Monitoring — not the most popular word among employees!
Still, to ensure your business is performing optimally, this unpleasant step simply mustn’t be skipped.
The whole affair doesn’t need to be unpleasant if you plan it well ahead and include your employees in the process.
Let’s see how businesses can efficiently monitor employees without them feeling awkward or annoyed.
1. Watch Employees Work
The first obvious way to go about things is to watch your employees work. Don’t do it intrusively; rather, make it a practice.
This method is especially efficient for frontline teams as you’ll be able to see the results of employees’ actions immediately.
Customer support personnel and field workers, for example, can’t really beat around the bush without the results being noticed straight away.
2. Ask Customers for Feedback
Feedback is a great way to get information straight from the source. Ask customers, co-workers, clients, managers, and other relevant people about their impressions on the matter.
However, do it wisely. Don’t just bluntly ask about employees by name; rather, inquire about performance.
Keep in mind that not all information is relevant or honest. Over time, you’ll get the hang of it.
3. Communicate Effectively
The importance of communication can hardly be exaggerated. Nowhere is that seen better than in the matter of employee engagement and performance.
The more you communicate — but also, the more your employees communicate among themselves — the better their performance and thereby satisfaction will be.
Positive results will naturally follow, as misunderstandings will be minimized.
4. Deploy New Tech
Nowadays, there are many apps out there that can help with anything and everything. Business operations are no exception.
For example, consider using corporate performance management software. Options are many and possibilities endless, or close.
5. Review Work in Progress
Check all stages of the work underway. This is rather effective when you need to pinpoint problematic or difficult stages.
If employees are struggling, make sure to provide the means for them to overcome difficulties.
6. Set Realistic Goals and Follow Through
Keep in mind that high performance is closely linked with set goals. If the goals aren’t realistic, employee performance will naturally suffer.
Using the OKR methodology can help with this process. OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are an efficient goal-setting tool that includes milestones along the way.
In this way, you can monitor whether milestones are realistic and adjust your plans along the way.
When the goals are realistic, employees are free to focus on the important parts.
7. Set Performance Standards
Make sure your employees know what is expected of them and how they’re expected to reach the goals. Obviously, this means that they need clear guidelines, and tools and processes need to be set up.
But, how do you measure performance standards?
Here are some guidelines:
- Are there sufficient resources for the tasks?
- Are employees putting in enough effort?
- Is communication between team members and management going smoothly?
- Are standards realistic?
Answers to these questions will easily show you which parts of the process need to be addressed to improve business operations en masse.
8. Democratize Information
Did you know that there is such a sloppy term as democratization of information?
What in the world does it stand for?
Actually, even though the term is clumsy, the concept behind it makes a lot of sense.
Simply put, it portends making the knowledge within your organization easily accessible for everyone. Note that this approach addresses a far wider issue, which habitually results in regular loss of time left and right.
How many times have you seen employees needing assistance but failing to find the right answers?
To address this critical issue, set up a knowledge management system where information will be stored and shared.
In practice, this is not an easy task as data are usually scattered across the organization, but you know the saying: “It's the job that's never started as takes the longest to finish.”
Get to the task ASAP!
9. Modernize Evaluation
Evaluation is an important step of the monitoring process. That’s why it is important to set up a review/feedback system that will help both the management and the employees think on their performance.
In addition, there are numerous measurement tools that may prove helpful.
Just consider this fact: 20% of annual revenue is spent on correcting errors caused by bad-quality data (source: The 2017 MIT Sloan Management Review).
Therefore, use the tools available to track and measure employees’ individual performance.
Monitoring may not be a popular approach but it is necessary nonetheless. To make the best of the affair, be open-minded, communicate clearly, and help your employees reach their- and company goals efficiently.
Use new tech, direct communication, feedback, and self-assessment tools, and by all means — set up a knowledge management system!
All these approaches and actions combined will modernize your business operations and make employees feel at home.