Managing a remote workforce has not made things easier during the pandemic. A great manager may mean an even more engaging experience for an employee; a bad manager may see their staff actively disengage. For managers in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, new skills and tactics may be necessary.
Companies facing the toughest challenges are those in a mixed environment: some departments are going gangbusters and doing well while others are struggling for work to do or are running at a loss. The old, traditional performance metrics are not going to work in this environment. Gallup suggests that performance management systems must be adapted to be more collaborative and individualized, and oriented from a “coaching” perspective.
A remote work environment requires different skills than many managers (and many employees!) may have mastered. Setting clear expectations and providing consistent and regular feedback is critical. Employee incentive, reward and recognition programs are on every list of ways in which to engage employees yet are not in every manager’s skill set. Partnering with an experienced Incentive Professional will ensure that your program is properly designed. Effective employee programs provide clear objectives and expectations that serve as a roadmap for employees, and offer rewards that are motivating and appropriate for your particular audience.
Organizations that started the year with an incentive, reward or recognition program have most likely found that the goals set at the beginning of 2020 no longer make sense. A well-designed employee program allows for adaptations as necessary throughout the program. A bigger mistake would be to eliminate the program altogether during a pandemic or other unstable environment; this is the time when employees need feedback and recognition more than ever.
Few managers are born; most must learn the skills on the job. There is often time for this learning curve when business is good and your workforce is highly engaged already. During a pandemic or when employees may already feel insecure about their company’s future and how to carry out their own responsibilities in this new environment, managers need every tool in their toolbox.
Contact us today to discuss how to design a new program or adapt your current employee incentive, reward or recognition program. An effective program that trains your managers, clearly communicates your priorities and sets specific objectives for employees will increase engagement, retain your key talent and ensure your organization’s post-COVID success!