One thing leaders are reminded on is to set clear expectations on the frequency, mode, and timing of communication for your teams, say experts from the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented push to work from home. Telecommuting is likely to continue as a new workplace norm in the aftermath of the pandemic.
While some companies have made a smooth transition to remote working, many others have faced challenges with the new working arrangements and struggled to manage their virtual workforce, in particular, tracking employees’ deliverables.
Here are some ways that supervisors can help ease the transition.
#1 Establish structured check-ins
A successful remote working arrangement requires regular and structured communication. Depending on the type of work being done, i.e. independent or collaborative, this can take the form of a series of one-on-one calls, or a team call. Take this opportunity to not only exchange work-related updates, but also remote social interaction, such as spending the first few minutes of the team call catching up with each other.
"Supervisors can also take this chance to listen to an employee’s concerns and challenges to gain a better understanding of what is or isn’t working for that individual."
What is important is to have regular and consistent calls so that your employees can be prepared for them and work them into their daily schedule.
#2 Set up systems to track and manage deliverables
Managing a remote team means supervising your team differently to ensure your team members continue to be productive and deliver results. Try using project management tools to measure deliverables and evaluate work, and align expectations on quality of work and timelines. Start by selecting key metrics based on work outcomes that matter most for each individual, and the overall team’s success, and measure those activities. Having simple templates in shared folders to see individuals’ contributions can also be useful.
Tapping on these tools can help your employees to structure their day more efficiently to best meet objectives.
#3 Implement rules of engagement
Set clear expectations on the frequency, mode, and timing of communication for your teams. For example, establish the primary mode of communication, e.g. video-conferencing via Zoom for regular check-in meetings, but WhatsApp for more urgent matters. Other considerations include regular updates on response times and notifications on the unavailability of individual team members.
As organisations continue to make adjustments to business operations, it is also important to support employees who are working remotely. By doing so, these employees will then be able to continue contributing meaningfully with minimal or no disruption to their work schedules and productivity.
TAFEP provides information and resources to help employers and HR professionals keep abreast of HR best practices. Visit tafep.sg to find out more.