It’s no secret that the pandemic changed how organizations operate. Many corporate employees shifted from suits to pajamas, in-person to virtual meetings, and in-office to hybrid or fully remote. Sounds great, right? Yes and no.
Remote and hybrid working models are attractive, but lack of visibility, unique time zones, and continuous distractions make it harder for leadership to maintain quality control. So how do you manage expectations to keep employees engaged, productive, and motivated in this new hybrid/remote work setup?
Set the right expectations, ALWAYS
You can’t expect your team to be engaged, productive, and motivated if you don’t set boundaries and maintain clear expectations about roles and responsibilities. (For example: when they can take a break or how much time off they’re allowed.)
If you’re working remotely with a team of people who don’t all live in the same city or country, it’s even more important to set these kinds of expectations upfront so everyone knows where they stand.
This will help keep everyone on the same page and prevent any misunderstandings down the line—which can lead to problematic situations like missed deadlines.
Prioritize employees’ well-being
According to a Gallup report, 76 percent of employees experience burnout.
Maintaining employee productivity is important, but overworking employees leads to burnout and disengagement—which can then lead to poor performance and, worse, resignations.
However, prioritizing employees’ well-being can help prevent employee burnout. One way to do so is by ensuring you don’t overload them with extra assignments or projects that are not part of their job description. Another way is by encouraging them to take time off when they feel stressed or burnt out.
Establish work-from-home routines for your team that are predictable, flexible, and adaptable
When it comes to running a remote team, the most important thing is setting up routines to help your team get into the flow of their day and make them more productive.
Here are some ways you can set up routines:
- Have a weekly meeting with each employee to discuss progress and goals for the week ahead (and be sure to invite any others that may be involved in their projects).
- Schedule regular check-ins throughout the day or week (i.e., via video call) to assess progress and provide support when needed.
- Give them specific tasks each day or week so they can plan ahead and know what’s expected of them at any given time during their workweek.
Maintain a culture of trust and understanding
What makes teams “productive”?
It’s easy to see the obvious: a great product, high-quality work, and good communication. But there’s something else that’s often overlooked: trust.
Trust is necessary for a productive team. And it starts with the person leading it—you.
What does this mean? As a manager, you should be able to trust your team to get things done without micromanaging them. It’s also important to communicate what you expect from each person on your team and actively listen to and understand them.
When communicating with your team members, ask them:
→ What are their goals?
→ What motivates them?
→ How do they like working together?
→ How can we help each other succeed?
This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward a common goal.
Always sending emails? Better check this out.
With remote and hybrid work becoming the “new normal,” communicating with your team via email can be a challenge—but not when using PoliteMail.
PoliteMail lets you see real-time metrics such as open rates, read times, and CTRs (click-through rates), even if the message was only previewed. It also allows you to accurately measure devices that use Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection.
This allows you to measure the engagement and focus of your team, and evaluate the effectiveness of your communications strategy. We also know increased engagement happens when messaging looks as good as it sounds, which is why we have a template builder for creating visually appealing, mobile-responsive templates that look great on any device.
Teams that have used PoliteMail for at least two years report better email metrics and more effective, streamlined communication.
Summary: Working remotely or hybrid is great, but it also comes with many challenges. As a leader, it’s important to manage your expectations for your team to stay productive, engaged, and motivated. Setting the right expectations, prioritizing employees’ well-being, establishing routines, and building the right culture are a few ways to increase team productivity.