Measuring People, Places, and Process in a COVID-19 World - American Technology Consulting

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Measuring People, Places, and Process in a COVID-19 World

Nick Reddin

Published April 16, 2020

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As COVID-19 becomes the catalyst for the most significant workplace transformation we’ve ever witnessed, can working remotely emerge as a game-changer for organizations?

At the heart of an organization is its employees. In the current situation that we find ourselves in, what organizations need to understand is that not every person can excel in a remote work environment. Managing a remote team is quite different, and with a bit of time and learning, managers can quickly figure out how to make things work. Therefore, it’s crucial to empower your team and make them capable of performing seamlessly while working remote.

Leaders become the pillars of this transition and need to rethink strategies and come up with a new roadmap to engage and manage employees successfully. If employees don’t have an understanding of what is expected during isolation, they are likely to be far less productive. Such a scenario will only lead to anxiety, stress, and failing to meet expectations.

The path to normalcy would be gradual and may take longer, and analytics need to be taken seriously by practicing regular data collection, reporting, and analysis. Analytics will help measure, define, and improve success rates.

At our April Webinar, Vice President at ATC, Nick Reddin, and Head of People Analytics at WPA, Stephen Smith, shared their expertise, insights, and strategies on making remote teams work better.

People, Places & Process in the Current Workplace

When it comes to people, trust is vital. Remote work doesn’t perform well when you don’t trust the people on the other end of the line. When you start worrying about what someone is doing, then you end up focusing on something other than the customers or your products.

Using various tools and online applications, you can always bring your team for an all-hands meeting to steer them on track. The right tools are essential to ensure everyone stays on the same page and continues to execute without a physical presence.

Right processes help get work done in the absence of all else. Processes provide structure and direction for getting over the line. It certainly doesn’t mean processes should be rigid, unchanging, or pointless, though. The process is more about providing a feedback loop so that you can measure progress for both the company and the people in the company.

How to Measure the Knowledge Worker?

During these unprecedented times, employees are filled with fear of an uncertain future which adds to their anxiety, and stress. In these times, how businesses treat their employees is critical for the long-term relationship. The culture businesses propagate will ultimately pave the way for success or failure.

Redefining how productivity is measured can be a daunting task. However, maintaining the status quo becomes much more difficult in the face of the current remote working reality. Organizations are starting to realize that they can’t have the same stringent control they once had when people were working from an office.

But it really doesn’t matter how or when people work, whether it’s day or night, as long as they get the job done. Of course, it may not apply to all roles, but where there is a possibility, employees should be granted flexibility and control over their schedules. On the flip side, forgoing the control gives organizations more control over productivity.

We will have to eventually make progress toward measuring productivity based on the work rendered than the hours clocked when people are working remotely.

The Importance of Feedback Loop

It is necessary to keep the feedback loop open. Effective communication with employees goes beyond issuing bulletins or announcements. It’s all about keeping the communication loop open and soliciting feedback.

When in a crisis, it’s imperative to open pathways to facilitate discussions and to raise questions. Live chat platforms are suitable not just for group discussions but for personal correspondences as well. It’s significantly quicker than email, and information is passed in a flash.

Here are some reasons why a feedback loop is important:

  • Lets managers uncover the emotions and unique needs
  • Is a way to show that the leadership cares
  • The easiest way to stay in tune with the teams
  • Identify critical issues before they spur into a problem
  • Foster a culture of trust

Accepting the New Normal

Organizations may be wondering how long the current situation will continue and when things become normal. But it’s wise to think of superior techniques that can replace the traditional practices. Changes are inevitable, and it’s high time to start accepting the ‘new normal.’ Here are some fundamental changes that can be witnessed:

  • Workforce well-being will become increasingly paramount
  • Working-from-home will become the rule for many jobs
  • Organizations will compete based on the quality of remote workers
  • Agile teams will get distributed and global
  • E-commerce opportunities will spread like a wildfire in all spheres
  • Digital transformation becomes the only viable option in many sectors
  • Leadership skills will be more important than ever before to grow the largely virtual businesses

What are the Best Practices?

Beyond building trust, fostering new communication channels, and utilizing technology to it’s best, we believe in tried and tested strategies that will help build a strong team even when people are distributed across the globe.

  • Use one centralized Project Management tool
  • Create a warm and welcoming remote work environment
  • Create a chat group to have some fun in between work hours
  • Focus on employee upskilling and training
  • When possible, include all team members in team meetings

How Do You Measure Success?

The primary metric we all look at, is time. Several tools can track, but it may not tell the complete story and could be flawed. Managers need to understand the nature of work and be clear with the schedule when assigning tasks. Project Management tools keep a tab on the budget and send alerts if there’s a lapse. 

The most important thing for managers would be to track and measure employee achievements and say kudos. It lifts morale and, in turn, can only end-up boosting efficiency and productivity.

Also, it’s essential to utilize real-time and handy project management tools that show every employee the progress of the task, to-do lists, schedules, and dependencies, that will help them proactively plan and manage.

At the end of the day, it’s all about results and the employee-employer relationship, where the latter is crucial for long-term success.

Next Steps?

Your employees matter the most. But are you employing the right technology to facilitate seamless work? Do you use cutting-edge tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in your workflow? Did you know that with RPA, you can deploy hundreds of BOTs to manage your entire workflow without any glitches 24/7?

You could also employ chatbots and voice assistants to provide uninterrupted assistance to your customers, even when your employees are unavailable. And scale your business with our cloud transformation solutions.

At ATC, we’ve been helping companies take advantage of technology advancements for years, and we are here to help you quickly transform.

We combine technologies and deliver solutions with much-needed speed and better decision making.

If you have any questions or would like to start a conversation with us, reach out to ATC today.

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