Productivity Paranoia: How to Assess Performance when Hybrid Working
- January 12, 2023
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, home working has become the norm for many employees and employers. But this new way of working is hard for some to accept. According to a Microsoft survey this year, 85% of leaders said hybrid working made it difficult to be confident that employees are working hard. However, 87% of workers said they were as productive as ever.
Employers face the challenge of figuring out how to assess employee performance when working from home. This can be tricky, as employees don’t want to feel like they’re being spied on. But leaders need to feel confident that their employees are being productive.
So how can business leaders assess employee performance while respecting staff privacy?
Let’s explore some innovative ways to track employee performance without snooping.
Traditionally, managers have been used to measuring productivity by tracking inputs such as hours worked or the number of tasks completed. However, with remote working, this isn’t always viable as it doesn’t accurately depict how well employees perform their roles.
Rather than focusing on the hours logged by an employee, why not use outcome-based measurements? For example, stop tracking how much time an employee spends on a task. Instead, focus on what they achieve as outcomes. This is especially helpful when assessing remote workers since this method eliminates the need for direct supervision and monitoring.
Outcome-based measurements also help incentivise long-term productivity instead of short-term quick fixes, making them a great way to measure productivity from afar.
Focus On Communication
Communication is vital for any successful business relationship, especially for managing teams remotely. Make sure you set up regular check-ins with your team. That way, everyone can discuss progress on projects and address any concerns or issues that arise. Regular communication will also allow you to provide feedback quickly, which can help keep morale high even when working remotely.
Also, besides the regular check-ins, ask employees to reflect on their own performance and set individual goals for themselves. This will help them stay focused on their work and give them a sense of ownership of their results. In turn, this will help them stay motivated and engaged. Plus, it will help you understand how each person is performing. They’re best placed to self-assess their performance more accurately than if you only provided feedback through check-ins or one-off conversations.
Many people thrive in environments where there is mutual accountability among colleagues. So creating such an environment within your team can help boost morale, productivity, and collaboration between staff. You can encourage accountability by setting goals for the entire team or individual members. Then host regular “standup” meetings where each member shares updates on their progress towards those goals with the rest of the group. These strategies help ensure everyone feels like part of a unified team, even though they work remotely.
Working remotely has its challenges. But it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing performance standards or invading employee privacy to ensure things are running smoothly.
Managers can maintain productivity levels in remote teams by establishing clear expectations. Next, they should create an open line of communication between employees and managers. Finally, they can encourage accountability among colleagues through goal setting and “standup” meetings. And they can do it without compromising their trustworthiness or honesty with intrusive tactics such as time-tracking software or keyboard-logging apps.
Remember, new ways of working require new ways of managing. So, it’s up to business leaders to use their skills to develop a unique style that fits with this new normal.
Need some help recruiting staff with knowledge and experience of managing hybrid working? Contact our team to discuss your options.