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Five reasons your performance management system needs to maintain open lines of communication with telecommuters

Remote working is becoming increasingly commonplace. The advance of communication technology and team collaboration software allows for increased flexibility and enables companies to employ the most talented individuals from anywhere in the world.

Telecommuting has been known to save a company money, while boosting productivity and morale in the process. Despite this, there are certain issues that become more pressing when an employee is working remotely — the most important of which is that of authentic communication.

When communication breaks down within an organisation, productivity suffers and engagement drops. As such, it is essential, from a performance management standpoint, to ensure that regular, real-time communication between remote workers and managers is seamless and simple. This type of communication can benefit your remote employees in so many ways — but none more important than the following five.

1. Increase in trust and employee engagement

Maintaining open lines of communication is an essential way of building trust between employees and managers. It is also critical to establishing and maintaining high levels of employee engagement. This is why large corporations such as Adobe have moved towards continuous performance management and frequent employee check-ins. Monthly performance discussions are less awkward and pressure-filled than annual appraisals. With regularly scheduled conversations, employees begin to see their supervisors as a coach, rather than an intimidating authority figure.

2. Regular feedback and recognition can be delivered

When managing a remote team, keep in mind that feedback is the cheapest, most powerful and most underused tool an organisation has to hand. Quality feedback can keep an employee on track and motivated to achieve their objectives. Without feedback, an employee is working blind and is far less likely to perform to standard.

Timeliness is a huge factor when it comes to feedback. If employees are making mistakes in a particular area, the sooner they find out, the better. The longer individuals are left to build bad habits, the harder it is to break them. Equally, if an employee exceeds expectations, they should be given swift praise, as this will help to motivate them. Studies have shown that recognition and positive feedback can matter even more than money to the average employee, and 88% of employees find praise from managers to be extremely motivating. Organisations can make use of modern performance management software to deliver this kind of prompt, real-time feedback.

3. Supervisors and employees can keep goals on track

A regularly scheduled discussion with remote workers will do wonders when it comes to the tracking of short and long-term goals. Employees can let their supervisors know how work is progressing and discuss any hurdles that might be impeding progress. It might be that the employee’s goals need to be reevaluated and altered. Regular conversations allow for this flexibility, meaning that employees can press ahead as soon as possible with a new, more realistic objective in mind.

4. Socialisation means increased morale

Remote working can be difficult and be isolating for certain people. It takes a very specific personality type to be satisfied with little to no physical interaction on a daily basis. Build processes to ensure that your team members keep in touch with their co-workers and supervisors in order to maintain high morale and develop a sense of teamwork. At Clear Review, our remote working team has a short video call together each morning.

It has been shown that regular communication in the workplace between employees and managers helps to develop efficient teams and build trust. It also reduces competition, meaning employees can work alongside each other, rather than against each other, to achieve a common goal. The result is increased productivity, creativity and heightened employee engagement.

5. Employees are kept abreast of company issues

Managers shouldn’t forget to keep remote staff up to date on current company developments. Context matters to an employee. By failing to keep employees notified about the big picture, you are giving them the impression that they are not important, even when the opposite is true.

Your remote team needs to know what the company mission and goals are, the direction it is taking and how their role fits into the grand scheme of things. This can be a huge factor when it comes to employee engagement.

When an employee is able to understand and observe their contribution to their company, they are less likely to leave for another position. Establishing and communicating a company mission also improves strategic alignment. This means the employee is clear on the purpose of the company’s existence, which helps everyone on board to balance priorities and set goals in line with company objectives.

Learn how Clear Review can dramatically increase the engagement and productivity of your remote workers