Work from Home
Guidelines for Line Managers
Virtual or not, employees want to know what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated. Setting and communicating your expectations means that you and your team member know that performance feedback and coaching will relate directly to these expectations.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your virtual team(s):
- Be Clear on How you will Evaluate performance
Be sure that you define and communicate what will be evaluated – agree SMART objectives and the ‘How’ using our Company values.
- Have Focused Regular Conversations
It is easy, especially when your team are virtual, to assume that if you do not hear from them, everything is okay. You need to create opportunities for team members to just “chat” both formally and informally. So this means that you need to actually over-communicate and create opportunities such as regular meetings for everyone to chat.
The easiest way to know how each team member is doing is to have a practical system (e.g. Google drive, Hangouts) that allows everyone to track work and results and to communicate frequently.
Make use of the multiple mediums that are available, from regular team Visio meetings, to Google Hangout area, email and one-to-one calls.
When you are maximising a variety of mediums to keep in touch individually, it’s easier to have a handle on how a person is progressing.
At a team level - a weekly meeting within a team or a weekly one-on-one meeting between a team leader and each person on their team is a way to store up issues and minimize the back and forth email that takes place during the week and handle it all in one meeting.
- Be wary of Chat and Email overload
This is a hard one because on the one hand you need to make sure everyone is communicating enough, but on the other hand it can get distracting and overwhelming.
Depending on your needs, choose the type of communication that works best.
- Email – For quick interactions. You can also replace most email communication.
- Google Hangouts are great for quick instant messages where you need real-time interaction.
- Video chat – Some types of communication should only be handled over with voice. Any kind of emotional issue such as performance problems should be handled over the phone. Video chat would be even better as it gives you more visual cues of what is going on with the other person.