Best practices for managing a remote workforce
As this pandemic continues, many business have delayed returning workers to the office. Remote work has become the "new normal". Managing remote employees can be difficult and requires shifting communication, way of working and the support employees may need to be successful. A few things to consider:
Trust. It is the foundation of any relationship and even more so in a remote working situation. Employees are feeling vulnerable and need support. Managers who trust have higher performing, more confident feeling employees. The opposite of trust breeds a micromanagement environment, which can do a great deal of harm to the relationship
Use performance goals to measure outcomes. Worry less about the process. Employees are balancing a multitude of challenges on the home front. Be prepared to forgo some structure such as a 12pm status meeting. Instead try to leverage your technology such as slack to keep updates flowing.
Consider the human factors. Check in with employees, ask how they feel "today". Provide a space to share real feelings. Consider increasing your recognition, it is easy to feel invisible in a virtual world.
Communicate. Utilize text, Zoom/Hangouts/Microsoft teams, phone, and/or IM to stay connected. Use two way dialogue and explain the though process behind decisions being made to help employees feel connected. Communicate success broadly to teams and across the organization.
Bring company values to life. The global pandemic has provided a stage for employers to really "walk the walk". Are the values a wall decoration or does the organization truly care about their employees? Use values as cultural anchors of the organization.