Due to COVID-19, many companies have made the transition to remote work and will continue to remain remote for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, it is important to consider how effective your remote employees are and whether this new transition is sustainable. In this post, we will look at the steps to take and different ways that enable you to easily gauge the effectiveness of your remote employees.
A New Perspective
When starting something new, it is always best to have a fresh perspective. As you make the transition to remote work this is no different. Companies that adopt or maintain a results-oriented culture where productivity and effectiveness is measured through output rather than input will make gauging your remote employees much easier. Another perspective that can be beneficial to your organization is goal orientation. A goal orientated perspective allows for managers and employees to set goals together from weekly tasks to project-based activities. At the end of the task or project, managers and employees can meet and evaluate how effective they were. This allows you to evaluate how well both managers and employees did in comparison to goals and how effective your employees were. Also, if you have not started already, you should be measuring all the tasks (from action items to projects) that have been completed each week. This way, you can measure how many items are completed each week and compare them to past remote week baselines and make informed decisions and performance levels.
Actions from Employers
In addition to a fresh perspective, employers need to make changes to their daily and weekly schedules. These changes will help employees adapt to remote learning as well as enable employers to easily measure their effectiveness. Examples of schedule changes include, holding weekly meetings to check on employee’s progress, goals, and mental health, taking extra time to make sure projects and goals are being met on time with the same quality and effort, and providing more feedback to employees after the competition of projects and assignments. Employers should also consider asking clients for feedback (either directly or via surveys) on employee performance as well as how satisfied they are with the team/department’s work. With these changes, it will be much easier for your business to track your employees’ progress and the quality of their work, which will then allow you to gauge the effectiveness of their remote work.
Let's Put It All Together
After making these changes in your perspective and actions you may be wondering how this translates to gauging the effectiveness of your employees. Well, these changes to your perspective and actions have allowed you to easily compare employees to industry benchmarks and make charts comparing similar roles and job functions. We will go into more detail regarding each one of these, but the basics consist of comparing employees’ billable hours, process, and tasks completed to similar roles or past remote weeks. This is where quantifying the number of tasks finished and tracking the output will come in handy. Also, assessing employees’ progress and health during these weekly meetings will allow you to easily track the progress and quality of their work.
Industry Benchmarking is a method of using metrics that measure the current position of your business in comparison to other companies in your industry. Benchmarking allows companies to form data-based decisions about how well their processes and employees are performing under different conditions. It is important to compare yourself to the best in the industry, but more importantly, to identify the areas, departments or employees that need improving in order to compete with top businesses in your industry.
There are two types of Industry Benchmarking that are the most applicable in gauging the effectiveness of employees that we will go into more detail.
Performance Industry Benchmarking
This type of benchmarking is where you examine your business’s financial metrics on products and services in comparison to other companies’ financial metrics.
Specifically, to gauge the effectiveness of remote employees, you can compare financial metrics like net cash flow, customer retention rate, and expenses to other businesses in your industry. This will give your business an idea of how well you are performing during remote times and thus, how effective your remote employees have been.
Here are some industry specific examples on how you would gauge the effectiveness of remote employees through performance benchmarking:
- Automotive: Financial metrics to compare with competitors include: new and used vehicle sales, units manufactured, manufacturing cycle time, and revenue/expenses.
- Sales: Financial metrics to compare with competitors and across performance indicators including: leads generated, close rate, revenue, and quotas hit.
By evaluating the financial metrics between your business and competing businesses you can gauge how well your business is doing which can give you an indication of how effective your remote employees have been. In addition, this allows your business to find departments or employees that may need more support which would allow you to strengthen your overall business.
This type of benchmarking is where you compare the way your business is accomplishing tasks to other businesses that are at the top of the industry.
By evaluating how the top businesses in the industry accomplish certain tasks during remote times, you can identify if your employees are taking a similar or different approach. If an employee is maintaining a similar level of efficiency in their task approach you can conclude that in this facet, the remote employee is being effective. If the employee is maintaining a different approach with mixed outcomes you can easily identify the process that needs to be improved in order to increase effectiveness.
Note: Performing tasks like top businesses in the industry can differ between regions and company size and in some cases having a different approach can yield results just as good or better than top businesses.
Here are some industry specific examples on how you would gauge the effectiveness of remote employees through process benchmarking:
- Sales: Compare the process of each part of the sales funnel (leads, prospects, proposals, close ratio) and how successful each team member is at each step of the sales process. You can also compare each salesperson to their peers at each step of the sales process and against r quota attainment.
Call & Support Centers: Compare call volumes, speed of answer, number of escalations, how fast calls are forwarded to support employees, and how satisfied clients are with your service. By evaluating the processes of top companies, you can compare them to the processes of your employees and coupled with the “Performance Benchmark” of the employees, you can identify whether your current employees work is effective or ineffective.
Per Employee Basis
According to CNBC, during the second quarter, the unemployment rate was just over 10% in July, with Q2 GDP expected to be 32% lower than last year. As such, most businesses have declined in size and revenue this quarter, meaning a good evaluation of the effectiveness of your employee is to compare the employee’s role to similar roles or past remote weeks instead of in-office quarters. Some metrics that will remain consistent across industry’s will be billables for a project, revenue brought in per employee, and number of projects, action items, and tasks the employee has completed in an allotted time. We have attached a chart below that allows you to easily compare employees of similar roles or their past remote weeks.
|Employee X Third Remote Week vs. Sixth Remote Week OR Employee X vs. Employee Y
||Compare previous remote weeks billable hours for similar work vs current week billable hours
||Compare quantity and customer/client satisfaction of projects in previous remote weeks vs current remote week
||Compare quantity of action items as well as time spent on action items in previous remote weeks vs current remote week
||Compare quality, completion length, and customer/client satisfaction of tasks in previous remote weeks vs current remote week
We have also listed some industry specific examples on how you would gauge the effectiveness of remote employees through a per employee basis.
- Sales: Compare how each employee is achieving their quota for revenue and profit performance. You can also compare their progress through each step of the process in the sales funnel to best determine sales effectiveness.. In today’s environment, all these analysis points should take into account varying economic impacts on industry segments and geographic assignments.
- Project Based Work: Compare how responsive team members are to email and text, how quickly team members close out tasks that are assigned to them, their meeting participation/attendance, and the timeliness, quality, and rework of assigned tasks.
- Human Resources: Compare how effective the onboarding of new employees was, employees’ ongoing satisfaction, how many employee complaints there were and how they were dealt with, and how well HR personnel respond to team needs for additional help/coaching during remote working.
By comparing employees to their past remote weeks or to employees with similar roles, a company can see trends in how many projects or tasks the employee has completed and how satisfied their client or supervisor was. By observing these trends for an extended period, an employer can observe whether an employee is maintaining similar effectiveness from past weeks or going up/down.
Note: According to industry research, many employees at the beginning of remote working tended to be more efficient and productive due to the fear that they may be furloughed or laid off. This type of efficiency was unsustainable and should be accounted for when conducting your analysis.
As many companies adjust to this new normal for the foreseeable future, it is important to be able to gauge how effective your employees have been and if they will be able to maintain the same effectiveness as when they were working in the office. In this post, we explored ways to evaluate the effectiveness of an employee by industry benchmarks, such as performance and process, and through a per employee basis with a job function comparison chart. As companies struggle to integrate a long-term remote workforce into the broader workplace, it is becoming increasingly important to leverage these tools and techniques to ensure that employees not only work effectively, but also have the support they need to excel.
With locations in the Los Angeles and Dallas areas, the resource professionals at MercuryHub™ have helped many companies maintain culture fit and effectiveness of remote staff. To learn how MercuryHub™ can help with your remote workforce plans, read about the benefits of our staffing model. MercuryHub™ is a one stop shop to help businesses mitigate business risks and improve operation efficiencies. Contact our team today!.