In a survey last year, three out of four workers worldwide said they considered flexible working to be “the new normal,” according to the 2019 Global Workspace Survey. Since then, remote work has spiked. Tailoring your strategy in 2020 will be a key factor in ensuring business success and achieving, or at least continuing to progress towards, your business goals in 2020. Fix your strategy to win in the remote workplace.
A strategy that moves the needle on business objectives doesn’t need to be tied to an office space. It often checks off three important boxes that can be completed near or far: prioritizing employee experience, tracking progress in real-time to know when to revise, and finding new ways to collaborate when setting and executing strategy.
With the workforce at home, employee experience might seem like an afterthought — out of sight, out of mind — however, neglecting to prioritize employee experience would be a major blow to strategy execution. After all, as leaders carve out a way to make sure strategy is implemented effectively, it’s important to remember that execution is performed by, well, actual people.
Goal setting needs to be both ambitious but realistic, visionary yet concrete. It is essential that this balance surfaces in your overall strategy along with specific and actionable plans that help to execute your strategy throughout your organization.
One way to ensure this is to slice company goals down into smaller, measurable fragments. With measurable fragments, employees, and relevant larger groups (departments and teams) are more likely to stay the course even as they’re located remotely.
Specificity and quantifiability allow easier progress tracking and improve motivation, resulting in a great employee experience across all levels and teams.
Transparent communication is naturally, one of the best solutions for ensuring people in your organization feel heard. Transparency propels motivation, alignment and engagement while helping your team to better understand each other and achievement (or lack thereof) of respective goals.
Transparency helps to highlight individual progress or times when an employee might need help, particularly when it is effectively integrated with communication tools, automated dashboards, and executive reporting.
While breaking down goals and outlining how to achieve them in your organization is a key foundation to a successful strategy, oftentimes leaders will “set and forget” goals — a sometimes fatal mistake for a blossoming business.
Furthermore, in a distributed workforce regular checkpoints become essential for keeping projects on track, but if the goals aren’t at the forefront of day-to-day actions, execution can become unproductive or stray off course.
Track productivity and aligning remote workers around unifying goals and targets in real-time is an effective way to promote strong leadership and delegate clear tasks amongst team members. It is critical to identify immediately when your strategy isn’t resonating with the people responsible for executing it.
You will likely see this in a post-quarterly review, but what if you could see it on a daily basis (or even in real-time whenever you needed it)? Think of the impact that might have on redirected strategy or execution gone wrong.
There are many new tools designed to automate the work that teams are doing — after all, automation is a top priority for many businesses as they seek to improve processes and expand. Some of these are one-off tools, but there are options available that allow you to automate and integrate with many existing tools that your workers already use (ex. Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams).
Using seamless integration ensures that everything your employees do to progress toward company goals is automatically recorded in real-time and compiled into a simple and visual dashboard.
Tracking progress automatically is the best way to ensure maximum productivity. Automation can help scale activity tracking to an enterprise-level while also providing fascinating data insights into a remote worker’s performance—and the performance of the company as a whole.
Using data to inform performance (and, conversely, performance to inform data) highlights the human issues that sometimes lie behind organizational problems. It equips an organization to change and improve and its employees to be productive team members and contributors to the company’s cause.
Two of the biggest challenges in collaboration that may confront remote workforces are a feeling of disconnect to the organization’s goals and priorities as well as a general lack of visibility into workloads, progress, teams, and management.
These are common challenges for teams meeting face-to-face as well, and they go hand-in-hand when inhibiting teams from being productive and collaborating properly.
Shifting to a remote workforce completely changes the context in which teams work together, and it can make tasks and projects more difficult to accomplish. One solution to this disconnect is relying on management software to increase transparency within and across teams in an organization.
Companies can encourage and illuminate ways for all employees to be productive team members who are all making a difference to the organization’s overarching goals. Technology like this can also help organizations make sure every teammate is aware of their responsibilities, and more importantly accountable for them so that everyone in the organization is contributing – which is a big part of being collaborative.
In short, aligning employees against a shared set of objectives and then using data to provide a centralized, transparent tracker for each goal is a highly effective way to promote collaboration across functions, geographies and roles.
Take a few simple shifts that can transform the execution of a strategic vision and lead to business wins down the road. Prioritizing employee experience and how employees carry through overarching yearly strategies.
The manner and frequency in which you monitor progress when it comes to meeting goals; and actively finding new ways to collaborate from afar when setting and executing your strategy all play a key role in determining its success and should be evaluated on a regular basis.
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels