How you manage your remote employees during the pandemic (or anytime, for that matter) can have a huge impact on your relationship with them. It can also have a big impact on performance and your bottom line.
Our financial recruiters came up with this list of counterproductive remote employment management tactics that will do more harm than good:
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Setting Unrealistic Performance Expectations
Working remotely can be very different than working in person. This also means that performance expectations can change. As a manager, you need to make it abundantly clear to your remote team what is expected of them in terms of performance. Be as specific as possible. Use metrics, goals, and other performance targets to ensure everyone is on the same page. If your employees are not clear on what is expected of them, you could see a dip in performance, which can affect your bottom line.
At the same time, when looking at performance, keep in mind the additional pressures your employees may be experiencing… for example, do they have young kids doing at-home learning? Do they have a sick family member? Hopefully you’ve hired smart, self-driven people who want to meet their performance goals at work, and your understanding now will inspire loyalty down the line.
Micromanaging your employees is one of the most potentially harmful actions in management. No one likes to be micromanaged. It can do more harm than good. Great managers give their employees the space to get their job done. Micromanaging your employees can actually make them less productive. First, you are interrupting their workflow and potentially negatively affecting performance; and second, people can start to feel resentful.
As a general rule, check-in with your employees about the same amount as you would if they were in the office. Just because they are working outside of the office doesn’t mean they need to be checked on more. If you checked in on them once daily when they were in the office, check-in with them once daily when they are working remotely. As long as they are still being productive, there is no need to ask for more updates or unnecessarily check an employee’s work.
You Only Have One Way to Communicate
Now is not the time to be rigid with communication. Managers need to be as available as possible. It’s okay to break away from the formal communication channels and practices to interact with your employees. Try to be available more and on a variety of mediums. Phone, email, video, text, and instant messaging can all be effective.
Being Too Rigid With Scheduling and Operations
There is absolutely a need to get work done. But, as everyone knows, things do not always go according to plan. Remote workers, considering the current state of things, need to have some flexibility. As a manager, you need to be able to read the situation and realize when a flexible schedule is in everyone’s best interests.
Only Giving Feedback When It’s Negative
Providing regular feedback is important to help employees stay on track. It’s even more important for remote workers. However, too many managers have a tendency to only offer feedback when something goes wrong. They only offer feedback to correct mistakes and address problems.
It is more effective for managers to schedule a time to offer constructive feedback (good and bad). It can be both formal and informal.
How you manage your remote employees now will affect your relationship with them in the future. Be conscious of your management tactics or it could come back to negatively affect your employees and your bottom line.
Read More About Remote Employee Management
Should You Hire a “Director of Remote Work”?
Many Companies Are Permanently Shifting to Remote Work… But Is It What Employees Want?
Which Qualities Should You Be Looking for in Remote Employees?
How to Keep Your Remote Team Productive and Energized
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