The first time I worked for a manager who was not co-located with me, my biggest concern was about how he would be able to assess my performance. I had a real fear that my manager would not be able to “see” my performance on a day to day basis. In the initial days, it made me very insecure and I would send him detailed updates about what I was doing on a weekly basis. I believed that if he knew what I was doing, he would know that I was working hard to achieve my goals. A couple of months after we started working together, my manager had feedback for me that completely changed the way I thought about performance- both mine and others.
Here’s what he told me-
- I hired you because I believe that you are a fit for the role and have the capability to get things done
- I trust you to do your job
- Always know that you can come to me if you need help
- I don’t need to know what you are doing every day or week. But I would like to understand the progress you are making, problems you are facing and how I can help you.
- If something is not working, I will always openly tell you and we can figure it out.
Of course, the conversation was longer. But these 5 points have stayed me with me and have become the foundation of my own approach to performance management.
As remote work becomes mainstream, one of the biggest concerns leaders, managers and teams are grappling with is performance management. Overcoming the assumption that “out of sight” means “uncertain performance” is a big challenge!
Remote work is a fantastic opportunity for us as leaders and managers to create a truly high performing team and culture.
Remote work gives our teams the opportunity to have flexibility in their work hours. They can work when they do their best work and be held accountable for the results.
- The work itself is the measure of performance
With remote work, it becomes very clear who is delivering (& not delivering). It is hard for non performers and low performers to hide behind the collective team effort.
- Who we are matters less
How we dress, speak or behave, matters a lot lesser. The work we do speaks for us. It is the best time for “quiet” performers to shine. Team members who are “all talk” stand out. It becomes clear to the manager and everyone on the team who the true performers are.
- Busy work becomes obvious
With remote work, it becomes easier to identify managers and team members who are just creating meetings and work to keep themselves busy.
As leaders and managers, this is a perfect time for us to learn to evaluate our team’s work and ignore other things around them that does not really matter. It’s our opportunity to “cut the crap” and focus on what is most important- our and our team’s performance!