8 Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic

| March 30, 2020

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Managing a distributed or remote workforce comes with its fair share of challenges—from onboarding to compliance to engaging employees virtually. Plus, the sudden onset of COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus) forced many companies to adopt work from home policies before they were ready. Whether your company just started working from home or if your employees are telecommuting veterans, it can’t hurt to brush up on some home office tips.

Spotlight

Staffing Strong

Finding the best person for your job is our job. Our clients understand there’s a lot more to making a great hire than matching a resume to a job description. There are considerations like personality. Culture fit. And work ethic. We get people. And we give it to you straight. Because knowing what you need and filling it fast is our strength. It’s simple. We provide an extensive network of talent that’s 20 years in the making. In fact, our talent pool gets bigger every day. We do the legwork to find the absolute best creative, marketing and digital talent available nationally. We specialize in direct-hire retained searches and we also offer contract and contract-to-hire placements. Bottom line, you’re busy. We get that. Just let us know what you need and then you can get back to work knowing we’re on the job for you.

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5 Reasons Psychometric Matter in Executive Search

Article | February 21, 2020

With the increased demand for executive talent globally, psychometric assessments have never been more important to a successful search. We have identified five reasons, you may think of more! 1. Getting it Wrong is Really Expensive Executive salaries are on the rise. There is no doubt that companies are prepared to spend more to attract top executive talent. We frequently see searchable salary ranges or even advertisements that suggest that marketed remuneration can be well above market. It’s expensive enough to hire the wrong salesperson and that can take six months to discover, but it can take much longer to identify non-performance in a C-Suite executive. Psychometric assessments that support a competency-based interviewing process, confirm or challenge interview findings and used effectively reduce the risk of making the wrong hire. 2. Poor Leadership can Damage the Business Many people believe that psychometric assessments might just confirm a set of soft competencies or identify a personality profile. World-class psychometric assessments allow for complex exploration of leadership styles, team roles, and even entrepreneurial aptitude. If you think you want a leader, assess for leadership capabilities and understand the balance of leadership styles to make sure it fits with your organisation’s path. 3. Comparisons are Worthwhile The world assessments is full of imposters. The Institute of Psychometric Coaching correctly asserts that “Psychometric tests are a standard and scientific method used to measure”. The word scientific implies measureability. True psychometric assessments are developed, tested and improved until they meet a standard deviation. Only these type of assessments provide statistical validity and tell us where an executive search candidate sits in comparison with a norm group of peers. Go to Here to read more on this. Something like 80% of the Fortune 500 use MBTI, yet the MBTI test is based on “zero scientific foundation”. Check the statistical validity of the assessments you use in executive search. 4. The Most intelligent person is not Necessarily the Best Candidate Cognitive power, is without doubt a measure of potential. However, how this translates into attributes such as problem-solving, influencing skills, adaptability and resilience and even the delivery of results is not so easy to interpret during interview. Psychometric assessments can often tell us how an executive has used her or his intellect to develop broader attributes that we associate with effective managers and leaders. 5. We are all a Little Gullible Anyone attending an interview, is trying to sell what is most important to them - themselves. We can all remember CEOs dealing with environmental disasters that their company was responsible for dressed like dandies, TV personalities being appointed to C-Suite positions in media companies, sports personalities being given business leadership roles and even major retailers just being conned, all with negative results. It’s almost certain that the decision to make these placements was influenced by anything other than objectivity. Psychometric assessments won’t lie to you, won’t try to con you - they don’t care about the person taking the assessment. So, as you engage in your executive search projects during 2020, make sure that in addition to great consultants, you use proven scientific assessments to help you work out if you are getting the right person. After all, is a little known fact that “reference fraud” has its highest incidence among senior and executive management candidates. Do whatever you need to do to reduce the risk of expensive mistakes.

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CORNERSTONE CARES SPOTLIGHT: HOW BUSINESSES USED LEARNING MATERIALS TO COPE DURING A CRISIS

Article | July 21, 2020

Across industries, the COVID-19 pandemic shook business operations significantly, creating the need for many organizations to switch to remote work almost instantly. This sudden transition required new forms of communication and collaboration, not to mention security considerations, platform and system access and equipment requirements. While this abrupt shift to remote work presented obstacles, many organizations were proactive in providing their people and teams the learning resources required to navigate this new remote work reality.

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How to Determine KPIs for Remote Employees

Article | November 9, 2020

Remote work has become the norm in 2020, and it has brought forth newer challenges for organizations. While productivity has increased over 13% after this switch to remote mode, employers are still struggling to figure out a way to measure and quantify the productivity of remote workers. It is now more important than ever to have defined key performance indicators for all your remote workers. But before getting into how you can evaluate them, you need to formulate a plan to deal with remote work. What Are Effective KPIs for Remote Employees KPIs or key performance indicators are tools that help employers quantify employee performance in real, measurable terms. When it comes to performance and productivity, there are a lot of vague assumptions in place. Also, each employer or manager has their own idea of productivity. Some may find punctual employees to be effective, while some may not care about their timings at all as long as they complete their work on time. In this case, how do you make sure that all employees are judged effectively and fairly? This is where KPIs for remote employees enter the picture. They serve as a point of reference for employers when evaluating employee performance. KPIs for remote workers are objective and offer a fair indication of remote employees’ performance. When you have teams working remotely, KPIs are especially effective. When you don’t know when the employees start work or how many breaks they take, the only effective way to measure their productivity is to have defined KPIs for remote workers for each process. This will also allow you to formulate a remote work based pay strategy for your employees. So how do you ensure effective KPIs for remote workers? There are several ways to determine KPIs for remote workers, but one of the easiest and most effective ways is to make sure that the KPIs for remote workers are SMART. SMART is a planning tool, but it works really well for KPIs too. After all, KPIs are a method of planning towards success. SMART KPIs are: Specific Make sure that the KPIs for remote workers are not vague or ambiguous. Do not set goals like ‘improve the quality of the blog’. Ambiguity will only lead to further chaos. Be specific in what you expect, and communicate it well. A good example of a specific goal would be: Proofread all the blogs and make them error-free. Measurable Setting KPIs for remote workers is supposed to help you quantify performance. Make sure the KPIs for remote workers are measurable in clear and precise terms. If you were to make the above-mentioned goal measurable, it would look something like this: Proofread 20 blogs and ensure they are error-free. Achievable A lot of leaders believe in setting the bar high to inspire their team to do more. But there’s a difference between setting a high bar and gearing up for an impossible task. If the KPIs for remote workers are impossible to achieve, it will demotivate your employees and they won’t be able to perform at their best. Evaluate each of your employees’ capacity before you set KPIs, that way you will know if the KPIs you set for remote employees are achievable or not. Relevant The work culture in each company is different. What is considered important in one organization may not be of any importance in the other. In this regard, the nature of KPIs differs from workplace to workplace. However, it is important to stay relevant for the sake of efficiency. ‘Dress appropriately’ may be good advice, but it cannot be a KPI for remote employees as it is irrelevant to your employees’ work unless they are in an exclusively client-facing role. Here’s a sample of KPIs for managers: Calculate the working hours of all your team members and report it to the Human Resources department. Time-bound The KPIs you set for remote workers may be fantastic in every other aspect but if they aren’t time-bound, you will not be able to quantify them. Take the above-mentioned example – Proofread 20 blogs and ensure they are error-free. Here, the employee knows what is expected of them in clear, measurable, and defined terms but they have no time limit to work within. An employee might finish 20 blogs in a month while another might take three months. Are both these employees equally productive? In order to have a clear understanding of your employees’ performance and productivity, you need to ensure that the KPIs for remote workers have a time-bound deadline. This way, you and your employees will have a clear picture of expectations vs. performance. A good example would be: Proofread 20 blogs by the end of the month and ensure they are error-free. SMART KPIs are tried and tested in several organizations and have proven to be an instrumental tool in evaluating employees. Consider OKRs as an Add-on Most organizations use KPIs for remote workers to quantify and evaluate performance. However, with Google’s adoption of OKR, there has been a noticeable shift towards OKRs. OKRs are Objectives and Key Results —it’s an evaluation mechanism designed by Andy Grove for Intel. This system allows you to define objectives and tie them to key results that act as smaller goals for your employees. A good example of OKRs would be: Objective – Increase website traffic by 50% Key result 1: Create 50 pieces of informative content for visitors. Key result 2: Promote created content on social media. Key result 3: Run a Google Ads campaign to gain more visitors. You may wonder what the difference between OKRs and KPIs for remote workers is. The key difference is that KPIs are activity-based goals while OKRs are objective-based goals. Take a look at the same example to understand this further: KPI- Proofread 20 blogs by the end of the month and ensure they are error-free. OKR- Objective – Improve the blog quality Key result 1: Proofread all the blogs in the next quarter Key result 2: Create guidelines for content creation Key result 3: Run all content assets through QC The key difference in the above given examples is that KPIs talk of a single task whereas OKRs align all the tasks under an objective. So, which one should you use? To succeed, you should ideally use both of these systems. KPIs for remote workers are really helpful for ongoing projects and small-term goals. However, if you’re starting a new project, or want to realign your company’s objectives towards a single goal, OKRs are your best bet. Effective Metrics for Remote Workers No matter what system you use for evaluation, or what your principles behind the evaluation are, it all boils down to the ‘how’. How do you evaluate them? What metrics do you use for evaluating remote employees? While several organizations have their own concept of these, BSC designer has classified these metrics into three important pillars: Self-discipline Effective communication Employee learning skills Self-discipline It’s no surprise that self-discipline ranks number one when it comes to KPIs for remote workers. A remote employee can only be as effective as their self-discipline. And when your entire team is distributed, it is especially important to quantify, assess, and reward self-discipline. But how do you measure a concept as ambiguous as self-discipline? Set up the metrics in a way that self-discipline is measured through each task. Quantify it through the following measures: Was the task completed on time? If not, was it communicated in time? Was it up to the expected quality mark? If not, were the reasons communicated in time? These questions will help you evaluate an employee’s self-discipline in tangible and measurable terms. Effective Communication According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, 17% of the respondents mentioned that communicating or collaborating with their team was the biggest challenge they faced while working remotely. Clearly, communication is a pain point for remote work. And ensuring that your team practices effective communication tactics can alleviate this challenge. You can use the following factors to quantify effective communication: Are the requirements for the task communicated to the supervisor effectively? If working in a team, are all relevant factors shared with the team members at regular intervals? In case of a glitch or blockers, is the issue informed immediately? Were the instructions paid attention to? Is the quality as expected? In case of delays or quality issues, were explanations provided before the deadline? Is all the documentation crisp, clear, and error-free? While this list is not exhaustive in any way, it will give you a clear understanding of your team’s communication skills. Employee Learning Skills Remote work throws a wrench in your regular processes. Teams have to deal with delayed communication channels, equipment breakdown, network errors, and a lot more. On top of that, while these issues can be fixed easily in an office, they aren’t easily resolved in a remote setting. Your team must be equipped to learn new things quickly while being able to follow instructions to a T. This is where employee learning skills enter. Measuring learning skills can be tricky, as everyone learns differently. However, the acquisition of new skills and their application can easily be observed. You can use these questions to quantify these skills: Do they take up learning new skills of their own volition? If confronted with a task that requires a new skill set, do they volunteer to learn it? When a new skill is learned, how is it applied to the task? How long does it take for them to learn the new skill? How effective is their work after the acquisition of new skills? How quickly do they understand instructions? How well do they perform tasks after getting thorough instructions? These questions will help you grasp your employees’ overall learning skills. An employee with good learning skills is a big asset to your organization. There are several other ways to determine KPIs for remote workers as each organization has a different set of requirements. However, this will give you a general idea of how to go about setting up your KPIs for remote workers. Expert Tip: Measure the quality and quantity of work over the time spent doing it. This will enhance your employees’ trust and improve their productivity. Frequently Asked Questions How do you set KPIs for remote employees? KPIs for remote employees are different from those for regular employees. You need to focus on the results over the time spent. Set KPIs that measure the output over input. How can I monitor employees that work remotely? An easy way to monitor is to break down the KPIs for remote workers into smaller goals and touch base with your employees frequently to keep a track of their progress. How do you measure productivity remotely? Productivity metrics or KPIs for remote workers such as ‘the number of leads converted’ can be a good measure of measuring productivity remotely. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you set KPIs for remote employees?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "KPIs for remote employees are different from those for regular employees. You need to focus on the results over the time spent. 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Employee Experience: Digital Transformation Can Improve It

Article | August 6, 2020

Digital transformation is the concept of using technology to solve business problems. As business strategies become more global and organizations need to be more agile, it only makes sense to use technology to our greatest advantage. Over the past few months, I’ve shared with you a few articles that I worked on with our friends at Paycom about digital transformation and how it can positively impact the employee experience. While I hope you enjoyed each of the articles as you read them, I thought you might like to see them together and how they connect.

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Spotlight

Staffing Strong

Finding the best person for your job is our job. Our clients understand there’s a lot more to making a great hire than matching a resume to a job description. There are considerations like personality. Culture fit. And work ethic. We get people. And we give it to you straight. Because knowing what you need and filling it fast is our strength. It’s simple. We provide an extensive network of talent that’s 20 years in the making. In fact, our talent pool gets bigger every day. We do the legwork to find the absolute best creative, marketing and digital talent available nationally. We specialize in direct-hire retained searches and we also offer contract and contract-to-hire placements. Bottom line, you’re busy. We get that. Just let us know what you need and then you can get back to work knowing we’re on the job for you.

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