When your company first tried adjusting to the remote workforce during the pandemic shutdowns, you likely faced new challenges. But since then, working from home seems to be less chaotic. For many businesses, the remote working model has been an improvement, opening new doors to opportunity and increasing productivity levels. However, while the dust may have settled on getting your teams set up for remote work, there are still a few obstacles bogging down operations. Today, we’ll highlight three ways you can streamline processes and procedures for an even more efficient and productive remote workforce.
1. Better Remote Productivity Metrics
The rules have changed. Don’t continue trying to measure success with the pre-pandemic yardstick. Instead, consider looking at your company metrics to ensure your goalposts have shifted in line with the new remote workforce normal.
Redefine and Adjust Job Descriptions for Each Role
Get with your Human Resources teams and analyze every position within your organization. Make necessary changes to flow charts based on new ways of doing business. Review each job description and amend to add any new duties or tasks that this role is responsible for in a remote environment. Remove any unnecessary tasks that no longer apply.
Shift Employee Feedback & Review Processes
Once you’ve adapted the job descriptions to encompass remote working changes, you’ll then need to look at how you review employee performances and ask for feedback. Make sure there are new benchmarks for performance reviews. Share these changes with your remote working teams and inquire for feedback before implementing new rule books.
Provide Additional Layer of Operational Support
With a new remote working environment comes a fresh need for operational support. Make sure your business prioritizes the development and implementation of new support channels. Teams will need to know where to go for help when they need it related to their daily productivity. They will also need to understand what support layers will no longer be available based on the new workplace dynamics.
2. Better Remote Management & Oversight
Managers can’t really check in on their teams by walking around the office anymore. And it’s certainly not going to be an easy feat to track whether or not an employee shows up to work on time in a remote workplace. To simplify your operations, take a look at your management and oversight practices to look for areas of improvement.
Create New Ways to Lead Remotely
Top managers know their roles are primarily leadership roles. Their jobs include inspiring, educating, and training employees, which will look a lot different in a remote capacity. Develop and create new roadmaps for your managers, so they know how to reach their teams in relevant and engaging ways to do those things. For example, showing up to work at 8:00 AM may not be important anymore. Instead, managers can coach employees to have task timelines for projects and daily work, based on results and not start times.
Development of a Virtual Open-Door Policy
Employees used to be able to get up from their desks and walk into the HR office when there was a concern to discuss. It’s harder to do that now in a remote working environment. Simplify your operations by creating new channels for digital and virtual open-door policies. Make sure your teams know where to go and how to connect with management when they have needs.
New Remote Workforce Accountability
With new measurements for success for each position, you’ll likely need to implement a new way of holding the remote workforce accountable for productivity. Consider hosting regular virtual meetings to check-in and have conversations with your teams. Have digital check-in requirements for customer service roles as a way to know when those employees are “working.” And be flexible about how you hold teams accountable. It may be less important to know when your employees are working, as long as the deadlines are being met timely and tasks are being handled promptly.
3. Better Remote Employee Engagement
In addition to increased management support and redefined role expectations, to really simplify operations with your remote workforce, you’ll want to dedicate strategies for employee engagement. Their needs have likely changed with the pandemic and remote working environment, too. Look for ways to improve how you connect and encourage your teams in a more engaging way that they’ll value.
Robust Remote Workforce Communication Strategies
Don’t assume your employees will reach out to you with every question or concern. How well you engage them and the frequency with which you engage will allow you to have the best pulse-checking method in place. Employees need to know when you’re available and how to reach you. Consider coaching your remote workforce to use a variety of communication channels. For example, for project questions, ask them to send an email explaining the inquiry. For personnel concerns, provide a separate channel for submitting sentiments. And for working emergencies, provide a more direct contact method. This will allow you to prioritize all the inquiries and take the guesswork out of employees knowing how to address their needs.
Improve Platforms of Co-Worker Connections
The office or field camaraderie is different now that employees are working remotely. It can be easy for teams to isolate themselves away from each other and become siloed. Develop group chat rooms or centralized online resources where different employees and departments can connect. Encourage social get-togethers online to ensure team building is still at the heart of your remote workforce.
New Employee Preferences Require New Benefits
Your employees’ values may be different now. That front-row parking space isn’t rewarding if you’re not driving to work. Casual Friday isn’t a big deal if everyone on your team can be casual online. Revisit your company benefits and look to eliminate those unnecessary perks and replace them with more valuable extras. And if office lunches and desktop plaques are no longer relevant, you might consider improving pay, bonuses, company culture improvements, charitable contributions, and even employee health benefits.
If a remote workforce is driving your business, let W3LL help you explore improving the health insurance side of your benefits plan. There are cost-effective solutions your remote employees, and your bottom line will appreciate.