Measuring employees’ productivity can feel much more difficult when managing them virtually. In fact, employees themselves may find monitoring their own progress toward their goals more challenging. Often, they feel disconnected from the team and lose sight of the objectives they’re working toward or the resources that can support them. Let’s take a look at some ways to resolve this dilemma so that everyone can stay as productive as possible while working remotely.
Hold team check-ins.
When everyone feels they’re a vital part of a team, morale soars. Hold short team meetings at the beginning of every workday. This will give each member a chance to report back on their progress and to help everyone feel connected. Workflow processes and communication will also be strengthened by employees’ awareness of what elements of a project each coworker is handling when you open this regular line of communications. Plus, everyone will have a stronger understanding of what knowledge each colleague possesses, which is as important to team cohesion as actually having the knowledge in the first place. You’ll also emphasize every employee’s value and their responsibility to the rest of the group by subtly promoting accountability via these meetings.
Use goal-tracking software.
Software solutions that help you track and visualize employees’ progress virtually will give you a great advantage in managing a remote workforce. Choose a tool that details goals and objectives, allowing you to focus on both the big picture and the smaller weekly or monthly picture so you can stay on top of employees’ progress toward these milestones.
Use project management tools that facilitate collaboration.
The right project management tools will help you understand exactly what stage of each project your employees have reached. Tools that boost effective collaboration are essential for a remote workforce, enhancing the workflow of each project. They’re not geared just toward monitoring productivity, but that’s one of the many purposes they can serve.
Ask employees what they plan to work on that week.
At the end of the previous week or the beginning of the current one, ask employees where they plan to focus their efforts that week. This will help employees structure their weekly workload rather than feeling uncertain about what they should be doing (a common sentiment among those working remotely). If employees’ planned activities don’t seem on track with what they should be doing, you can suggest they change course.
Ask them what challenges they face.
When you ask employees this question, you’ll start an open conversation about where they could enhance their productivity. Ask them if they’ve faced difficulties with maintaining productivity as your organization has gone remote. If they have, let them know that they’re far from alone. By providing guidance on a daily basis, you’ll help them address productivity issues as quickly as possible.
Share time-management resources.
Give employees resources and ideas that will help them stay productive. For instance, they could keep a log of their daily activities so they know how they’re using their time. By doing so, they can evaluate whether they need to spend more time on particular activities and less on others.
Sometimes a new tactic, like the Pomodoro technique, can help people find renewed drive and energy. The Pomodoro technique involves working in 25-minute increments with 5-minute breaks in between (and a longer break after four 25-minute intervals). A technique such as this one can add structure to the day. Have employees try a new technique together and discuss whether they found it effective in your weekly meeting. You can also make suggestions to one another about alternative methods that work for them.
By utilizing these solutions, you’ll keep your staff’s motivation high while helping productivity to soar. These tips will help build comradery between you and all of the people you manage, which plays a big role in helping everyone function as an effective team. And remember, none of these methods are mutually exclusive—use them all together for the best results. By strengthening communication and structure in these ways, you’ll help your remote workforce to thrive.
If you are looking for more tips to help you accurately track and support employee progress, check out our latest ebook, “Essential Performance Management Solutions for Today’s HR”. It’s a great read on the tools that organizations need to keep their performance management aligned with the business.