As the working world moves toward a more geographically dispersed workforce, managers are uniquely challenged to maintain an accurate picture of employee performance. This lack of measured insight into employee work (both quality and quantity) often leads to inaccurate and potentially biased performance ratings. Gartner’s 2020 survey of nearly 3,000 managers revealed that:
- More than 60% of respondents believe that in-office employees are higher performers than their remote counterparts.
- More than 75% of managers believe that in-office workers are more likely to be promoted than their remote counterparts.
With the challenges of a more dispersed workforce, leaders must find a way to manage the measuring of employee performance accurately. Otherwise, we risk punishing those who choose to work remotely and rewarding those who simply happen to be in the right place at the right time. Yet to do that, we are forced to use the tools that are available to us. Moving forward, the same tools employees currently use to work in a virtual environment may very likely be used to assess their continuing contributions.
Technological assistance is just one example of how we improve our work lives. For instance, new technologies can already provide background information about the other people on the call during virtual meetings. Participants can then focus on the critical issues knowing more about who is on the call. As leaders, we must learn to embrace these new tools and use them to our advantage. Only then can we hope to overcome the challenges that we face.
In any collaboration, people who work together must learn to trust and respect one another. Trusting employees remotely can often be difficult, as different people have different ideas and ways of working. However, by using collaborative technologies, we have the opportunity to teach staff to behave in ways that improve the overall interactions across the company. By simply reminding managers to call on people who have not been as active in the meeting, we can encourage shy individuals to contribute their ideas.
By making those kinds of small changes, we can improve the quality of the working and the working relationship between employees.