How Do I Know What My Employees are Doing Remotely?

June 17, 2020 | 873 views

How Do I Know What My Employees are Doing Remotely?
How Do I Know What My Employees are Doing Remotely?

Remote teams and employees are new to many of us. If we are fortunate, we continue to create solutions for our organization and our customers–even if it’s from home. As a manager, we may never have tracked productivity from afar. If you are the team member or manager who needs to demonstrate effectiveness and use of time, there are a few options for keeping everyone informed and on task.

Encourage Initiative. Self-starters already have this, of course, but draw attention to those who are successful. And expect a bit of self-management by assigning responsibilities, not just tasks.  Then ask about their processes so the team can improve and refine the best ways to accomplish the goals. This is important even if employees are physically at the office, store, clinic, or factory. Doing what we’ve always done is probably not possible. By honoring ideas and initiative, employees are more likely to contribute more ideas.

Schedule Flexibly to Increase Efficiency. If it works for you, allow employees to schedule their own hours. With homeschooling and other work-from-home interruptions, employees will appreciate the ability to work when it is best for them. Physical separation may mean that your organization staggers shifts, for example. Rather than a hindrance, this will be appreciated by staff who have important personal needs at home.

Track Progress. We must hold ourselves and our team accountable for progress, and tracking software creates two important benefits. First, it allows everyone on a team to see what others have done so that each person can respond and act accordingly. Second, it keeps track of progress for clients. By knowing real-time status, organizations can bill accurately and provide updates regardless of where employees are physically located.

Schedule and Pay for Online Team Meetings. We all know communication is important. From a remote location, the discussion needs to be scheduled and part of employee hours. If no one is ever at a worksite at the same time, this is the only time that voices can be heard by all. Schedule these meetings to effectively create a team atmosphere where any challenges are openly addressed for all.  

Choose to Trust. Even if you track specific projects, trust your staff to do the right thing. You hired and kept your employees for a reason. Trust in their abilities is one of them. Doing so sends the message to the team that everyone is important and valued. Combined with meetings, calls, and flexibility, it will empower employees to do their best.

Nearly everyone is working in a different way than just a few months ago. Tracking staff productivity is still important and creates its own challenges for managers. With a bit of scheduling flexibility, consistent communication, and trust in employees’ abilities, you will quickly feel confident when accounting for employees you seldom get to see in person.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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