If you're like most business owners, you're always looking for ways to improve performance. After all, a high-performing team is key to a successful company. But what do you do if your team is spread out across the globe? How can you ensure that everyone is performing at their best? In this blog post, we will discuss 7 steps to better performance management in virtual teams. By following these tips, you can help your remote workers achieve their full potential!
What is performance management?
The first step to better performance management in virtual teams is to define what performance management actually is. According to Investopedia, "Performance management is a corporate management tool that helps managers monitor and evaluate employees' work." This process can be used to assess individual or team performance, and it can be tailored to fit the specific needs of your organization.
Why is performance management for virtual teams challenging?
There are a few unique challenges that come with managing the performance of remote workers.
- It can be difficult to build trust with team members who you don't see on a daily basis.
- Remote workers may not have access to the same resources as their in-office counterparts.
- You'll need to find ways to manage remote team performance without micromanaging your employees.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help you overcome these challenges and improve performance management in virtual teams. By building trust, communicating effectively, and setting clear expectations, you can help your remote team members succeed!
7 steps to better performance management in virtual teams
1. Build trust with your team members who you don't see on a daily basis
One of the most important aspects of performance management is trust. If your team members don't trust you, they won't be motivated to perform at their best. In research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was found that managers find it difficult to effectively manage people working from home, which leads to many workers feeling untrusted and micromanaged by their bosses. The solution, however, can't be as simple as asking managers to trust their employees. They need to learn to delegate and allow their reportees more autonomy, which in turn will promote productivity, motivation, and engagement.
2. Set clear expectations for each member of your team
It's important that everyone knows what is expected of them. When setting expectations, be specific and realistic. Make sure that each task has a deadline and that your team members understand what needs to be done. It's also important to set standards for communication. Will team members be available during certain hours? How often should they check-in? By setting clear expectations, you can avoid misunderstandings and help your team members stay on track.
3. Use data to measure performance and identify areas for improvement.
One of the benefits of performance management is that it allows you to collect data and use it to improve your team's performance. Keep track of metrics such as project completion rates, customer satisfaction levels, and employee engagement. This data can help you identify areas where your team is excelling and areas where they need improvement. Insights like these can also unravel collaboration patterns and behaviors at both an organizational and individual level. Although these data points are mere numbers and graphs, when put together, they can paint an accurate picture of work stress and emotional well-being.
4. Develop a process for dealing with conflict resolution.
Conflict tends to take place under the radar and it's quite likely that, as a leader, you won't get a whiff of it until it's way too late. With a remote or hybrid setting, conflict becomes all the more complicated. By developing a process for conflict resolution, you can help your team members resolve their differences and move forward. To start off, schedule video calls with each individual involved, and then have a follow-up conversation with everyone together. Allow everyone the opportunity to voice their feelings and resist making judgement calls. Explore potential solutions during the call, and more importantly, follow up in a couple of weeks to ensure that there is no residual animosity.
5. Encourage team bonding.
It's important for team members to get to know each other, even if they're remote. When employees feel like they're part of a community, they're more likely to be engaged and motivated. There are many ways to encourage team bonding, even when everyone is working from home. You can start by scheduling regular video calls where team members can catch up with each other. You can also create virtual social events, such as happy hours or game nights. By taking the time to bond as a team, you can create a stronger sense of connection and improve communication and collaboration.
6. Schedule regular one-on-ones.
With remote work, the opportunity for water cooler talks is zero to none. So, it helps to have regular one-on-ones; they're a great way to touch base with your team members and see how they're doing as they work from their home environment. These regular check-ins can help you identify any issues or concerns that your team members may have. They also provide an opportunity for you to give feedback and coaching. To make the most of these conversations, come prepared with questions and topics that you want to discuss. And, most importantly, listen more than you talk.
7. Celebrate successes and share recognition for a job well done.
Last but not least, don't forget to celebrate your team's successes! Remote working can be quite isolating, and it's important to make sure that your team members feel appreciated. A simple "thank you" goes a long way, but you can also consider sending e-cards, gifts, or hosting virtual happy hours. Whatever you do, make sure that your team knows that you see their hard work and appreciate it.
Out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind
While it may be difficult to manage a virtual team, staying on top of individual projects and large-scale activities is important. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a more effective performance management system for your virtual team. What’s even more effective is if you have a performance management tool like Mesh at your fingertips. Mesh helps manage your employees’ engagement levels, schedule one-on-ones, and allows room for real-time, continuous feedback. Want to know more? Book a free demo with us today.