If you are thinking of building a team remotely, you are probably wondering how to monitor work from home employees. How do you know if your virtual employees (VE) is doing what she said she will be doing for the hours you’ve paid her? It can be tough especially since she is working continents and time zone apart. Fortunately, with the advent of new technology, we now have access to a lot of resources online, some are free, which can help us manage and monitor employees as if they are just in the same office as we are.

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs: Without setting the right expectations and goals with your employees, you wouldn’t be able to know how to monitor them as you don’t have any clear direction. A good article about what a KPI is and why it matters was tackled in our previous article, KPI Reporting.  A KPI helps to measure your employee’s performance by putting into figures the progress your employee has done over a specific period of time. In numbers, it is easier to see if you have reached both you and your employee’s goals. KPI reports can be the basis for regularization, promotion and even termination of contracts. There are lots of free templates that can be downloaded online if you haven’t any idea where to start but ultimately, this should be customized to your needs.

Communication. Now that you have established your expectations, it’s time to communicate them to your VEs. It is imperative that you discuss the KPIs with them before they start working for you and then reviewing them periodically to make sure that they accurately reflect the goals of the company. A morning briefing or a weekly meeting is a must to update your team about the goals and any changes within the company. Below are some of the best screen sharing and video conferencing software that you can use: Teamviewer , AnymeetingWebEx Meeting BasicsSpreed MeetingMikogoSkypeGoogle+ HangoutGoToMeetingJoin.MeMeetingBurner

Time Trackers. If it helps for you to know what your employees are doing at a specific time of the day, a time tracker is always at your disposal – for a minimal cost. These timers take random screenshots and measure the activity levels real time. There are many time tracking software programs in the market. To name a few – Hubstaff, timedoctorXpert-TimerManicTime etc.

Project Management Software. Organization is key to a success! If you are managing a team of VEs, you want to know who is doing what and if you need to delegate more tasks to a staff member. There are web tools out there that can make you a superhero at managing several people in one click. Top 3 picks are FreedcampAsana and Trello.

COB (Close of Business) Reports. This is a way for you to know what has been accomplished for that day and keep yourself abreast of all issues even the potential ones. A COB report is simply a summary of the tasks accomplished, challenges encountered, and the plan on what to accomplish tomorrow or for the week. Ideally, they should tie into your KPIs.

Feedback. To effectively monitor your employees, it is highly recommended that you have regular feedback session. This is for the benefit of you and the staff as well. It will help them to know whether they are on track with their goals and if they are getting better at what they do. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to hear your staffs’ sentiments at work and how you can help them. By taking the time to communicate with your staff, you are letting them know you care enough and by doing so. It also helps builds trust.

No amount of web tools, online reporting and tracking can replace trust in the workplace. You don’t have to reply on technology at all if you take the time to build the right working atmosphere within your team.

What are your thoughts about micromanaging? If you wish to start building a remote team and do not know where to start, send us an email and we will be in touch for a free consultation.

Here is a free core values example that we have in our business and you can use as an example for your organization or business.

Let us define core values first. Core values are the guiding principles that dictate action and behavior. They support the vision and reflect what a company values. If you are beginning to think about putting your company’s core values on paper, here are some questions to consider: What do you and your company stand for? What do you stand against? What are some guiding principles that are central to the way you do business? This is through determining what core values should you use to your business. Here is another example of a core value from Digital Marketer. 

https://youtu.be/Bvlf0Wg37N4

What are the advantages of establishing core values in your company? It will educate clients and potential clients what your company is all about. Having a set of specific core values can have a competitive advantage. Core values can help you with decision-making.  Core values can help you and your staff determine if you are on the right path. They support your vision and reflect what you real value.

So, what core values should you use to your business or organization? Core values varies from one business to another.  There are many fine values, innovation, excellence, accountability, to name a few. However, we suggest to make a short list of values that can put the workplace stay on track.

Here are some common ones to help you get going.

Commitment. The value of committing and willingness to take responsibility for one’s action. Not every business decision is an easy one. Keeping your commitments when difficult is where businesses are tested. What you are committed to?

Integrity. Knowing and doing what is right is the meaning of integrity. You must demonstrate integrity in all your business conduct including dealing with your staff, clients, suppliers, and treatment of company property.

Learning and Development. The ability to learn and grow as an organization is a powerful thing. Fostering this in your corporate environment allows for growth. However, not everything we learn succeeds immediately. Allowing you and your staff to learn from failures as well as success make for a better organization. Entering into a partnership agreement for employee development can have significant results in staff morale.  For many, the opportunity to be trained and learn new skills, take on additional responsibilities in the organization, in some significant way are all meaningful expectations.  

Excellence. Doing a job with skill and taking pride in that task is what we mean by excellence.  If your staff’s performance is beyond your expectations, recognition for that achievement will result in better staff accomplishments. Service excellence will translate to your clients, vendors, professional partners and will set your company apart from others. Often companies are content to get by and do the minimal required, but for those who strive to do more, they can reap amazing results.

Respect. This means you value people, their point of view, beliefs, and ideas.  Here at HireSmartVirtualEmployees.com, we based our relationships upon trust and respect. We value the unique qualities and capabilities of each team member.

Here are some additional options to consider for core values:

The importance of setting your core values would be the foundation of your business’ success. We publish weekly tips on how you can improve your business, tips on how you can collaborate remotely with your virtual employees as well as other motivational stories. Please tune in to our Facebook page for more tips like these.