Working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown can present companies with a variety of fresh challenges, not least a potential breakdown in communications and a subsequent lack of clarity as to what your employees are supposed to be doing and when.
To help you overcome these challenges and keep your company and its employees on top of the situation, here’s a breakdown of some of the key performance management tools you can incorporate in your internal communications platform to help save time.
Whether you’re the CEO or an executive of a company, a manager or team leader, setting your objectives clearly is the first step towards accomplishing your goals. These could be long-term, ambitious stretch goals or quarterly objectives and key results, but whatever goals you’re setting they need to be well articulated and visible to the relevant employees.
You should use your performance management tool as a single source of information easily accessible to managers and employees, aligning them to their objectives and enabling them to adapt and respond when necessary.
Once established, company, department and individual objectives need to be tracked, with the ability to make real-time updates with minimal interruption to the workflow. Your performance management tools can offer a variety of methods for charting the progress of your objectives, from simple “In progress/Complete” binary options to the percentage of objectives completed and other measuring systems.
An interconnected employee communication platform helps keep everyone involved on the same page, with minimal interruption to your company’s performance.
It is well understood that providing and receiving feedback is an essential element of effective business practice. As John Hattle and Helen Timperley state in their study for Columbia University, “Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement.”
While the dynamics around feedback are different when working from home and face-to-face communication is impossible (although video conferencing goes some way to bridging the gap), encouraging managers and employees to give and receive feedback should be a core component of your remote working strategy.
Using multi-channel internal communications means that your company’s leaders and employees can offer consistent feedback across a variety of digital platforms, helping ensure that any corrective action is taken when necessary.
Performance management tools can also be used to encourage engagement and provide individuals with opportunities to exchange ideas and brainstorm solutions. Using peer rewards while communicating your company’s core values helps keep everyone talking and aligning their priorities.
You can also use your internal communication platform to track employee sentiment. eNPS surveys and analytic tools can help you to identify top performers and put together personal development plans for those in need of assistance.
Weekly meetings and 1-2-1s
With no face-to-face conversations taking place around the office while your workforce is in lockdown, structured weekly meetings and regular 1-2-1s are more important than ever. You need to ensure you build those moments into your remote working patterns, and performance management tools are an essential requirement.
Regular meetings help to boost engagement otherwise lost due to the lockdown, giving managers and their employees moments to touch upon the critical goals as well as check up on their well-being. Maintaining strong communication encourages feedback, keeping your business on the right track.
Even when your company is working remotely, your HR team will still need to manage time off while handling an array of other digital paperwork. Your performance management tools can help your HR leaders to monitor requests and sicknesses, logging everything immediately and authorizing the relevant managers of any actions required.
Push notifications and critical alerts
For urgent matters, using push notifications and critical alerts can bring them to your employees’ attention instantly. Using a communications system with multi-channel capabilities which utilises email, SMS and InApp alerts mean you won’t have to worry about the message not getting through.
Push notifications and critical alerts may also be useful if some of your workforce are not locked down, for example, delivery drivers or maintenance workers. Should the conditions of the lockdown as laid down by the government change, you can bring them up to speed in a timely manner.