A Guide To Measuring The Productivity of Those Working From Home and Remote Employees
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has affected how employees work. Due to the initial restrictions put in place by governments across the world, people could not come to the office.
Before, it was easy for workmates to call for a meeting. They could just knock on a door or go to someone’s desk and proceed to a conference room. If they need to discuss more important things, even the bosses could quickly join them.
Pandemic Work Situation
But due to the lockdowns, this has not been possible. During the first weeks and months, companies explored various means to facilitate their workforce to stay in touch. Employees turned to conference calls and video meetings.
Meanwhile, managers and supervisors devised ways for them to check if assigned tasks were being accomplished. This has proven challenging because people had different ways of adjusting to their new normal. People also had personal limitations.
Not everyone had an excellent Internet connection, for one. Some people do not have computers or laptops at home to work on their assignments. Another issue for some people is solitary working and their mental health.
Now, the restrictions have loosened, many have adjusted to working from home and company leaders now also see the value of working remotely, but managers and supervisors must establish ways by which they can assess the performance of employees. Here are some tips:
1. Create clear policies
Clarity is an underestimated aspect of work. When deliverables are clear cut, employees will know what they need to do. This seems obvious, but many leaders do not emphasize this enough.
For sure, there are new and adjusted deliverables given the pandemic. When a leader is clear about such deliverables, there will be no guesswork that could lead to frustration for both parties.
We would also like to emphasize that conversations about transparency do not just happen once. Leaders must continue to communicate as there is a tendency for employees burdened with their daily tasks to shift priorities.
2. Create customized KPIs
Different roles mean different deliverables. For this reason, a forward-thinking supervisor would be wise enough to create specific key performance indicators (KPIs) for each role in the team. This will include specific tasks and assignments that a particular team member needs to accomplish.
Without KPIs, employees are likely to do what they think is essential. But often, since they have limited knowledge of the company’s internal issues, their perception may not be aligned with the company strategy.
Establishing such metrics means that managers will be paying for output and not just time.
3. Talk about milestones
When you already have agreed on the tasks employees need to perform, they must have specific deadlines. This communicates which ones need to be prioritized and which items need their full attention.
Aside from deadlines, establishing milestones will be helpful for both employees and managers. But progress should be assessed regularly rather than leaving it to the milestone date. Daily or weekly tracking is beneficial so that performance can be adjusted accordingly, otherwise the milestone date could pass with no progress having been made on it.
Reporting this way will also help supervisors plan future projects. They can study which assignments take longer and which require more people. As team leaders, they can make the necessary adjustments when implementing their future projects.
4. Track your employees’ time
Another key benefit of keeping track of time is that it allows you to see how much time has passed.
It isn’t easy to keep business and personal life distinct when you work from home. Employees cab have difficulty keeping track of how long they have been working due to this.
Many work-from-home individuals put in extra hours to make their supervisor think they’re productive. In the long term, this is unsustainable. If supervisors have any doubts about whether someone is slacking, they only need to look at the person’s timesheet and their outputs.
5. Implement a reporting structure
When you implement timely reports, employees will be more focused on their job. If issues arise, you will spot them quickly and take immediate action. This is among the most significant benefits of an efficient reporting system.
You may devise a daily reporting scheme if you require more frequent updates. Weekly or monthly reporting may work best for those who look more at the big picture. It is up to your preference and the kind of work the team has.
At first, employees may not be comfortable with such a system as some may feel that you do not trust them. But if you talk to them properly and make them understand that this is for everyone’s benefit, it will not be hard to get them on board. The key here is to talk to team members and allow them to process the new system with managers and supervisors.
It should also be done gradually. If employees do not have buy-in yet and you force them to apply new practices, it may just lead to frustrations.
6. Use a project management software
Such technology exists to help both team leaders and members. A project management software facilitates the accountability and productivity measures companies must implement in their teams.
A tool like this will be beneficial for a business because of the visibility it offers. When everyone in the team knows what everyone else is working on, they use that as an inspiration to consistently perform at their best.