Don’t Be Afraid to Hold Your Team Members Accountable When They Work at Home
A big frustration has come from leaders of work-at-home teams. You are doing your best to communicate with everyone, but you may not be able to track what group members are doing.
Positive Strategies You’ve Tried
You’ve met with them—together, individually, online and/or in person to explain the goals they need to achieve, and you’ve made yourself available if they need any help. You feel that most of your players are pretty well trained and have adequate experience to meet any challenges they face in their jobs.
You have a good working relationship with most of your team members. You feel you are fair and that they respect you as their boss. You give them leeway to do their jobs their own way and spend most of your time training new people, solving distracting problems, and meeting with customers or upper management.
Tough Decisions You’ve Made
After staying patient for months or even years, you got up the nerve to have personal talks with one or more people who are the lowest performers. You warned them that they need to improve! It was hard getting to that point, especially during a pandemic, and it felt very stressful to plan and implement these “crucial conversations.”
Although some of the direct feedback you gave may have led to incremental improvements, you are still not thrilled with the changes your most underperforming people made, and you have an even more ambitious vision. You’d love the whole team to step up their performance and reach a whole new level of success that distinguishes them in your company and among competitors in your market.
So it’s a puzzle that things are not going the way you want them to.…
What Are You Doing Wrong?
You are wondering what else to try. You sense that if you become even more demanding and disciplinary, it won’t lead to the results you want. In fact, you are worried that some will quit, and you don’t want to double or triple your stress. You also don’t want employees to hate their jobs and/or hate you.
A Whole New Mindset Starts with Challenging Your Assumptions.
You need a whole new mindset about where improvement comes from that integrates great relationships with far greater accountability. This mindset should be owned by both you AND your employees—no more either/or, no more “nice guy” OR “tough guy.” You want to lead through great communication AND clarity of goals. You no longer see rapport and feedback as separate leadership skills. It’s all one path toward shared success.
Make Sure Everyone on the Team Knows What Your Whole Team Is Responsible for Delivering.
Encourage them to talk to one another frequently and offer ideas and assistance.
Praise and reward teamwork and achievement of the shared goals.
Openly discuss everyone’s results in meetings by praising high performance and goals the whole team has accomplished.
Avoid managing one-on-one only. People are not in the office, so don’t let your communication methods isolate them further from one another. Find ways to have them work together.
Your Frequent Feedback Can Motivate, Not Isolate.
Realize that people want to know where they stand, even more so when they’re working remotely. Realize that you are helping them feel good about their jobs when you hold them accountable, and helping them make improvements is successful career building for them!