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4 Ways Continuous Performance Management Can Help to Create a Great Remote Company Culture

Remote worker looking motivated in front of her laptop.

Remote work­ing is more than just a fad. Grow­ing by 115% over the last 10 years, remote com­pa­nies and teams are chang­ing the way we do busi­ness. But remote work comes with its own set of prob­lems, name­ly, how can you cre­ate a pos­i­tive com­pa­ny cul­ture when your team is dispersed?

Things move quick­ly in busi­ness. Over the past decade, we have expe­ri­enced a glob­al shift in the nature of work. No longer do work­ers crave the sta­bil­i­ty of an office 9 – 5. Instead, more and more peo­ple are look­ing to work from home or fur­ther afield. This is actu­al­ly good for busi­ness. Loca­tion inde­pen­dence results in increased pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and effi­cien­cy, high­er morale and low­er turnover, and these are only some of the ben­e­fits of remote work­ing. The future of work has arrived — and it’s no longer restrained to a stuffy office cubicle.

The move towards remote work­ing may have many pos­i­tive out­comes, but as with any­thing new, there are some hur­dles to over­come. The most press­ing ques­tion for any busi­ness revolves around how it can cre­ate a pos­i­tive com­pa­ny cul­ture when its team is split across a range of locations.

In this post, we’re going to break down how con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware is the key to cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing a thriv­ing com­pa­ny culture.

The Biggest Chal­lenge Fac­ing Remote Companies

What is com­pa­ny cul­ture? Com­pa­ny cul­ture is the envi­ron­ment in which your employ­ees work. One way to think of it is as the per­son­al­i­ty of your com­pa­ny. This per­son­al­i­ty is informed by a whole host of fac­tors includ­ing your com­pa­ny mis­sion, val­ues, ethics, goals and ideas. Most impor­tant­ly, your com­pa­ny cul­ture isn’t sta­t­ic, but informed and shaped by your employ­ees and their expe­ri­ence of work­ing. This is where per­for­mance man­age­ment comes in. A great com­pa­ny cul­ture relies on hav­ing an effi­cient sys­tem for reg­u­lar, mean­ing­ful dia­logue and feed­back between employ­ees and their man­agers. In the world of remote work­ing, this kind of con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment’ can be a struggle.

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When your team is dis­persed across dif­fer­ent loca­tions and poten­tial­ly even time zones, you don’t have the ben­e­fit of being near them. This may sound obvi­ous, but as a gen­er­al rule, remote work makes com­mu­ni­ca­tion and feed­back more com­pli­cat­ed. Despite its ben­e­fits, remote work comes with no water­cool­er or com­mu­nal staff room, which can result in your employ­ees feel­ing iso­lat­ed and low in morale. And that’s not great for your com­pa­ny culture.

Thank­ful­ly, advances in per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware make it eas­i­er to bridge the gap with your remote work­ers. Here’s how:

It Helps to Estab­lish Clear Objec­tives and Expectations

One of the tough­est chal­lenges for remote work­ers is being clear on expec­ta­tions and deliv­er­ables. In an office envi­ron­ment, expec­ta­tions are more eas­i­ly under­stood as there is more day-to-day inter­ac­tion and obser­va­tion going on. But, for a remote work­er, goals can become vague.

So although remote work is, by nature, more flex­i­ble — it should nev­er be at the expense of hav­ing clear goals and objec­tives. When a com­pa­ny and individual’s objec­tives are murky, an employ­ee can’t ensure that they’re doing their job in the way that is expect­ed of them. The result? Under­per­for­mance, mis­un­der­stand­ings and a lack of organ­i­sa­tion­al productivity.

Clear Review’s per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware pro­vides a solu­tion. By empow­er­ing employ­ees and man­agers to col­lab­o­rate on SMART objec­tives, our sys­tem ensures that every­one on your team is on the same page and work­ing towards your business’s long-term goals. Using a sim­ple upward align­ing process, review­ing and updat­ing objec­tives becomes easy. Remote work­ers are able to both eas­i­ly access their tar­gets and update man­agers of their progress online — mak­ing the process sim­ple, easy and effective.

It Encour­ages Reg­u­lar Check-Ins

Remote work­ers still need reg­u­lar check-ins. In fact, it’s arguably more impor­tant to have reg­u­lar check-ins with your remote staff than with your office staff. How can you build rap­port and trust with your team if you nev­er see or speak to them?

Lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion can leave remote work­ers feel­ing demo­ti­vat­ed and unap­pre­ci­at­ed. Equal­ly, with­out reg­u­lar check-ins, man­agers can feel anx­ious and uncer­tain both about how their employ­ees are per­form­ing and how they feel about their job. Instead of ben­e­fit­ing just one par­ty, check­ing in reg­u­lar­ly is com­fort­ing for both employ­er and employ­ee. It ensures that com­ple­tion of objec­tives remains on tar­get and helps to iden­ti­fy any obsta­cles and issues ear­ly on — before they become unmanageable.

Clear Review’s soft­ware has inte­grat­ed check-ins, allow­ing employ­ees and their man­agers to eas­i­ly stay con­nect­ed. It enables both par­ties to have future-focused one-to-one vir­tu­al meet­ings, cap­tur­ing action points and impor­tant notes so that every­one knows their next steps. Our con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware also has email inte­gra­tion that reminds both par­ties of agreed tasks that need to be actioned — allow­ing remote work­ers to stay on track and giv­ing man­agers peace of mind that their employ­ees know exact­ly what is expect­ed of them.

It Enables Con­tin­u­ous Feedback

If remote work­ing is the future of busi­ness, then con­tin­u­ous feed­back is def­i­nite­ly the future of per­for­mance man­age­ment. More and more com­pa­nies are ditch­ing out­dat­ed and inef­fec­tive annu­al per­for­mance reviews in favour or con­tin­u­ous feed­back mod­els. The rea­son? Well, we could list mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits, but, in short, it is proven to increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, engage­ment, per­for­mance and motivation.

Con­tin­u­ous feed­back is espe­cial­ly use­ful for remote work­ers. Whether your employ­ees work from the com­fort of their bed­rooms or in a small office over­seas, remote work­ers can eas­i­ly feel dis­con­nect­ed and over time this can harm moti­va­tion. To keep engage­ment and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty up, it’s essen­tial that man­agers pro­vide reg­u­lar feed­back that guides their employ­ees by recog­nis­ing their strengths and achieve­ments, sup­port­ing them to devel­op and encour­ag­ing them to achieve their tar­gets and goals.

Clear Review enables feed­back to be giv­en instan­ta­neous­ly, via desk­top, tablet or smart­phone. Con­tin­u­ous feed­back doesn’t have to feel like a chore when com­mu­ni­ca­tion is so easy.

It Builds Trust

When your work­ers are dis­persed, trust is essen­tial. With a remote team, it’s just not pos­si­ble to swing by an employee’s desk to dis­cuss progress or a dead­line. You can’t casu­al­ly chat about a new project over a shared lunch table and you can’t use cof­fee breaks to build rapport.

Pro­vid­ing con­tin­u­ous feed­back, hav­ing reg­u­lar check-ins and hav­ing clear goals and objec­tives helps to build trust. But is that enough? The major­i­ty of remote work­ers are mil­len­ni­als — and mil­len­ni­als are a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent type of work­er. They’re ambi­tious and dri­ven, but they also crave sup­port and cre­ative freedom.

Clear Review also encour­ages employ­ees to have ongo­ing per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives that can be updat­ed and reviewed online. Research has shown that per­son­al devel­op­ment is one of the most impor­tant dri­vers of employ­ee per­for­mance. With this fea­ture, you can keep team morale up by show­ing your employ­ees that you can trust them not only to do their work, but to make cru­cial deci­sions about their career devel­op­ment and, there­fore, the devel­op­ment of your com­pa­ny as a whole.

Are you find­ing it hard to keep your remote work­ers moti­vat­ed and engaged? Clear Review helps you over­come these chal­lenges and build a great com­pa­ny cul­ture — even from a dis­tance. Watch our 7 minute video demo and take your next step into the future of business.