Remote employees and work at home is now the way of the land— which can bring about certain challenges for managers. With over 4.7 million US employees working outside of the office, companies must find unique ways to monitor employee behavior. While it is true that 77 percent of remote employees feel more productive while at home, working outside of the office does provide the opportunity for your workers to use their time unwisely. Below are a few tips to ensure that your employees are giving their best effort while they’re working away from the office.
Monitor Customer Service
One of the best ways you can measure the efficiency of your remote team is to make sure that your customers are being well taken care of. 73 percent of people stay loyal to businesses with superb customer service, and 68 percent believe that the key to great customer service is polite and efficient representatives. The success of your business hinges on its ability to address customer concerns and give them an all-around pleasant experience.
In order to ensure that efficient customer service— regardless of where they work— consider utilizing a cloud-based contact center that allows recorded interactions between customers and your staff. These recordings will help you assess how efficient your employees are at interacting with customers, observe the different styles your employees use, address any concerns you may have, and implement changes based on the positives that you see.
Institute Weekly Updates
Accountability is an essential component of managing employees. Especially when managing a remote team, where you can’t oversee the way they accomplish their production. Managers need to set clear expectations of the goals they expect their workers to achieve and measure their productivity based on their completion of these goals.
A great way for you to establish accountability is to hold weekly check-ins. These meetings will serve as a place for employees to report to you on their goals for the week, how they plan to achieve these goals, and update you on what they accomplished the previous week. Allowing your employees to self-report gives them the ability to reflect on their own productivity, while still enabling them to be autonomous, which prevents micromanaging.
Weekly reports also give you the ability to check in on employee sentiment as well. Remote employees are at a heightened risk for feeling lonely and distant from their coworkers— which can negatively impact their ability to keep productive and engaged. It’s important to ensure that your employees are in a healthy state of mind, and you can use these weekly meetings as a tool to measure the happiness of your employees. Consider team messaging applications to keep your team cohesive and enable them to quickly report issues. If you notice that sentiment is down, then perhaps you can offer mental health resources for them to find the help that they need.
Utilize Time-monitoring Software
While holding your employees accountable is a great way to ensure they are meeting their goals, it’s not the best way to accurately measure how they’re spending their hours and days.
Tracking how your employees use there time provides many benefits to your business, including reducing payroll errors, determining the cost of labor for your customers, ensuring that you’re not overpaying or underpaying workers, and keeping track of employees’ work schedules and vacation time— just to name a few. These benefits are crucial for making sure that you’re adding the most value to your customers while still giving your employees a fair wage. Not to mention that they give you insight into the amount of time it takes for workers to complete individual tasks.
In order to acquire these benefits, you should set up your employees with a time-monitoring software that has a project checklist, preferably one that can be used on a phone or any mobile device. That way, your employees can report constantly on what it is they’re doing. With the help of time-tracking tools, you’ll also be able to accurately assess how employees are using their time as well as make suggestions on how they could use their time in a more efficient manner.
Another great way to monitor the productivity of your workers is to standardize the workflow for all employees. This means creating a series of tasks that need to be completed in the same order, every time, to achieve a business goal. By standardizing workflows, you’ll be able to easily tell how productive your employees are based on the stages they are currently at and how long it takes them to move through those stages compared to your expectations.
If you’re struggling to visualize how to create a standardized workflow that works for your specific business goals, then enlist the help of a process automation software that’s designed for multiple disciplines. This way you’ll be able to create a system that addresses all of the steps your employees need to take. Automation is not only helpful for creating a standard process of operations, but it’s also a valuable tool for accelerating the speed at which your employees can work. By enlisting the aid of automated systems, your employees will be able to focus on higher-concept tasks that require critical thinking and other skills that computers aren’t able to emulate. At the same time, your automated workflow is working day-in and day-out, helping you quickly create a reliable product for your customers and clients to enjoy.