Accountability can be a tricky thing when it comes to your remote employees. It’s something that even seasoned managers struggle with.
If that’s the boat you find yourself in, take notes! In this article, we’ll outline some simple and effective ways you can foster and develop accountability in your remote teams without having to micromanage.
The first step in building accountability is to use specific, consistent metrics to measure job performance. This will of course vary from one job to the next, but it’s important that the metrics you use for your remote employees are identical to the ones used for your in-office group. After all, if they’re doing the same job, then it shouldn’t matter where the work is being performed and your measures of success should be identical.
Every bit as important as that is the fact that they should be clearly communicated so that everybody knows ahead of time exactly how their performance will be measured. There’s power in that knowledge, so give it freely.
Excellence In Communication
Recognize that one of the biggest challenges that remote workers encounter is isolation. They feel disconnected from the work and from the rest of their team. Good, multi-channel communication is a key component of countering this. That means that you should be in regular contact with your remote workers via email, phone calls, messaging apps, and whatever other tools you have at your disposal.
Note that not all communication should be work related. A human touch is key, so just reach out at regular intervals to check in. Also, ask your employees how much communication they need from you.
Again, this will vary from one employee to the next and everyone’s tolerance for micromanagement is different. Find those boundaries for each employee and respect them. It shows that you trust them to get the work done and that trust will be rewarded.
Finally, note that your remote employees don’t just need to hear from you. Part of your job as a manager is to make inter and intra team communications frictionless. It should be easy for your remote employees to reach out to any other member of their team, and even people in other functional areas of your company.
If you do both of those things and do them well, your employees will feel connected to the company and the work they are doing. They’ll know that you trust them to get the job done and they’ll know precisely how their performance will be measured. That not only builds an architecture of accountability, but it also sets your remote employees up for success.