You’ll find the internet filled with advice that you should install time tracking software, capture screen movements, or monitor keyboard activity to monitor your remote employees. I disagree.
Doing this, the Washington Post reported, erodes trust between you and your employees, and increases their stress levels—leading to burnout and work dissatisfaction.
There’s a better way—one that I practice at my workplace that has increased trust, productivity, and employee work satisfaction.
Here are 5 recommendations to enact this way:
1. Tell the employees their reporting manager
Yes, I know this is obvious, but I have seen many employees not know who they should report to and feel anxious about it. So, ensure you let the employee on the joining date know to who they should inform their work status.
2. Communicate your work expectations and key performance indicators
When you hire a person to do a job, you know:
a) What are your expectations
b) What’s a good work
b) What metrics you’ll use to judge the tasks
For example, you might want your writer to write three posts weekly, and the articles should be well-researched, error-free, and filled with unique insights (share examples with them).
And you’ll measure the performance of the blogs by checking the number of blog visits, time spent on the site, and the email subscribers they bought.
Communicate all these to the employees. If they know what you want from them and how you’ll measure success, they’ll have a roadmap for how to do their work.
This will save both of you time and ensure quality work.
3. Discuss milestones
Tell each employee what the ultimate goal of their work should be. For example, you want your writer to increase brand awareness, educate users, and convert them into paying customers. You want your customer representatives to build customer loyalty by solving their queries fast.
Let your employees know their goals. Help them break down their work into individual tasks they should do within a deadline.
4. Allow employees to choose their working hours
While some people are at their highest energy levels in the mornings, some are during the night. So, track your remote employees’ progress based on work output, not on whether they are working 9-5 or not.
Allow them to choose their schedule depending on their productivity time slots. As long as they are doing the work and achieving the milestones (before the deadline), it shouldn’t matter when they work.
5. Implement a reporting structure
You can either ask for daily or weekly updates. I prefer weekly and ask my employees to email me with answers to these two questions every Friday:
a) What did I do this week?
b) What will I do next week?
This does two things:
a) The employee's self-introspects
They know how much they are getting done and whether they should improve their work output or continue the same.
(If they are A+ hires, they’ll do this and look to contribute more. If they aren’t, why did you even hire them? But, if you did, communicate with them and ensure they are productive. Else, fire them)
b) You’re updated on their progress
Work updates help you know whether employees are working for enough duration and what goals they have achieved. For example, if your writer is writing only two short posts per week, you know this is less, and they are probably wasting time. Communicate this to them and solve it.