Remote Lessons Learned for 2021
A Look Back
At the beginning of the pandemic, we found ourselves helping clients adjust to the pivot of not just working remotely themselves but managing a remote workforce, too. Since 2012, Titus Talent has been using a 100% remote work model so this made us uniquely qualified to help our clients and even companies we’ve never met before.
Managing a Remote Workforce
As we approach the one-year pandemic anniversary, where are you now?
Many companies are still in a work-from-home (WFH) holding pattern. They’re either struggling to get by until things return to normal or they’re realizing the incredible benefits of having a remote workforce and planning on this model for the future. Either way, there are lessons you can take-away from plunging into a WFH environment in 2020 and translate them into success in 2021.
2020 Lessons for a 2021 Remote Workforce
As you’ve watched your people grow and learn during this work from home “experiment” what have you learned and what have they learned? These tips combined with your own experience can help you transform and define your teams into a remote success story.
- It’s Personal. It’s been said that the pandemic is not equal. It takes some time to adjust and adapt to the new schedule and routine. Some people take longer, and some adapt quickly. Some have more distractions and responsibilities at home than others. It’s all about letting each person find their individual groove and path to success without sacrificing productivity. Promoting an environment where employees have frequent communication with managers to touch base on WFH issues and the need for extra support is key.
- Recognition Matters. Let’s be honest, it’s all about performance. At this point, you know who is hitting their numbers or goals on a consistent basis. They’re an instrumental part of your company’s success. For those of us running on EOS, we look for employees who are completing 80% of their “rocks” every quarter and 90% of their weekly “to-dos” in their Level 10 meetings.
- As the adrenaline of an immediate response fades away, it will be important to recognize those who have hit pre-pandemic numbers or hit their adjusted goals. Ask these early adopters and WFH top performers to share their insights in company meetings. Create a special reward to reinforce successful behavior and to support what your company values.
- If leadership fails to recognize the extra effort it has taken to achieve pre-pandemic goals, even your most engaged employees could face a drop in morale as they gear up for the extended pandemic life of 2021.
- Accountability Needs to Be Demonstrated. Employers who were previously resistant to remote work faced a huge learning curve in 2020; many were forced to experience the benefits of a WFH culture. What did many companies witness?
- An engaged group shares your core values, they dive in to help others on the team who are off track, and they’re involved in the big picture. Perhaps the one key trait these people have is that they’re accountable. They have no problem owning their mistakes and successes. They never give you excuses, instead they look for solutions.
- A culture of accountability is possible, and it needs to be demonstrated. Ask yourself if senior and middle management are being transparent with direct reports; a company who demonstrates ‘top down’ accountability can inspire a positive company culture strong enough to survive remote accountability.
- Your Business Requires Work. It may seem counterintuitive to work on your business during or in the aftermath of crisis. It’s akin to working on an airplane while you’re still flying it. But 2020 taught many companies that they lacked some simple processes for their business, something to give management structure to ensure performance and gives employees a process to hold onto. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can look to operating systems like EOS as a starting point.
In our everchanging world, a remote workforce might be the key to your business’s future. Whether you take the leap and go fully remote or you’re willing to offer remote work to some or adopt part-time remote schedules, it’s not going away after the pandemic is over. Taking the remote experiment of 2020 and turning it into a working model for 2021 can put your company ahead of the competition and can make you more attractive to top talent.
Connect with us at Titus Talent if you’d like to learn more about hiring the right people for those remote roles. Or we can discuss how to transform your hiring, interviewing, and onboarding process into one that works in a mobile environment.
Evergreen Highlights from Titus Talent’s WFH Workshop
At this time of crisis, what we really wanted to do was HELP – in any way we could. We discovered that our expertise and experience in this new mobile workforce was what people needed to feel comfortable with remote work and to succeed. We offered a series of free workshops around the topic of managing a remote workforce to anyone who needed a little guidance. Below, we have re-shared the five anchors we found useful for our mobile work culture. How did your company do in 2020? What will you carry with you this year? What would you add?
- Establish a routine for when and how things will happen. This can include one on one meetings, team meetings, whole company meetings, and a clearly defined reporting process. There is no confusion about what they need to do or when because the path has been defined.
- Tip – Start virtual meetings with a share from each person about something that’s happened in their lives since the last meeting. It’s your mobile water cooler personal connection moment.
- Over communicate in a time of crisis or transition. It increases security. Share what you know and be honest when you don’t know. People need to know leadership is there and that they’re being truthful.
- Tip – Step away from using email as the primary form of communication and rely on video and a real connection.
- Aim for transparency in data and reporting. How will you know if people are working and performing? Following the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) concepts and tools have helped us in setting performance objectives, achieving them, reporting progress, and discussing what’s still outstanding.
- Performance Management. Clearly communicate your expectations. What the results are, when they’re expected to be completed, how they’re going to report their results. Knowing what is expected is a relief and boosts confidence.
- Tip – Check in with your people to make sure the expectations are practical and achievable. Might need to be adjusted to deal with additional burdens like home schooling, illness, isolation, etc.
- Engagement Technology. Use technology to your advantage to keep people connected. The tech is there to maintain a cohesive team and to build successes. Use what works for your company and be willing to try new things and to learn what does and doesn’t work.
We want to stress that the following anchor tips are essentially evergreen. These are things we do on a regular basis and have for the last decade as our staff is all remote and scattered around the globe. The only one that’s not necessarily a universal truth in the WFH world is the technology. And that’s because it keeps evolving and improving. Stick with your Rhythm, Communication, Accountability, and Performance Management. And, while you might not use the same technology we do, make sure you’re taking advantage of the tools at your disposal.
* “Level 10 Meeting” and “Rocks” are part of the EOS Toolbox™, a compete set of tools addressing and strengthening all Six Key Components™ of any business. These management tools for business leaders are designed to be easy to learn and use, because complexity reduces effectiveness. The EOS Toolbox™ is the property of EOS Worldwide. For more information, please visit EOS Worldwide website.
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