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 , Anymeeting, WebEx Meeting Basics, Spreed Meeting, Mikogo, Skype, Google+ Hangout, GoToMeeting, Join.Me, MeetingBurner
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, timedoctor, Xpert-Timer, ManicTime 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 Freedcamp, Asana 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.