a question.
Working with remote talent isn’t any more hands-on than working with traditional in-office employees. It just requires you to be more mindful in your management style, which will ultimately benefit the entire team.
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