Remote staff solutions are a more cost-effective approach to maintaining company operations. Outsourcing remote staff has immense benefits, like decreasing company overheads and optimizing resources. One concern, however, is how to maintain productivity levels with a team that works in different places.
Noon Dalton is an expert in supplying remote teams to our clients. We rely on KPIs and deliverables to keep our teams in check. By using specific performance indicators, we have kept high levels of productivity amongst our remote staff, even during a worldwide lockdown. This has resulted in superior outcomes for our clients, meaning daily, weekly, and monthly wins all around. So, how do these KPIs and deliverables work? And, how do we use them to ensure the success of our remote teams and of our clients?
Challenges to Remote Staff Success
To manage our team effectively, we had to understand what factors could lead to decreases in productivity. The information gathered from this exercise is key to defining the parameters for the KPIs. We were able to identify the challenges faced by the remote team and address them.
These are a few of the general challenges:
- Communication: This is a crucial driver of success for any team but especially for teams that are not in one place. One of the benefits of being in one location is the ability to have immediate communication with other team members. You can lose this benefit with a team that works from home. The solution is to provide remote staff members with platforms that they could use to keep in contact with one another and with our clients.
- Scheduling difficulties: Our remote staff members live in various countries. This can be challenging when scheduling a meeting for people in different time zones. Luckily, there are many online tools, such as YouCanBook.Me and Calendly, that provide a range of meeting time options. They can use these to select convenient times for everyone, allowing clients to stay up to date with the latest developments in the projects.
- Technological constraints: As a company with employees in a third-world country, we understand that some teams live in areas without internet access in their homes. Some staff members do not have computers or workspaces at home either, and this is quite a significant barrier to productivity. Solving this can be as simple as giving them the tools that they need to get their work done and meet their deadlines.
- Monitoring productivity: This is one of the greatest concerns with remote staff members. Although the team may be working from home, we still need to meet our targets. With no managers on-site to make sure that work is being done, alternatives need to be used to track team productivity. KPIs and deliverables are a great way to set the expectations for the team and to hold them accountable. This has been the key to our ongoing success.
How Noon Dalton Ensures the Success of Our Remote Teams and Our Clients
Process performance metrics are an effective way to make business processes more efficient. By monitoring outputs, team managers are able to assess;
- How well the team is doing
- Whether they are meeting their targets
- If team members are in need of additional assistance to achieve their goals.
By using KPIs and deliverables to monitor our team, we have been able to achieve a minimum productivity level of 85%. Meaning that we have been able to provide them with enough work to keep them busy 85% of the time. We are also able to give clients a clear timeline for projects because we maintain measurable time units for each task.
Key Performance Indicators: An Effective Tool to Assure Productivity
We use key performance indicators (KPIs) to manage our remote teams and maintain productivity levels. They are effective tools because employers and employees agree on them based on the requirements and strategic objectives of the project. KPIs should be based on critical success factors, such as:
- Stakeholder interests
- Operational strategies
- Services offered
Setting targets, such as desired revenue generation, expected outputs, or ROI for a set period informs the team of what we are all working towards. One of the suggested ways of drafting effective KPIs is the SMART method:
- Specific: Are the objectives of the KPIs specific?
- Measurable: Is the progress made towards the goal measurable?
- Attainable: Is the goal realistic and attainable?
- Relevant: What is the relevance of the goal to the overall organization?
- Time-frame: What is the time frame that has been set for the achievement of the goal?
Making sure that processes work is a re-iterative exercise. That’s why we constantly monitor our processes and make adjustments where needed. The SMART method has been expanded to the SMARTER method. With SMARTER, KPIs can be Evaluated and Re-evaluated to assess how well they work to keep the team on track and productive.
Monitoring Remote Staff Productivity by Using Process Deliverables
The most important part is ensuring that high-quality deliverables result from each process. We achieve this by ensuring that the team understands the brief. The key to obtaining the desired deliverable is making sure that the expectations are well defined. Using a scope of work and a statement of work as a point of reference for the process is a good place to start.
- The scope of work gives the team an explanation of:
- What the overall intentions are for the project,
- What the goals, objectives, and expected deliverables are for the project.
- The statement of work sets out the guidelines and expectations for the work. This includes schedules, work details, and intended outcomes.
Clear documentation defines the expectation for each team member. It tells them what they need to do and what they are accountable for.
Instilling a Common Goal and Purpose
Beyond the technicalities, one of the ways to keep remote staff productive is by boosting morale. Having a purpose and understanding its relevance to the common goal can give the team the extra motivation to keep going. Checking on the team and making sure that they have everything that they need can be a great productivity booster. This is another way that Noon Dalton keeps our teams happy and productive.
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