By Mark Seemann, Founder/CEO, StaffCircle
With the extension of work from home policies there has been an increasing need to support staff and ensure they are aligned to the direction and objectives of the business, especially in challenging markets. The ability to monitor performance, set tasks and measure employee engagement is easy to achieve when your workforce is plugged into a computer all day. With the right software, you can provide your staff with a portal in which information is shared, gathered and analysed.
But it’s not the same for those staff who are not desk-based. Individuals such as drivers, factory line workers, construction teams, hospital workers and those in the retail industry, to name just a few examples, make up a significant proportion of the UK’s workforce. Many of whom have access to no other form of technology other than a mobile.
There’s a common misconception that business technology and software can only be delivered in a limited capacity on a mobile, despite the fact that today’s mobile phones are the most advanced computers available.
The vital part of this of course is to ensure that all your employees are provided with the same tools and features. Furthermore, it’s no good using one form of software for communication, another for performance management and another for timesheets. Sure, a lot of companies do that but then they’re missing out on the benefits of advanced analytics, real time reporting and a full picture of their company’s ‘health’ i.e. employee engagement, productivity and awareness at all times.
This means a platform that integrates all facets to manage a wide-spread and diverse team, while enabling a business to track performance and engagement across all channels – phone, tablet, computer to ensure all staff are included.
Using performance management tools to streamline processes
Performance management tools can offer businesses a foundation for success, helping to tie together hard data from which leaders can make decisions instantly, while creating a network in which continuous feedback ensures employees get things right quickly, avoiding costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Making the most of your performance management system is ultimately about streamlining processes to free up time for managers and HR leaders to focus on the more strategic aspects of running the business. Performance management tools used correctly give users a commanding overview of the data needed to better understand everything from sentiment, productivity concerns, employees who may be a flight risk or those who require training, and other issues which need to be identified and addressed early.
Data gathered from performance management tools can help in a wide range of ways:
- Deliver trustworthy data so you know when you’re getting it right
- Gives real-time insights to make sure productivity is heading in the right direction
- Shed light on issues with remote workers in a timely manner to allow leaders to respond
- Reveal areas where lack of engagement is negatively impacting on performance
- Give leaders confidence that new processes and requirements are fully understood by their employees
Connect remote workers with a social intranet
Culture isn’t just about aligning your company’s core values with the workforce; a strong culture should also encourage communication and engagement between workers in a way which transcends work goals and objectives. Often the most innovative solutions and forward-thinking ideas come about not from formal discussions, but from casual conversations between like-minded employees.
Incorporating social feeds into your company’s intranet helps to build the foundation for these relationships, sharing ideas for projects in an informal digital setting and allowing collective brainstorming to occur organically. By allowing users to subscribe to public channels they can engage with relevant content, share articles, videos and images with other employees and keep remote workers engaged with their peers, excited to be involved in organizational change.
Integrate a company news feed with real-time updates
An integrated company news feed as part of your communications platform allows remote workers to cut past the often-laborious task of checking their emails and get to the priorities of the day. While emails can easily be overlooked, a news feed which highlights urgent issues and offers real time updates which remote workers can receive across different channels helps to boost a culture which values efficiency.
Just as a news feed makes sure remote workers are always in the loop regarding important company updates, a performance management software system which features a Today Screen feature can offer a daily, at-a-glance view of the short and medium term objectives they need to focus on, while giving them the means to communicate directly with team members and leaders who are spread around different locations.
Use employee feedback mechanisms
Embedding a culture which values continuous feedback within a remote workforce requires unique feedback mechanisms to compensate for the absence of regular face-to-face conversations. Such systems are essential for managers and leaders seeking to improve employee satisfaction and retention, so you should utilize your performance management software to make sure regular one2ones, check-ins and other methods of feedback are regularly carried out.
You can also use eNPS surveys to keep your finger on the pulse of your remote workers. This offers remote workers another layer of feedback which they can offer anonymously, assessing how they are feeling in terms of motivation, engagement and overall job satisfaction.
Understand employee sentiment with analytics and reports
Quantitative data obtained from systems such as eNPS surveys require a process of analytics if they are to be transformed into positive change, and measuring metrics based on your communication channels – as well as employees’ targets and other objectives – allows managers and HR leaders to compile configurable reports reflecting the sentiment of the workforce.
Performance management tools systems also allow companies to identify how well a remote employee is aligned to their broader vision and key goals, understanding where such alignment might be lacking, which lines of communication are the most effective, and how key performance indicators can be revised to deal with the unique challenges being faced.
Motivating teams and individuals with daily recognition and rewards
Dealing with a workforce which is either 100% remote or split between remote and office working brings new challenges to leaders and managers seeking to keep their staff inspired and motivated. For entirely remote workforces, effective internal communications tools are essential for keeping these employees alert to their responsibilities and motivated to perform at the top of their game, and workforces facing geographical fragmentation also require consistent communication methods to ensure alignment.
To this end, performance management tools which put recognition at the forefront help cultivate a culture in which employees are visibly appreciated for their hard work, tracking their ongoing performance individually and within teams so that rewards can be offered in a timely manner. Manager-to-peer recognition can be accompanied with peer-to-peer recognition, and employee achievements can be logged and tracked in your performance management software, whether this is related to high sales performance, effective management and resolution of a specific problem, or the completion of an ambitious goal.
This data has an additional benefit to employers looking to spot new talents and improve their employees’ overall skill sets. While an employee might possess such skills as communication, flexibility, leadership and great time management, regular feedback combined with an all-encompassing process of recognition can bring a spotlight onto skills and expertise managers and HR leaders might otherwise overlook. Running this data through performance management tools not only allows you to keep track of your employees’ skills, it can also illuminate members of staff who might be better suited on a different project, or working in a different department.
By allowing employees to receive recognition on a daily basis via a performance management app which can be accessed on mobile devices, managers needn’t worry about being unable to communicate this much-needed positive reinforcement to remote workers who might be away from their home office at unusual times. And with everyone in the company granted the same access to these tools, celebrating achievements can be done instantaneously, strengthening your company’s culture and bringing teams and individuals closer together, regardless of distance and geographic divide.