Managing remote employees is all about structure - and a disciplined approach is key
As flexi-work gains momentum, the humble performance review has been placed squarely on the chopping board by some large corporates but Nick Southcombe, CEO of Frontier Software told HRD in an exclusive feature that managing remote employee output is all about structure and a disciplined approach is key.
A few years ago, the performance review was seen as antiquated and little more than a stifled discussion that happened infrequently. Southcombe conversely said that in the new hybrid-working world the performance review is more necessary than ever.
“Performance matters no matter where you are,” said Southcombe. “We need to be cognisant that there are other pressures at home, but ultimately we still need the outcomes, and we need the outcomes to be delivered in a productive way.”
Southcombe advocates for a formal process complemented by regular two-way dialogue throughout the year; checks and balances to ensure the critique is fair; and – importantly – the chance for employees to appraise their managers.
Top three questions to ask in your regular employee catchups
- How is your work tracking?
- What do you need from me to assist you to achieve your objectives?
- Are you happy?
Of course, to know how productive an employee is, you need to clearly define goals to compare their output against. Goal setting is even more important in a remote working situation where employees are not being closely supervised. “With remote working, it can be a little less obvious to co-workers if their colleague is underperforming… However, it shouldn’t be any less obvious to the manager,” said Southcombe.
Read more: Performance reviews losing popularity