Measuring the team members' productivity in conditions of remote work is as important as promoting and supporting it. In this article, we will dwell on the best practices to do it right.
How to Measure Productivity of a Remote Team
According to research, the number of remote workers has increased by 173% since 2005. What’s more, this research doesn’t even include the self-employed segment. So, the ability to hire and manage employees remotely is becoming a competitive advantage these days. More highly qualified employees are choosing to work remotely to achieve work-life balance but adding headaches to managers who have to measure their productivity. Below you will find the top 8 tips to help you cope with this task.
1. Organize Work Time Control
One of the most obvious indicators of productivity can be considered the time that an employee spends in front of the computer. In the modern digital application market, there are many specialized solutions for tracking working time.
Most specialized software is capable of tracking emails, file transfers, apps, and execution time for each task. Of course, not all employees will want to install such programs on their own devices. But picking up an app that at least tracks an employee's working time is a must-do for every business owner.
2. Use Analytics Reports
Employee achievement reports are a more reliable source for evaluating performance. For example, time spent at the computer is not a guarantee of employee efficiency. Someone can sell 10 packages of travel insurance in Dubai in half a day, and while the other will close only one deal during the entire working day.
Therefore, you can consider different reporting intervals and parameters for your employees. For example, you can come up with daily reports, and after the end of the week, compile them into a weekly picture of the progress and productivity.
The most popular productivity tracking and task management tools are Trello and Pivotal Tracker. But it is worth remembering that each insurance agency may have different goals. Therefore, only after understanding the goals, you can set your performance indicators and set the necessary metrics. For example, reducing the duration of telephone consultations while maintaining the quality of customer service.
3. Set Clear Tasks and Goals
Often, the low productivity of the staff may be the consequence of a mess in working tasks and goals. That’s why it is recommended to set clear goals and deadlines for your employees. At the same time, it is recommended to understand which of the employees will be able to perform the certain task most effectively.
Corporate tools like Trello, Workast or Jira allow you to set all goals, set deadlines, and track the progress of employees. This approach is the most effective for remote teams since it allows for killing two birds with one stone - creating clear workflows, managing the team members, and evaluating their productivity depending on the tasks performed.
4. Organize Special Support
Managers need to learn how to communicate with employees remotely. The main rule for this is to add a little informal communication. Jokes, news sharing, and so on bring the team together since a little informal environment allows every worker to relax a little.
The task of the leader is to maintain a special atmosphere in the team. Of course, it is important to balance this, but you should not completely exclude such easy-going communication from your online workdays.
5. Implement Online Meetings
Using only chats is not the best idea. To motivate your employees and understand how someone works, it is worth holding online meetings. Today there are many tools for corporate online meetings and it is worth organizing such conferences at least once a week.
A lot of companies also schedule daily meetings to keep the team organized and make sure everyone is actually busy with their tasks. Discuss plans, current tasks, and other issues. Such meetings can develop the corporate spirit and motivate employees as well.
6. Detect Burnout
Burnout is one of the biggest problems of those working remotely, and especially, of those working with people. Working from home employees are at the biggest risk of burnout since, at some point, it becomes difficult to maintain a work-life balance.
That’s why you have to detect and prevent burnouts on time. For example, you can survey your team once a month to find out whether somebody is on the verge. You can listen to and share webinars from psychologists whose goal is to maintain mental health. Well, you should not forget that even in online conditions, your employees have the right to a day off.
7. Practice Reviews and Self-Evaluations
The three-point evaluation is one more practice to measure productivity. Here is what you can consider:
employee's own opinion.
thoughts of colleagues.
your assessment of an employee.
But it is worth remembering that self-esteem can directly influence the opinion of a team member when it comes to evaluating their performance. Those with overconfidence can be prone to an overestimation of their competence. Secondly, errors in assessment may occur due to overestimation of one's talents and not taking into account the influence of surrounding factors. Sometimes in an insurance business, luck can be the key factor, not professionalism. For this reason, the use of different points of view may provide a more accurate assessment.
8. Provide Feedback
Some of your team members may hesitate to contact you in case of any misunderstanding, and it negatively affects their performance. Regular feedback allows employees to get rid of the communication barrier and also allows them to understand what they are doing right and wrong in your opinion.
Communicating face-to-face with each employee is also a good practice to establish more truthful relations and indirectly improve productivity.
Managing a remote team has always been challenging. Even despite the whole world is already getting used to the remote work conditions, supporting, improving, and measuring the actual productivity is still an issue. And the best way to do it is to use dedicated software for task management, progress tracking, and analytics. Also, don’t forget about the need for clear communication to avoid deadlines failures, procrastination, and lack of motivation in your team.
This is a guest post submitted by Isabelle Jordan.