KPI Solutions for Remote Work by Laura Licursi
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in, and remote work has become our “new normal.” Whether we like it or not, we should get used to the new environment and learn new ways of managing teams from home. Probably one of the biggest challenges team managers currently face is finding reliable KPI solutions. Let’s discuss this topic in detail and determine what you should do to improve your remote team’s performance. Build an effective team Let’s face it. Not all people are capable of working remotely. Not everyone can stay productive and sane while working from home. So if you want to make your project a success, you should only invite self-disciplined professionals who feel comfortable with remote work to your team. If you see that some of your team members can’t get used to the new work environment, provide them with adequate support. If it doesn’t help, consider replacing them with new hires. Are you thinking about expanding your remote team? Hire candidates with remote working or freelancing experience. Don’t hire experts who have never worked from home before. No matter how qualified they are, there is a risk that they will fail to work remotely. Set realistic and measurable KPIs Now let’s talk about key performance indicators (KPIs). What metrics should you use to check whether or not your remote team is getting stuff done? Well, it all depends on what type of team you have. If you manage a sales team, you should use such metrics as average customer value, number of completed sales, conversion rate, etc. If you work with mobile app developers, you should monitor the average number of bug fixes, the number of code delivered, etc. Once you decide what metrics to use, you should set objectives. The objectives must be achievable for remote team members and aligned with project goals. Let’s say you are the leader of a customer service team. You can write such objectives:
- Decrease average resolution time from 20 minutes to 15 minutes.
- Increase customer satisfaction score by 12%.
- Keep the first contact resolution rate above 80%.
Pick suitable tools Naturally, you can’t manage your remote team and monitor its progress without using the proper software. Depending on the niche you work in and the peculiarities of your team, you can use the following tools and apps:
- Time and progress tracking: Trello, Asana, ProofHub, Paymo.
- Messengers and communication tools: Slack, Google Hangouts, Workplace by Facebook.
- Human resources management tools: BambooHR, Oracle PeopleSoft, Zoho People.
- Corporate learning management systems: Open edX, Canva, Moodle.
Some of these tools are available for free, and some of them offer paid plans only. Choose software that suits the needs of your remote team and meets your budget expectations. It’s worth mentioning that all these tools have an intuitive interface. It will be easy for your team members to figure out how to use them. Enhance effective communication What is the most significant drawback of remote work? Frequent miscommunications between team members. When employees work together in one office space, they discuss different aspects of the project and clarify all necessary details in a timely manner. But when they work remotely, they don’t communicate that much and that effectively. And pretty often, they misinterpret the messages they send to each other. Estelle Liotard, an expert HR writer and dissertation help service provider, says: “If you want to lead your team to success, you should create a remote communication protocol. You should explain to your team members how they should communicate with each other, when, and in what mediums.” Besides, as a team leader, you should be mindful about using online communication tools. Don’t make a video call if you can send a short text message. Don’t set up a meeting if you can make an announcement via email. Distract your team members less, and they will perform much better. Increase accountability and motivation The next thing you should do is ensure that your KPIs boost the team’s sense of responsibility for accomplishing corporate goals. Every team player should have a clear idea of why he needs to hit the objectives and understand how his effort will benefit the company. You should set a KPI target for each employee. It will allow you to prevent blame-shifting between team members for missed deadlines and uncompleted tasks. It will help you to improve employees’ performance and enhance the quality of the work delivered. Take cybersecurity seriously Do you still believe that a cyberattack is not a real thing? Take a look at the recent statistics. Netwrix’s survey reveals that 85% of companies sacrificed cybersecurity to quickly set up employees to work remotely. And that resulted in a global increase in nearly all types of cyberattacks since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Your task is to explain to remote workers the importance of cybersecurity. You should ensure that everyone in your team follows these four rules:
- Avoid public Wi-Fi and use secure web connections
- Keep work data on work computers
- Encrypt sensitive data in emails
- Create strong passwords (yep, it’s time to stop using the dog’s name as a password if you don’t want your account to be hacked)
Have a crisis management plan This year has shown us that we must be prepared for the unexpected. We should be ready to accept big and small challenges to thrive in the long run. As a project manager, you should be aware of the risks for your project. You should write a crisis management plan that will help you save your business in case of a cyber-attack, mismanagement, or major accident. Wrapping it up Your remote team needs your support. So before you set any metrics and start demanding any results, try to understand your employees. Learn more about the challenges they face when working from home. Such an approach will allow you to take your team’s remote work to the next level and help you achieve all the goals set.