How do managers know that their remote team is working? And how can remote employees assure their bosses that they're getting stuff done? Believe it or not, we have the answers to these questions. In this blog, we are trying to find out what mechanism of checks is best-suited for teams working remotely.
The uncertainty and gap of communication between the two parties here can lead to two common problems, firstly, the managers end up micromanaging, and secondly, the employees end up overworking in order to prove themselves. But both of these situations are very much avoidable. The solution is TRUST. Simply stating, if you can foster a culture of trust, your remote team will thrive. The following are some ways you can inculcate trust in your workplace:
1. Promoting Transparency
Even a small workplace may have a large amount of information to pass on, every day. It is not surprising that people, including both the employers and the employees, can accidentally miss transferring crucial information.
To avoid such circumstances, we at 365KPO, use Slack. The most significant advantage of Slack is that it is transparent and ensures effective accountability. The simple logic behind using Slack is that if everyone is in the loop, no one is missing out. Therefore, once when all discussions occur in the public domain, no one needs to worry that they're being left out of important conversations. This creates a culture of trust and no one feels like things are happening behind closed doors that they're not privy to.
2. Getting to know each other
A workplace is somewhere a person spends a major part of his/ her day and it is ignorant to assume that only work-related conversations can help in the growth of your work. Such communications can only build official relations and will never result in long-lasting personal connections with your colleagues.
The people at 365KPO make sure that once a week we have some #sillyconversation. It is a way to get to genuinely know the people you work with so you can trust them more when it’s time to get stuff done. It might feel like a waste of precious official time, but it is not. In fact, it is a way to ensure that everyone still feels connected, which is crucial in building a remote culture that actually works. So set up a meeting link with your teammates for next Saturday and let us know how it goes!
3. Setting clear expectations and sticking to them.
Very closely connected to communication are expectations. Having expectations is one thing and effectively communicating these expectations is a completely different thing altogether. Here at 365KPO, Sachin truly believes that it is best to set clear goals and sharing them with your team. Additionally, consistent check-ins also ensure that everyone knows what's expected of them. And this is not a one-way street where the communication just goes from the employer to the employee. It is also important to clarify how the senior staff expects the progress to be communicated back to him/her.
Once you've communicated these expectations, Sarah notes, you need to stick to them. This, of course, is all supported by the transparency we have mentioned earlier: record meeting notes; send updates to Slack, and be sure that all expectations are written down and shared.
4. Focusing on output and not the time-in-seat
A single statement sums up this entire point, i.e., “We're trusting that they're going to accomplish what we've agreed they should accomplish.”
Realistically, when you work from home, you're going to do your laundry during the day, cook food, and spend some time with your children. You just are. Therefore, stop assuming the time-in-seat as a metric anymore. Ultimately, employees should be held accountable for the work they do, and not for the number of hours they work.
5. Using automation
We cannot emphasize it enough but accommodate automation in your workplace, be it virtual or physical. Employees can see what employees are working on in Trello, in Google Docs, in Zendesk, in Salesforce, in Jira, in GitHub—there's no way to keep tabs on everything. If you set up Zaps (our term for automated workflows), you can feed all these things into Slack—and see work happening before your eyes. You don't have to constantly check on people, or within apps, but you're still in tune with what's going on.
So, if you're wondering how to keep work from home employees accountable, it always comes down to trust. Trust among teammates is the foundation of almost every aspect of a successful business. It takes a bit more effort to build that trust in a remote team, but there are clear ways to make it happen.