Effective Managers of People™ impact employee engagement, which leads to a greater commitment to work, the work that will get accomplished ahead of schedule and more productively. This impacts the bottom line. Managers of People™ are accountable for the proactive conversation whether an employee works remotely or not.
At a minimum, managers should focus on 6 actions:
Annually, make sure the job description is up to date, that it reflects the responsibilities and the essential functions of the job and fits within the organizational design of the department and company.
Have a comprehensive conversation with each employee to review their job description and clearly outline the measurable work expectations and deliverables. The result is an agreement between the manager and employee, eliminating any assumptions which could affect job performance.
Communicate weekly to check in on the employee’s progress. Every discussion with an employee should be ‘with’ the employee vs. ‘at’ the employee. The conversation ‘with’ the employee should be documented in the manager’s notes for follow-up. These notes can lead to recognition of a job well done or to address job performance issues. The conversation can focus on two questions:
Tell me about what you achieved from last week.
What is on your agenda to get accomplished this week?
The work, expectations and deliverables should always be agreed upon between the manager and the employee. Without agreement, the work will not be accomplished or the wrong work will get done.
4. Listen, really listen, to what is and is not being said and commit to taking action to help the employee get their job done. Being a better listener is a key competency of an effective Manager of People™.
5. Document, document, document. It is always difficult to recall dates, topics and commitments made when there are no notes of the discussion. Whether employees are working remotely or not, these notes go a long way in taking any kind of action with employees. These actions can be a recognition of great work or documentation of poor job performance.
At the end of each day, Managers of People™ are encouraged to ask themselves:
Have I been the best manager of people every day?
Have I been the best manager of people to each employee every day?
If the answer is anything but a resounding ‘yes’, reflect on what you regret doing or not doing with each employee. If you had to have conversations all over again, be clear about what you would have done differently. If you acknowledge your communication could have been more proactive and frequent and not always about the work, make a commitment to change. Be a better Manager of People™, it is all up to you.