Working remotely has become the norm with obvious advantages in cost savings and productivity. Managing remotely also brings challenges. While it is easy to move information and analyze data from any location, the human element is different. Without “face time” one of the big risks is miscommunication. Some basic management skills can help improve performance.
Here is a proven method for your toolbox. The links of the performance chain can are useful for day to day management and problem solving.
Expectations– Are goals and deliverables crystal clear? Don’t assume. Feedback– Information which is specific, timely, and relevant. Not just an annual review. Resources– Time, tools, and staffing to do the job right. Skills/Knowledge– Is training needed? Managers often point to training as the solution to problems. However, if employees know how to do the job training may not be the answer to performance issues. Look to the other links of the chain. Capacity– Does the person have the physical and mental ability to do the job with training? If not, reassign or terminate, and screen new hires more carefully. Incentives– What rewards are most meaningful to the workforce? These include money, benefits, flex time, etc. and will vary for individuals. Incentives are external and provided by the company. Motivation– Internal and personal to each employee. Top performers are self motivated. For others the idea is to bring out their motivation through incentives, training, or simply clearer expectations and feedback.
New to management? The performance chain is a good starting place. Experienced manager? Old dogs can learn new tricks.