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15 Essential Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Employees

Wednesday, 20 April 2021 | Ankur Dhingra

Bound by ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home protocols’, it has become imperative for companies to recognise relevant trends early on to effectively manage employees remotely and incorporate them in business operations.

With lockdowns going into effect in India in several states, organizations across verticals are scrambling for ways to stay productive, while unlocking the value of human capital in the current remote set up. Bound by ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home protocols’, it has become imperative for companies to recognise relevant trends early on to effectively manage employees remotely and incorporate them in business operations.

While it gets hard to understand employee behavior when they work remotely, investing them in the right way, and right direction can help steer clear the challenges.

1. Be clear with the goals: Every employee has a different work style and understanding of a command. When an organization gives a set of goals to the employees, it needs to be clear and very straight. Some employees do not completely understand what the manager means, which brings confusion and overlapping of services. Employees can mistake “quickly” for “urgently”, which can shorten their capability for that particular project. Being clear with your words, meaning, goal, and deadlines is important to keep the employees on the right path.

2. Become local to remote workers: Challenges of the remote working concept is not just limited to the organization but is also experienced by the employees. Sitting in their comfort zones and working seems relaxing, but it can hamper their reach. The commonly used interaction sources are not always accessible, which becomes a big problem for the employees. Organizations need to act as locals with remote workers. The workforce should not feel aloof or cornered by the management. Reaching the department at the right time is important for the employees to be in the right direction.

3. Speed up engagement techniques: Engaging remote workers is quite important. To retain the in-house employees for the longest period, interacting with them works the best. Organizations should accelerate engagement activities on a daily basis that eventually affects the productivity of the employees. Weekly, monthly or quarterly, the organization should invest some efforts and time in promoting the employee work culture. Setting up some interesting webinars or activities can help boost the workforce and ensure their engagement and dedication towards the organizational goals.

4. Promote online calls: The organization can ensure the work quality of the workforce by promoting virtual connection. Connecting weekly or daily on the video call platforms like Google meet or Zoom would keep the workforce interconnected. This ensures the availability of the employees on their work systems and builds trust. Also, connecting every day or weekly through video calls can maintain the team spirit within the departments.

5. Start showing trust: Many organizations were and still aren’t comfortable with the concept of remote working. Probably, because they are not ready to accept a change in the work environment and need help with the trust issues. Being uncertain about their performance and dedication is quite normal, which can be resolved with regular updates on the employee work performance Prohance is an enterprise operations management platform that helps to unlock the value of human capital. The tool can be a great help in analyzing employee performance and productivity. The tool gives end-to-end updates on employee performance and therefore enables needed transparency.

6. Enhance realization activities: The workforce need to be directed towards the common goal. The organization performs what is needed, but employees are not so serious about the company goal. Being transparent with the workforce about the company goals and making them realize their importance can be a great help. Sometimes, the management needs to spare extra time and repeat the goal recognition activity. It is crucial to make the workforce understand the depth of seriousness when working on a particular task. Completing the work is never the motive, but expected results and positive outcomes are. The organization must host some activities or group discussions that clarify the values, motive and ethics of the work.

7. Be prepared with the helping tools: Many organizations avoid taking the help of automatic tools for workforce management, but it can be a massive influence. An automatic tool like ProHance gives you in-depth information about employee work behavior. From total time invested in productive hours and idle hours, everything that affects the profitability of the organization is analyzed by ProHance. Having such tools in the organization can save time, efforts and money. The automated tools give accurate analytics about the workforce that builds transparent grounds for the organization.

8. Stay aligned with the goals: Conducting activities weekly or quarterly can be a good break for the management as well as the workforce. It is imperative to stick to the cause and not to the activities. The organization needs to understand the urgency and weightage of the completion of its goal. Hosting in-between activities and webinars should not see permanence in the organizational work paradigms. Violating which can pose an extra expense on the organization and pass on an informal message to the workforce. Everything in limit works positively!

9. Accept the change: Remote work is surely and imposed work culture on many organizations, but accepting it gracefully is the key to successful management. The concept is not an option but a necessity that should be accepted with a positive response. It has, therefore, been a good shift for many companies. It brought a rise in productivity and employee satisfaction in many industry verticals. Keeping the positive effects in mind, the organizations need to embrace the change and make the workforce comfortable with it.

10. Be a step ahead in communication strategy: Organizations need to be prepared with an effective communication strategy. Working freely is good but having certain norms and patterns also plays a crucial role in organizational growth. Communication, open discussion and interacting at the right time are the most affected factors during the shift. Organizations should brace the shift for the workforce by maintaining a communication strategy and implementing it in each department. The remote workers should always feel the presence of their leads over them, only then would they work in the right direction with the right resources. Not all employees need regular guidance, but the ones who do, should be provided with the same.

11. Start being smart over hardworking: Hardworking has always attracted the light, but the uncertainties hitting the industries promote being smart. Communicating with the whole team through video calls has become an imperative part of the work-life. “Reply all” on email trails has been a sign that each employee understands the necessity of being productive, crisp and smart. Organizations should help the workforce to sink in the sudden change with the help of regular appreciations and feedbacks. Software like ProHance enables the organizations to grab the accurate productivity data of each employee and leverage it to appreciate the employees. This boosts their morale and encourages them to work more smartly and dedicatedly.

12. Ignore overlapping of resources: Since the departments are no longer in view, the workforce should have easy access to connect their fellow mates. The organizations should introduce easy means for connecting internally. This would avoid overlapping of their work tasks and save time. Organization surely needs work to be done, but two employees completing the same task wouldn’t add to productivity. Be open to transparent connections between the employees.

13. Try to relate employee goals with company goals: Connecting employee goals with the company goals can be helpful in driving their interest towards the common goal. Acting selfish of both parties can harm the productivity of the other. Combining interests can prove helpful in fulfilling the common goal with perfection.

14. Establish workforce bonds: Many organizations believe in establishing a formal and professional work environment. This proves to be helpful in some aspects but being bonded strongly always wins the game. Having a friendly, yet professional environment needs to be the goal of every organization. Workforce feels enthusiastic and happy towards their goals when the work environment is all positive and friendly.

15. Build a community: Being aware of the special days or birthdays of the employees can be a huge add-on for the organization. Building a positive and interactive community in your workspace is important for a healthy and cordial relation between the lead and employees. This way, the employees feel important and valued in the organization. Also, it boosts the morale of the employee that adds to the productivity of the company.

Building a company is tough, but building a happy work environment is tougher. It procures better results and profitability of the company. Whatever the work ethics and norms are, a company only grows if the workforce is fully engaged and active in selling right.