Given that you can’t physically monitor them like before, you need to figure out how to properly evaluate your work-from-home (WFH) employees. Since WFH is a new policy in many companies, there may be some adjustments you have to make, including the way you assess your staff members’ job performance. If you don't have evaluation parameters yet or you want to improve your existing ones, follow these methods:
1. Create A Policy For Measuring Remote Employee Productivity
One effective strategy you can implement is to establish a policy that clearly defines when and how you want everyone's tasks done. This will allow you to set a standard for your operations and an effective performance management process. With this kind of policy, you can measure each team member's overall productivity. At its core, productivity is measured by the amount of output produced for every unit of time, but you can also include other key metrics like customer satisfaction or increase in sales.
Read more: Timeboxing – the Ultimate Productivity Tool
In setting up the policy, make sure that your employees are aware of the metrics, too. Letting your employees know how you'll evaluate them increases the level of trust they have in you. Plus, it gives your employees a better idea as to which aspects of their work they have to focus on.
Here's how you can create a good employee productivity policy:
- Set your objectives. Be clear about what goals you want to achieve and how your WFH employees can help you attain them.
- Keep communication lines open. Remote employees don't have the opportunity to reach out to their managers as conveniently as their on-site counterparts. If your employees want to talk to you about a problem they're experiencing, they might not be able to do so if there’s no way for them to get in touch with you. That’s why you want to make sure that they can reach you as quickly as possible. Allow email, chat, or video calls to encourage them to contact you. By doing so, this can show that you’re a good remote leader who’s always ready to listen and provide support.
- Prepare well. At some point, your WFH employees will likely run into an issue that’ll prevent them from performing as expected. In such cases, you want to give them as much assistance as you can. That way, they’ll still be able to deliver the output required of them since they know they can rely on you.
2. Allow For Self-Assessment
Self-evaluation is an excellent way for employees to remain aware of their performance. It encourages them to reflect on organisational goals as well as their own contributions to achieving those objectives. What’s more, it allows them to pay more attention to their strengths and weaknesses.
Organisations that use this method in reviewing employee performance can get a better interpretation of each team member’s contribution. It also helps staff members remain engaged during the assessment process. Pondering on their own performance may ultimately give them reason to aim for improvement in various areas.
Read more: Being Objective: Nobody Is Good At Self-Evaluation
3. Set The Right Tone
Carrying out a scheduled assessment with your employees and then no longer talking to them after that evaluation meeting is inadvisable. A remote work setup could make it harder for you to maintain a good relationship with your employees. And if the only time you talk to them is through meetings that happen every three to six months, then you're not making the situation any better.
Sure, virtual meetings aren't as good as in-person meetings, but they're essential to sustaining regular communication with your employees. Doing so will lessen the pressure on their part when it's time to conduct employee assessments. Regularly checking up on your team also gives you more chances to nurture a healthy relationship with them. However, it should be properly scheduled as well because not everyone can handle sudden talks with their employer.
Alternatively, during the performance review, make sure that you foster the right environment. Understandably, no one wants to open their camera during a call, but having a video meeting is beneficial. You can observe your employees' body language to get a grasp of how they’re feeling and what they think of your feedback. It's easy to have misunderstandings during this particular work setup, so using video during assessments allows you to avoid miscommunication as much as possible.
4. Provide Feedback Often
Without enough feedback, your employees might make the wrong assumption about the work they do. It allows everyone to determine where they're at when it comes to their job and how well or poorly they're doing. Such information can guide them toward the areas of improvement they need to work on.
On top of that, giving regular feedback reduces the possibility of surprises during a formal assessment. Whether you choose to provide input through chat or video call, letting your employees know how they're performing professionally decreases the stress they’ll experience during scheduled evaluations. But as mentioned, it’s best to let them know that you’ll do frequent reviews, so they won’t be caught off guard.
Read more: How to Give Effective Feedback
5. Use A Remote Task Manager
You can efficiently measure your remote employees' performance with the help of a task manager. This type of software allows you to track the progress of tasks assigned to each team member. It can also help you measure how long your employees completed certain projects and whether they did so on time or not.
Generally, a task manager lists tasks under three categories: to-do, in progress, and completed. With this easy-to-use tool, you can instantly check how your employees are faring. Not only that, but the data can be accessed by the team members themselves, so they’ll know whether they're underperforming or on the right track.
6. Ask Specific Questions
It's also vital to have the right questions during an assessment. Whether you're interviewing them via video or letting them conduct a self-evaluation, it's best to prepare relevant questions. This way, you can get answers that'll help you judge your remote team member’s performance more accurately.
Some questions you can go for are the following:
- What are the new skills you've mastered or developed this year with the company?
- Have you achieved your work-related goals, and if so, how did you accomplish them?
- What issues have you experienced working from home, and how did you overcome them?
- What resources have you used to complete your tasks aside from what the company has provided?
- What are the future goals you hope to achieve in the company?
Read more: The Best Way To Give Tough Feedback
Evaluating your work-from-home employees isn't as hard as it sounds. By knowing the different ways to do so, you can efficiently get the kind of information about your staff that you're looking for. As a result, you’ll be able to find out how your remote workers have contributed to your company and improve your WFH policy to ensure that everyone benefits from it.
About Author: Alliyah Reinard is a Human Resources specialist who has been in the industry for more than seven years. She handles office and virtual workers alike and helps them become the best employees they can possibly be. She loves traveling out of town whenever she's not busy.
Extra info that can tickle your inquisitive threshold: Working from home can get very challenging as time goes. However, having a solid structure, particularly in evaluating your employees, can be the first step to a more redefined workplace! Introducing → Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia) is an amazing engagement app built for organisation to drive engagement amongst employees. It has amazing analytics and also provides activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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