How To Set Clear Expectations For Employees Virtually

Posted by PeopleFirst on Apr 24, 2020 9:34:12 AM

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When remote employees know what is expected of them they are much more likely to deliver results. Here are four areas to set clear expectations on which will allow your remote team to do what they do best. 

 

1. Communication

 

First of all, try to keep communication on one or two platforms. Constantly switching between multiple platforms (email, messenger, Hangouts, Slack etc) only serves to add additional layers of distractions. Secondly, align on an adequate timeframe for responses that work for your team. Ideally, this should not differ between working from home or from the office. For example, it can be agreed that a response should be given within 10mins on instant messaging channels and within a few hours over email during working hours.

 

2. Accountability

 

Remote work requires a great deal of self-motivation but if a remote employee has been given no indication of what they are actually responsible for, then both parties are going to be frustrated and disappointed. It is crucial to set clear expectations for every individual on what they will be accountable for and at the same time, encouraging them to hold themselves and even their team members accountable. This applies not only to their responsiveness, deliverables but to the quality of their deliverables as well. 


3. Productivity

 

Just as setting goals for yourself is highly important, setting them for your remote team is also vital. Setting clear and achievable milestones, such as deadlines or targets, gives remote staff the information they need to manage their time effectively. Make sure the goals are specific, measurable, realistic and mutually agreed. Clear milestones also help motivate and build confidence when they are met. Plus, setting such expectations also allows you to easily review and assess their productivity and progress.

 

4. Trust

 

 

One of the most important parts of setting expectations is allowing the time and space for your employees to meet them. Agree on when or how often you will check in on progress, or ask for updates by a certain time. Try not to micromanage. The advantage of setting clear expectations from the beginning means that if someone is not adhering to their part of the deal, you’ll know almost immediately. Expectations are not only useful for productivity but they can also be your early warning system for both the employer and the remote employee.

 

Key Takeaway

No matter how many miles or hours are between you and your remote team, setting expectations puts both of you on the same page. Clarity provides a clear direction and framework to help you and your remote employees to achieve your goals. Setting expectations are not limiting, they enable. They allow for a steady workflow, maximum productivity, reduced stress, and a happier, more confident remote team that is knocking deadlines and targets out of the park. It’s a win-win situation.

 

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