While many employers feel their employees will return to work after COVID-19’s impact starts to decrease, working from home isn’t going away anytime soon.
As the manager of a remote team, you can’t afford to ignore underperformance from remote workers. However, managing remotely may help you be more effective. A perk of being remote is that you have to plan and structure the interactions you have with your team. Check out these tips for helping under performers step up their game.
1. Revisit expectations.
What do you want most from the employee and what makes you feel like you aren’t getting it? Most likely, it’s a dissatisfaction with their work products or the way the deliver. Assess their strengths and capacity for contributing to the team’s work. If an employee is lacking skills, consider what they need for training.
2. Learn more about them.
Even if you’ve worked together for a while, it’s important to make sure you know your employees goals and things they care about. Do they need strict deadlines and no interruptions while at home or would it be better for them to work a flexible schedule to deal with the additional pressures of working from home? Take home obligations into account, just like you would with regular work meetings.
3. Level with them and be specific.
Feedback is still a requirement, even when you aren’t together in the same room. Feedback will give an under performer an opportunity to practice and modify things that need to be corrected.
4. Stay in close contact.
Don’t assume that no news is good news. After giving employees feedback and they don’t hear from you, they might start to worry. Schedule regular meetings to discuss progress. Mix up the meetings between video and phone calls. Sometimes a tone in voice is clearer to hear over the phone than someone being nervous through a video chat.