Companies value efficiency. That’s understandable – as the saying goes, time is money. The faster they get things done, the more money they make. Under normal circumstances, it makes sense to focus on efficiency. It can’t rank above quality or accuracy, but it’s not far behind. The question is why have we invested so much in efficiency?
With employees in new and unexpectedly distant roles, it may no longer make sense to focus on maximizing efficiency. Instead, this could be the perfect time to examine your overall culture and your idea of your professional priorities. As you move efficiency out of the spotlight, you may realize that there are other ways to measure success.
At its simplest, efficiency is a short span of time, or more precisely, man-hours. How many people did it take to complete a task and how long did it take them to do? Also, were they distracted or faced challenges that affected the team̵
Another way to measure employee performance amid the current crisis is to rely on more accurate metrics. Your company undoubtedly has a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that provide meaningful insights into how employees are achieving their performance targets. You should use these KPIs to evaluate employee performance anyway. Given that everyone is currently struggling with focus, work-life balance, and other issues, they should serve as the primary measure of employee success.
Look at the community
Using KPIs, managers can clearly assess the performance of employees on projects. However, if your employees drag their feet miserably every working day because remote operation is so difficult and inconvenient, it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter because they may stop, or at least become so demotivated that their effectiveness decreases. Remote working may not be optimal, but it shouldn’t be abysmal.
Instead of accepting that working remotely is hard, uncomfortable and pretending nothing can be done, managers need to take steps to proactively support their team and develop a robust remote working culture. The easiest way to do this is to choose appropriate tools like a social intranet that you can use to manage projects and connect meaningfully with team members. What it doesn’t mean: Forcing your new remote team to participate in silly games, attend remote happy hour, or otherwise interfere with their completely reorganized home life. The goal of management should be to make remote workers feel included and supported. This means they are given the right tools and not loaded with extra community building activities and kitsch.
Efficiency frameworks have undoubtedly been responsible for many workforce burnout problems in the past few years, and this is an even less sustainable approach now. Instead, set clear expectations, keep lines of communication open, and step back. You can have a supportive, productive work culture without being overbearing or forcing artificial happiness – the right program, especially a social intranet, will serve as a foundation.
Do you want to tell your strange story? Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain completely anonymous.