As we continue to have a large number of employees working remotely, I do think that organizations have to think about how to incorporate tips into management. Stay-at-home orders prompted by COVID-19 are creating a challenge for managers including those in HR. At a time when many companies are implementing telework policies for the first time. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of employers are finding it difficult to adapt to telework as a way of doing business, according to recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
If this is the first time that managers are in charge of managing remote employees, it can be scary to navigate and ensure employees are productive, engaged, and thriving. The transition to remote communication removes the personal context that helps us interact with each other." It's not just a matter of providing remote workers with a new video communication platform and assuming it will be business as usual, Managers need to be aware of how remote work may create feelings of isolation among team members.
If you're used to seeing your colleagues or customers every day, feelings of isolation can creep in remarkably quickly. This new remote working environment can also affect the focus, a sense of team, and creativity. It's not something that is often talked about, but if we are to help our teams stay healthy, happy, and ultimately productive, we have to recognize and manage the high-stress environment that remote working can create for many people. Performance management should include a conversation about setting expectations and goals with remote employees. What is key in this content is making sure goals are set in a way that employees are held accountable for results. Meaning the employee has to produce an outcome to show they’ve met the goal. This will hopefully keep managers from falling into micromanaging habits. If tracking employee performance is becoming difficult, managers can have an assistant with Human Resource Information System(HRIS). With Adaptive HRIS, managers will be able to track and access the performance of employees working remotely at anytime and anywhere with the Performance management module.
When we’re talking about managing a remote workforce, one of the tips that show up regularly is teaching managers how to manage people they don’t see every day. Something that could help them do this is getting better at organization and time management. We’ve encouraged managers to manage by walking around. Now they may need to manage by writing things down. Communication is always a hot topic but now, with a remote workforce, maybe it makes some sense to talk about written communications. Everything cannot be a conversation. There also has to be active listening! With remote work, we don’t get to simply walk around the corner and ask someone to repeat themselves. Lastly, managers have to figure out how to find time to just connect with the team. Managers should also look for opportunities to celebrate the same work milestones that would be celebrated in the office. Employees just might have to switch out their high-five for a virtual elbow bump for the time being. Congratulation videos can be posted on the company website, replacing the recognition that would have taken place at the company's annual retreat, which was canceled because of the pandemic.
It feels a lot more personal than an e-mail and it shows that if you get creative, the connection does not have to be lost. During this time, organizations should still be conducting training. Managers need training more than ever to help them keep employees engaged and productive. It would not take a lot of resources to review existing training content, make sure it addresses the needs of remote workers, and offer some opportunities for discussion.