Currently many people are finding their teams and company shifting to a remote workforce. Already beforehand almost Approximately 4.3 million American workers work from home at least half of the time. Do you have remote workers on your team? Or perhaps, your entire team is made up of folks who work outside of the office.
It doesn’t matter if everyone works remotely or only some people do. When you’re managing a remote team, you have to get creative with the strategies you use to keep track of your employees and ensure everyone is staying on task and getting things done.
At Weekdone Team Compass, not only do we help with remote worker reporting, but we ourselves have worked in mostly remote teams with many choosing to work from home or away.
Read on for some great tips we learned and use ourselves on how to check in on remote employees and make sure your office runs in the most productive way possible.
Start with Good Onboarding
When it comes to managing your remote team members and keeping track of the work they’re doing, you’ll find that the process is much easier if you start with good onboarding practices.
Many remote managers make the mistake of skipping or rushing through onboarding with remote employees, or they might simply send them a few PDFs to read over and call it a day. But, neglecting the onboarding process can lead to serious productivity and job satisfaction issues later on,
Onboarding helps workers understand what’s expected of them and the culture of the company. It also gives them a chance to meet you, their manager, as well as their new colleagues.
With a good onboarding process, you can overcome many issues associated with remote work. Your new team members will know to whom they should reach out if they’re having a problem, and they’ll likely feel comfortable communicating with you and their fellow employees. It ensures that they’re crystal-clear on what their job is, and what their responsibilities are, moving forward.
Check out an extensive remote work guide for remote team managers here here. Created by Workpuls, it gives some insightful tips from experience leaders on how to successfully onboard new remote employees.
Set Clear Expectations
During the onboarding process is a great time to talk to your employees about what you expect from them. But, don’t let that be the last time you clarify expectations.
The clearer you are when it comes to explaining what you want, and when you want it done, the easier it’ll be for employees to meet your expectations and minimize the need for you to track them.
Whenever your employees are starting a new project, talk to them about the details of the project, and let them know how you want them to carry it out. Be sure to set clear deadlines for the project too.
You might even want to break it down into smaller chunks and assign a series of deadlines for employees to meet. This helps them stay on task and reduces the chances that they’ll procrastinate.
Follow the OKR Methodology
When setting goals with your employees, consider using the OKR (short for Objectives and Key Results) methodology. The OKR methodology is a great starting point for building an effective work from home culture. It is used by companies such as Spotify, Google, and Amazon.
This is a highly effective goal-setting strategy that helps you track your workers’ progress and ensure they’re continuously working toward larger goals. It also allows you to break things down into pieces, so you can catch potential problems before they escalate into serious productivity or performance issues.
When following the OKR approach, as a leader you should set goals at the team and company level. Employees should be made aware of what part they play in the bigger picture. From there people should plan out their weekly activities and initiatives that help to move the needle forward on the Objectives.
Hold Weekly Check-ins
For the OKR methodology to be most effective, it should be paired with weekly check-ins. A weekly check-in gives team members a chance to go over the work they’ve done so far and how well they’re progressing toward team and company Objectives. It provides managers with an opportunity to provide feedback (both positive and constructive) and assistance if an employee seems to be struggling.
Weekly reviews also help workers and managers prevent problems from escalating. If teams get together every week, there’s less time for something to grow into a serious issue, and workers can course-correct early on. This helps to keep the whole team on task and prevents productivity problems later. It ensures that projects get completed by their deadlines too. In these reviews, consider which check-in questions to ask – using the Plans, Progress, Problems methodology for status reporting is a great guide!
Use the Right Team Management Software
When you manage a team of in-office workers, it’s pretty easy to keep everyone on track. You can stop by someone’s desk and see how a project is coming or call them into your office for a quick meeting.
With a remote team, though, you have to do some extra work to ensure team members feel supported and are as productive as possible. This is where a team management software comes into play.
Team management softwares, like Weekdone Team Compass, allow for more visibility, especially when it comes to status reporting. It helps team managers with the process of tracking tasks and seeing how well employees are doing when working toward specific goals.
Team Compass also makes communication easy and efficient. Managers can create spaces to talk to workers one-on-one, or in groups, to track their progress and address any questions or concerns they might have. Managers can also conduct weekly reviews through the platform to go over everyone’s objectives and talk about potential problems in a convenient way.
Start Tracking Your Remote Employees Today
When you first start managing a team of people who work from home, figuring out how to track remote employees can definitely be a challenge. If you keep these guidelines in mind, though, it’ll be easier for you to ensure everyone is progressing and working toward their goals. You’ll also have an easier time keeping your employees engaged and creating a sense of camaraderie among team members.
When it comes to tracking remote workers, never underestimate the value of good team management software. Weekdone is the perfect solution that utilizes Status Reporting and the OKR methodology to ensure productivity and staff cohesion.