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How to Create Highly Productive Remote Employees

Nicole MacLean
Nicole MacLean

Today’s workforce faces challenges on multiple fronts with one being the shift to remote work. We know leaders want to help their employees be successful in this ‘new normal’ and a big part of that is focusing on maintaining and increasing productivity. As part of our Bite-Size Insights podcast we explored how leaders can do just that.

To understand how leaders can build highly effective teams in today’s environment, we took a step back to understand the traditional methods of measuring this. Unfortunately, we found that many leaders measured the hours worked versus the outcomes or results generated by employees. Whether employees are working in the office or remote, hours worked is not a meaningful indicator of productivity. The modern day leader needs to focus on outcomes, not hours. 

So once you’re measuring the right thing, what next? Well, focusing on outcomes doesn’t immediately unlock productivity. It does mean that managers know what they need to do to help their team – focus on clarity of outcomes. 

When employees know what’s expected of them and how their responsibilities tie to the larger purpose of the business they will be more productive. For Adam Weber, Emplify’s Chief People Officer and Co-founder, “this is the foundation for how to create a highly productive, high-performance culture.”

In the past, creating this culture of high performance was based on the antiquated thinking of command and control. Leadership demanded more from their employees in terms of both output and speed. The reality is this doesn’t work. The shift to working remote forces leaders to think differently about how we approach our team members. 

For one, being intentional about understanding who your employees are as a whole person is crucial. Acknowledge their current experiences, whether it’s dealing with working-from-home challenges like eLearning, or general well-being concerns due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. During this time, the traditional 9-5 work day may not be optimal, versus allowing your employees a more flexible schedule.

We believe leaders have an opportunity to be bold in their efforts by being deeply authentic, showcasing their genuine concern no matter what it is. Now is the time to challenge preconceived notions about leadership. If you want a highly-productive team, it starts with understanding what they need, listening, and taking action.

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