It’s no secret that a new normal has begun to emerge in many companies and organizations this past year; working remote. Although initially born out of necessity during the height of the pandemic, businesses are finding that the “work from home” concept may be around longer than originally anticipated. A Gallup study found that 44% of U.S. employees who are currently working from home due to the pandemic, would prefer to continue working from home and have no desire to return to the traditional workplace. This then, brings up an important question: How can organizations successfully measure the productivity of remote and hybrid teams? If working from home is to become a permanent option, then the quick management tactics put in place while companies were simply trying to survive the pandemic need to be better thought out. Mangers can no longer rely on casual office run-ins to check in with their team or see how operations are going, they now need new tools to track and keep up with their teams.
Adam Hickman and Ellyn Maese, in an article for Gallup.com, touch on a couple of key focus items needed for a successful remote/hybrid organization. First up on the list is to measure what matters. Simply having a performance metric in place does not necessarily guarantee any sort of useful information that will help increase employee productivity. As Hickman and Maese point out, “tracking how many hours an employee worked is a relevant metric for many businesses, but [may not be] a good measure of productivity on its own.” It’s important to know which performance metrics are useful (and this will vary among different organizations) in promoting the success and productivity of employees. Although this is often easier said than done, an important rule of thumb is to find a way to “connect business outcomes to employee performance”. An employee that is acutely aware of how the work they do affects the success and progress of the business is one that is likely to stay productive. Therefore, measuring areas of performance that directly connect the employee’s actions to specific business outcomes will highlight the most important parts of the employee’s job and increase productivity.
In order to actually measure what matters, it is once again management that must take the lead. As discussed in a previous blog post here, good management tactics are vital to the success and productivity of employees. The current data, however, highlights some drastic shortcomings. While Gallup has found that managers are ultimately responsible for 70% of their team’s engagement, data also shows that only 60% of U.S. workers actually know what is expected of them at work. These statistics should not be acceptable and explain why there is such a disconnect between what management expects to be accomplished and what employees are actually accomplishing. Employees cannot be expected to meet standards they are unaware of.
One of Hickman and Maese’s proposed solutions to this problem is to prioritize ongoing performance conversations. Managers should be having conversations with employees in which they “emphasize what success looks like — giving employees a well-defined target for excellence”. These conversations should be frequent; especially for remote/hybrid employees. Employee goals should be assessed regularly and updated to ensure they are still relevant. It is also important to take employee feedback into account and to find ways to make them feel heard. Constant communication is key, and now that an increasing number of employees are working remote, it’s more important than ever before.
The issues discussed in this article by Hickman and Maese are ones that Performance Scoring are acutely aware of, and has been for quite some time. In fact, Performance Scoring was conceived out of a realization that current methods for performance evaluation and assessment were vastly inadequate. We have already built out our application to communicate, track, measure, and display not only individual performance and goals, but that of teams and entire branches of organizations. Our goal at Performance Scoring is to empower organizations with a powerful set of tools to increase productivity and success. Whether your employees work in a traditional setting, remote, or a combination of both, our application is designed to be tailored for your individual needs. Contact us today so we can show you how Performance Scoring can help you manage your workforce wherever they choose to be.
Hickman, Adam, and Ellyn Maese. “Measure Performance: Strategies for Remote and Hybrid Teams.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 26 Mar. 2021, www.gallup.com/workplace/341894/measure-performance-strategies-remote-hybrid-teams.aspx.