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The New Way of Work – Are You Ready?

Many companies have asked their employees to work remotely in response to the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, and in conjunction with directives and advice from the Federal and State Governments. With the current situation likely to remain for the foreseeable future, it is vital that organisations effectively and efficiently manage their remote workforce.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals 30% of Australia’s labour force regularly works from home. And it is anticipated to have risen significantly due to the current COVID-19 situation…

…how can we ensure our remote workforce is managed effectively?

Set clear expectations

Everyone has different ideas of what doing something ‘well’, ‘effectively’ or ‘quickly’ means, and without the presence of watercooler chats or the ability to quickly meet with your employees face-to-face, expectations can be misconstrued. While it is important to communicate your expectations of your employees, it is also strongly recommended that you ask your employees what their expectations are of you, as their manager. Clear two-way communication will assist in ensuring everyone’s expectations are transparent and understood.

Communication, communication, communication!

Compared to teams who work on site together, more effort and structure is required to make employees working remotely feel connected. This can easily be overlooked, whether intentionally or not.

With ever-evolving technology providing us digital ways of staying connected, there are no excuses as to why regular communication cannot be implemented with your remote workforce to drive inclusion. The establishment of quick, ten minute, daily team check-ins is a surefire way to ensure your team communicate priorities, concerns or important information as well as regularly touching base with each other as they would if they were on site.

However, it is important to set guidelines to ensure teams time and work hours are respected and and how and when different communication methods are utilisted, for example:

  • Daily team meetings – video conferencing such as Zoom;
  • Quick notes to colleagues – instant messaging such as MS Teams or Slack;
  • Detailed information to colleagues – emails; and
  • Client meetings – video conferencing or phone calls.

Managers should take advantage and execute previously face-to-face tasks via these new platforms.

Performance check-ins

Whilst we are in unprecedented times, managers can still engage their employees in performance reviews.

Performance appraisals can be tedious and daunting for many managers and employees alike, so it is important to promote and conduct performance check-ins as regular, short and meaningful conversations.

To support managers in the implementation of performance check-ins, the team at WCA have developed an accessible online performance check-in tool to:

  • Promote a shorter, richer and more genuine discussion;
  • Remove as many barriers as possible to promote more frequent conversations;
  • Reduce anxiety from employees and managers about performance rankings;
  • Recognise performance and address development areas more frequently; and
  • Align individual goals with company priorities.

The online performance tool has been designed to take no longer than twenty minutes and works effortlessly via telephone or video allowing managers and employees to maintain these quarterly catch ups no matter if they are on site or working remotely.

Covid-19 has certainly presented companies with new challenges in the past months, however, these challenges can be met head on with the right mindset and tools. By being consistent in your routines and maintaining open communication with employees, companies can capitalize on developing better strategies to support them in the future.

Contact WCA – People & Culture Solutions to discuss how our Online Performance Check-In tool can be implemented in your organisation.

We can also provide assistance with Human Resources and Industrial Relation matters.

Call us on (08) 9383 3293 or email admin@wcasolutions.com

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