The Virtual Workplace

How to shape effective managers in remote and hybrid workplaces

Being a manager is never easy, especially in remote workplaces. Fortunately, employee performance assessment tools can empower them to excel in their role.


Managing a team with little to no visibility into your employees’ work is tough. This is especially true in remote and hybrid work environments with team members spread all over the world. Now that most organizations have shifted to remote or hybrid work models, it’s even more crucial to find ways to reconnect their workforce without the in-person interactions.  

Today, 70% of manager-employee relationships will include a manager or an employee working remotely at least part-time. They are likely to be working on different tasks at different times, and managers will emphasize output instead of processes since that’s what they have more visibility into. 

In addition to navigating through a remote work environment, managers still have to juggle between: 

  • Mentoring their team members
  • Keeping them engaged and retained
  • Driving client results
  • Assessing their team’s performance
  • And providing direct feedback to underperforming employees

In fact, their own success depends on their ability to achieve these objectives. In the last five years, HR executives have increasingly started to select and promote managers based on their ability to coach their team according to these guidelines.

How managers can use employee performance assessment tools to become informed leaders in a digital environment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than one in four organizations have implemented some form of technology to maintain visibility of their employees’ work. Many have also rolled out digital tools to automate employee tasks where beneficial. 

However, little emphasis has been placed on how solutions can replace low-value, non-strategic managerial tasks, like assigning work, coaching employees on better work habits, and knowing when an employee is beginning to feel burnt out. This is changing quickly though as organizations are realizing the value in investing in their managers and ensuring that they are not too overloaded to be empathetic leaders and continue their non-managerial work themselves. 

Employee performance assessment tools help managers increase their capacity to excel in their role by aligning them with their remote or hybrid workforce. Specifically, these tools collect an employee’s work analytics to give managers visibility into how their teams complete impactful projects. 

Not to be confused with employee monitoring software that can hurt workforce morale, these assessment tools are not tracking anything that hasn’t already been tracked. What they’re doing is identifying trends across all the employee’s digital platforms – including those for task completion, scheduling, video conferencing, email, and workflow management. 

Managers can take advantage of these tools to improve how their teams complete assignments and manage projects. And a great benefit of cross-platform data is that it offers a holistic view of many different work environments (onsite, offsite, and hybrid) and organizational structures, meaning it  will be fully tailored to your organization’s and all your managers' needs.

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Explore Pattyrn's employee performance assessment data

Learn how Pattyrn’s employee performance assessment tool shapes more informed managers by offering insight into employee work and experience. Download our one-pager to understand how it analyzes cross-platform data and makes actionable recommendations for employees across their:

  • Tasks
  • Time
  • Meetings
  • Communications
  • Documents

 

For instance, with Pattyrn’s work analytics of all their team members, managers gain the ability to:

Inform effective employee performance assessment methods

The most common forms of feedback are management by objectives (MBOs) and 360-degree feedback, and for good reason. When assessed in combination, these forms of review help managers gain an unbiased perspective into how their employees are performing, with a possible roadmap to develop a path forward.

Management by objectives (MBOs)

MBOs are when managers and their employees identify and plan the goals they must achieve within a clear review period. For example, strong employee performance could simply be indicated by whether or not the employee has met their clients’ quarterly objectives and key results (OKRs). 

This is a great form of employee assessment because employees: 

  • Have control in the goals set for themselves
  • Gain a clear path to success
  • And can continuously debate the feasibility of the goals as they get nearer to the end of the review period

Employees can use this form of review as an opportunity to periodically sync with their manager, where they explain their progress and get the resources they need to overcome challenges. This is also a popular form of review because it’s guaranteed to align with your organization’s overarching goals and meet S.M.A.R.T. criteria, meaning the goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.

It’s also important to note that this form of employee performance assessment is strictly results-based, meaning it doesn’t place emphasis on interpersonal or soft skills, not to mention the employee’s commitment to their organization. 

360-degree feedback

Fortunately, 360-degree feedback can be a great supplement to MBO reviewal methods, because it offers greater insight into the nuances of employee performance.

This approach to soliciting input entails collecting anonymous feedback on the employee’s performance from all their managers, peers, customers and direct reports to provide a complete picture and eliminate bias. The input includes ratings on different skills and tasks, with written comments for context. The employee receiving feedback will also assess themselves with the same survey during this time.

From there, managers can hold a meeting with the employee to go over the results of the survey overall, and see how they compare to the employee's own assessment of themselves. Together, they can identify their core strengths and weaknesses and form a development plan for the path forward. 

While both these methods of employee performance assessment are helpful, they largely focus on the “what” over the “why.” What is the employee's competence level in a task? What client results were they able to achieve within the review period?

Managers are still left to piece together the best plan of action to help their employees meet client objectives, and improve on their goals and skills. This is where advanced employee performance assessment tools can provide more context.

Managers can log into their account to gain actionable insights into the “why” of an employee’s performance, such as if they’re:

  • Not using a tool effectively 
  • Struggling with a certain project
  • Being derailed from impactful work with administrative work
  • Untrained, overworked, or committed to too many meetings

Meanwhile employee performance assessment tools like Pattyrn will also reduce managerial workloads by nudging employee productivity with actionable insights encouraging them to form better work habits.

Empower their team members to better manage their workload

One of the biggest hurdles managers face is ensuring their team members aren't being overworked. Overworked employees are more likely to experience burnout, have low morale and ultimately leave their company. And it translates to their performance as well, 30% of employees state that they are so stressed they are struggling to complete their work, and 27% of employees feel less loyal to their organization. 

Although essential, gauging workloads in remote workplaces is challenging. Is an employee just saying yes to please their manager? How many other projects or clients does this person have? There are so many questions that go unanswered because people are not as easy to read in online work environments. 

This is where it's critical for managers to look beyond work management tools that only track progress and tasks. Those reports are missing the human element that every leader needs. Reports that take into account workloads and stress levels are key to combat this. That way, your managers can be proactive versus reactive.

Employees can also quickly become sidetracked by low-priority and administrative tasks, especially if they are new in their position and don’t know how to best fulfill their role. If this is a trending challenge they’re experiencing, they may be a frequent blocker when it comes to completing important projects, causing their team to miss deadlines.

Managers can use employee performance assessment tools to identify tasks slowing down their employees. They can request administrative work and time-consuming workflows be automated, and filter out low-priority projects. Doing this ensures employees can focus on pressing tasks that are vital to the success of the organization.

Equally, managers can use these tools to encourage employees to take more control of their undertakings – even if it calls for saying no to tasks that limit their productivity. For instance, an employee might decide to cancel a nonessential meeting that will derail their progress on a project.

This creates a remote environment conducive to employees who feel empowered when making critical decisions over their own agency and workload. They learn that they have the tools to create a productive work schedule that helps them avoid burnout and take care of themselves, while still boosting your company’s growth rate and bottom line.

Check in with their team and be compassionate leaders

As we’re all still dealing with the implications of the pandemic almost two years after its emergence, 85% of HR leaders stress that it has never been more important to be an empathetic manager. 

Remote management teams need help identifying when team members are experiencing burnout or feeling overwhelmed, making it easier to identify the underlying cause of the problem. Usually, it's due to the stress of working on demanding tasks with tight deadlines, or it could even be that employees need pointers for forming healthy remote working habits.

Managers can start by identifying ways to reduce the workload on employees feeling overwhelmed. It could mean assigning them fewer projects or extending their deadlines. 

Alternatively, managers can use data from employee performance assessment tools to start a dialogue with an affected employee about the challenges they face. From there, the two can brainstorm new processes and ways to give feedback to help make the work environment more favorable for everyone involved.

Your remote or hybrid workplace will feel more productive and engaged with managers who show genuine concern and compassion for the employees. Talking with overwhelmed employees helps foster a collaborative team and boosts company culture. It also helps drive lower employee turnover since all employees will feel heard.

Just as importantly, organizations need to help managers rebalance their workloads, so they have the capacity to be empathetic and available to their team. 70% of HR leaders agree, managers are overwhelmed. They must maintain a team size and client load they can realistically manage, or find a way to put a ceiling on their growing responsibilities. 

Although organizations may hesitate with placing such limits on high-performing managers, doing so stands to provide an outsized return on performance. This occurs as managers can dedicate more time to becoming compassionate leaders with passion, enthusiasm, and a commitment to leveling up their team members. 

Help their team work smarter, not harder, to achieve project success

Employees are using more digital apps than ever before, with the use of collaboration tools rising by 44%  within the last two years, since the pandemic started.

 Despite this clear trend towards digitization within the business landscape, as many as 94% of organizations are facing consistent barriers to strong digital transformation. 

 Meanwhile, current problems with inefficiency or work silos are only getting aggravated as businesses further advance into remote, digital work environments. 

We need to harness this chaos for good, by using tools to combine humans and tech in a new way. Managers can use employee performance assessment tools like Pattyrn to help their employees plan, monitor, execute, and optimize every project within a fully remote and digital organization.  

Having a reliable tool that offers your employees their individual and team work data via their portal, in natural language that supports them instead of contributing to their anxiety, ensures they’re on the right track. They learn and are recognized for where they’re performing well, as well as where they have room for improvement. 

Whether a poorly thought out digital work process is causing them a lot of stress or a tool is not conducive to project success, Pattyrn shows it all. Your employees can see the trending challenge and get actionable insights on how they can better use their digital tools to drive more productive work. 

Start leveraging employee performance assessment tools today

Mangers are a vital part of every organization since they help employees understand their roles. However, the human element gets lost due to distance when the teams work remotely. That's why companies need to find the right tools to better manage the unique dynamics of remote and hybrid workspaces.

At Pattyrn, our employment performance assessment tool gives your managers the support and guidance they need to bridge the remote gap. Learn how to keep your remote workforce motivated and engaged with these digital tools.

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