With 2020 behind us, it’s safe to say that the year has been eventful in terms of remote work given the newly-introduced social distancing norms. This has prompted numerous businesses to rethink the way they manage remote work and has made effective Key Performance Indicators (KPI) more essential than ever.
According to Small Biz Genius, 86% of people feel that working remotely reduces stress while it also reduces turnover by 25%, given its flexibility. Setting good KPIs for your team or company can improve internal communication in day-to-day workflow and allow your team to work more efficiently. Let’s take a closer look at how to set effective KPI solutions in 2021, as well as the benefits and pitfalls associated with the process.
The “Why” of Integrating KPI Solutions into Remote Work Management
Remote work management is only as effective as the goals you set forth for your team. Objectivity, clarity, and long-term planning lie at the core of using KPIs to manage your company-wide workflow. According to HubSpot, the US had over 4.7 million people working at least half of their workweek in 2020 remotely.
This number has only increased since COVID-19 became a trending topic, making good KPI solutions a must regardless of the industry a company belongs to. The advantages of integrating proper KPIs and tracking them can manifest in several important ways, including but not limited to:
- Clear goals and expectations for your team
- Improved coworker communication and coordination
- Higher employee motivation, productivity, and accountability
- Mitigated downtime and margin for error or misunderstanding
- Future KPI benchmarking and improvement opportunities
Setting Effective KPI Solutions for Remote Work Management
- Introduce a Centralized Remote Work Platform
First and foremost, it’s pivotal that you train your employees to use a centralized remote work platform going forward. Trying to implement KPI solutions and subsequently track them without such a platform is nigh impossible. There are several contemporary choices available to you, depending on the scale and complexity of what your company specializes in. Some of the platforms you should consider using are:
Each of these platforms offers a different take on remote work management. Whether you work in eCommerce, recruitment, or content marketing, one of them should find its way into your workflow before you create new KPIs. Once you settle for a remote platform, however, you should bring all of your coworkers on board with the new solution to keep things centralized.
- Be SMART About your Goal-Setting
The goal-setting model you choose to use will dictate how you create KPIs going forward. The most typical and flexible methodology most businesses rely on is SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-based. As the name might suggest, SMART goals are all about objectivity, clarity, and deadlines attached to each goal.
This is a great model to use regardless of the scale of your company or the projects you work on. Using SMART as your goal-setting method will ensure that each KPI you create is as objective and attainable as possible. Additionally, the system’s reliance on time-based goals will also allow you to base goals on actual project deadlines. Paired with a remote platform, you will have a solid goal-setting foundation to work with.
- Set Milestones and Goals on a Company Level
You should make a clear distinction between milestones and goals in your KPI strategy. Specifically, aim to split your KPIs into micro and macro goals to make them easier for employees to keep track of.
Macro KPIs should revolve around long-term goals set in 3-6-12 month increments. Micro goals should be specific to different departments and closely related to what individual teams are working on. You should consider using a writing service such as Evernote or Readable in addition to a dissertation discussion chapter writing service to format your KPIs. By working on micro goals, employees will automatically contribute to macro goals, which will reflect the entire company’s performance.
- Schedule Standardized Remote KPI Meetings
Depending on the scale of your company, you should make KPI meetings a periodic occurrence. These meetings will allow you to review how well your employees or departments performed in the past in regards to set KPIs. Remote meetings can be conducted either with department leads or project managers who have insight into how their teams use KPIs on a daily basis.
Such meetings can be crucial for your KPI strategy since misalignment or confusion in regards to KPIs is, unfortunately, commonplace. Create a safe discussion environment where your coworkers will be able to pitch in with their thoughts on current KPIs and potential improvements. Nothing is stopping you from completely revamping or swapping out KPIs for more effective ones if the current goals don’t reflect your workflow.
- Evaluate KPIs Based on Produced Work
A good way to evaluate whether or not your KPIs are performing as intended is to review the work produced after their implementation. Again, this is best done with the people involved in producing said work, so you should discuss the KPIs with your programmers, writers, designers, etc.
If the KPIs have assisted your coworkers in doing their jobs better than before, you are on the right track. However, if the KPIs have hindered or outright made their work harder, something should be done about the current goals. As we’ve mentioned, you can take out KPIs and put new ones in place – their role is to assist you, not dictate how you work.
Potential KPI Mistakes to Avoid in Remote Work Management
Now that we’ve discussed how you can set up and track your KPIs effectively, we need to address the other side of the coin. Specifically, which mistakes should you avoid making when it comes to KPIs?
While these may not seem harmful at first, they can significantly lower your employees’ performance the longer they are left unchecked. They can lower the quality of your produced work significantly and cause problems not only for staff morale but client trust as well. Without further ado, here are the KPI mistakes worth keeping in mind as you work on your goal-setting strategy:
- Creating KPIs for the sake of creating them and subsequently not using them
- Poor KPI communication to different departments and coworkers
- Poor alignment with the company’s mission and business portfolio
- KPI micromanagement (attempt to track too many small workflow elements)
- Lack of a centralized platform which employees can use for KPI reference
- Blindly following KPIs without room for creativity, innovation, or KPI updates
KPIs as a Tool to Work Better Remotely (Conclusion)
The value of integrating KPIs into remote work lies in their inherent flexibility and open-ended nature. Any of your coworkers can contribute to new KPI solutions and improvements to existing tracking strategies given the system’s reliance on objective numeric values. KPIs will inevitably boost your cooperation, communication, and recognition, in addition to facilitating a healthy competitive environment where everyone tries to contribute to KPIs more.
Review the solutions we’ve discussed and think about how you can implement them into your own remote work environment. KPIs can help regardless of whether you work alone or with a team – get creative and set up your remote goals in 2021.
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