Managing performance across remote workers and countries

Managing performance across remote workers & countries

With the majority of businesses continuing with remote working, the days of having a full onsite staff presence and shared workspaces seem to be behind us. It is rare that a business workplace does not have some level of remote working.

Sharing an office space with workers allows a certain amount of observation and direct contact that can be helpful when trying to manage performance, however this does not mean to say that managing performance across remote and cross-country workers is impossible.

Here are just a few ways in which you can manage performance across a remote workforce:

Communication is key!

With remote workers it is easy to assume that everything is going to plan, and deadlines are being met, unless you hear otherwise. However, without the benefit of working within the same space there must be efforts to keep in contact with your staff, to identify any performance issues before they arise. Video calls and instant messaging are a good way to keep in regular contact, are easy to schedule and keep the lines of communication open.

A study carried out in May 2022 found that 97% of employees believed that communication impacts their task performance and efficacy on a day-to-day basis. The study also found that having an improved internal communication line can greatly improve organisational productivity by approximately 25%! 

This is the same for overseas workers, in many cases it is beneficial to over communicate in the beginning to set expectations, overcome any cultural differences and ensure they understand their role and responsibilities within the business.

Set measurable targets and clear deadlines

When managing the performance of remote workers, setting measurable targets are another key thing to focus on. It is vital to set these targets at the beginning of the review period and ensure they reflect what you will be able to measure. A focus on quantifiable targets, ideally of which the employee has a hand in developing is invaluable to keeping workers on track and motivated. Staying abreast of key performance indicators is important in any setting, however, this is crucial with remote and overseas workers as it is tougher to gauge when they’re not in the same vicinity. Spending time and energy with your remote workers in the beginning, creating measurable targets ensure the reviews and management are a smoother process throughout the year.

Clear deadlines are paramount to ongoing performance management. In a remote working environment, without in-person reminders and face to face meetings, keeping on top of deadlines can be much harder. Being clear in what is expected from your remote workers makes performance management much easier to handle for everyone involved.

Trust

A huge element in any relationship is trust and this is especially true in the management of your remote workers, as micromanaging can damage morale and reduce productivity. A positive working relationship between management and (remote) staff is crucial, otherwise output, as well as, working relationships can be challenging. For example; if someone is reaching their targets and deadlines it is not overly important when the individual is working, or how they complete each task. Focusing on deliverables and timelessness is more beneficial than making sure your remote workers are logged on at a particular time each day. This can mean your own management style may have to change to accommodate remote workers and this level of awareness is really important. Having this trust enables you, as a manager to be to a certain extent, hands off whilst allowing your remote workers freedom to what they do best. This can in turn increase performance on the basis of moral and this also allows you to manage performance in the most efficient way.

Having the right systems in place

Ensuring that your workforce has the right systems in place is critical for performance, morale and is essential for the remote working strategy to succeed. Remote workers must be able to access all of the relevant documentation and/or client information to be able to carry out their job and meet deadlines. It is also important for all employees to be using and have access to the same communication platforms to ensure open communication lines.

Recognition

Regular recognition for performance of employees is essential when managing a remote workforce, as 60% of employees believe employee appreciation and recognition is very important when working from home. With this being, said only 26% of employees found that their company had implemented new ways to recognise and reward them since remote working became the new normal.

A way in which regular recognition can be implemented is; instead of saving positive feedback solely for reviews and appraisals, it can be very beneficial to do this on a daily / weekly basis, whether that is through shoutouts on the working system or via 1-2-1 communication. This can boost morale and in turn performance.

Managing performance is about so much more than return on investment and getting the most out of your workers. Opening communication, keeping up morale and ensuring your employees are feeling valued are crucial parts of the performance process.  Managing this for remote / all workers does come with additional challenges of lacking face to face interaction so investing time in continued development within your business on all levels is the key to keeping them engaged, happy and on track to perform in a way that helps the entire team and business.

If you would like further support please get in touch with a member of the team who will be able to support your further info@hrready.co.uk or 01223 641 017.