Agile Human Resource Optimisation

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Remote-First and its advantages

With our world becoming increasingly more digital, it has deeply affected the future of work. Remote-First companies are becoming ever more normalised, allowing for teams to communicate with peers and clients, even from opposite sides of the world. These types of companies have most of their employees working remotely but still provide some form of physical workplace available for those asking for it.

Remote-First companies aim at making remote work the norm rather than it just being approved in certain circumstances.🌎 

Agile is considered a Remote-First company where our employees, located in Singapore, Philippines and Portugal, first and foremost consist of a remote team, even though they still have the option to work from an office, that is located in the center of Singapore. 🇸🇬

Perceived benefits for Remote-First companies and its employees

The Remote-First approach has a focus on providing employees flexibility with a new way of working. Here are some perceived benefits for employees working for Remote-First companies such as Agile:

 

💓 Flexibility: Employees working for companies with Remote-First approaches have the flexibility and option to either work remotely or from a physical office. At Agile, we also make our best to operate effectively despite of the different time zones where our employees are located.

 

👭 Connection: While remote work provides a unique opportunity for employees to work from any part of the world, it is still important to build connections with peers. For that reason Agile still organizes in-person gatherings to bring everyone closer together, creating a friendly and warm working environment.

 

👍🏽 Improved employee satisfaction: Many Remote-First employees report having a positive outlook on work. Reduced commuting time and transportation costs are examples of perceived advantages that remote work provide employees with.

 

 

Having a Remote-First approach also allows for companies to stay competitive through the talent pool. Being Remote-First allows you to:

🗣️ Get access to a wider talent pool from regions that previously would not have been an option due to office locations: Companies looking for employees with specific skills such as language fluencies would especially benefit from this.

💰 Save costs: Many Remote-First companies have smaller offices than they normally would be having, thus removing their physical footprint, saving unnecessary office costs. A firm with 1000 employees would for example significantly save up if they only expect 20% of its staff to work on site and therefore plan the office space in accordance to that capacity.

🙏🏽 We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here.

Hybrid vs Remote Work

Both hybrid and remote work are becoming the new standard for the workforce, allowing increasing flexibility for the worker. 

Choose whether you want to take control of your workload or remain high-performing but have limitations over when you can do your job. Find out the benefits of hybrid vs remote work to determine what suits your personality and lifestyle the best!

🚶‍♀️Hybrid work is defined as working from home. This could be at a desk, standing up or on a couch. Depending on the company, it can be a permanent arrangement or on-demand work. A startup might for example have its workplace but still have to bring in outside talents for specific tasks such as market research, so they need to keep a flexible workforce.

Hybrid work is made up of many different kinds of remote work arrangements. Some of these arrangements include:

▶️On-demand Work: On-demand companies will get the job done, and they won’t need you to come in every day. You’ll need to plan, just as if you were working in an office or an office-like setting. There are some perks to on-demand jobs; they often pay higher commissions than conventional jobs and have flexible schedules.

▶️More flexible work schedules: You’re free to work your regular hours, come in whenever you want and leave when you need. These jobs may take less of a toll on your personal life than traditional office jobs, especially if the call centre type is what you’re used to.

▶️ Full-time or part-time: These companies will define their workforce by the hours they need to be completed, like in a traditional job. You’ll have to sign up with the company ahead of time to see what your schedule will be like.

🌏 Remote work is where you go online and do your job from home. You’ll still need to commute, and you won’t be able to build a workspace for yourself at home.

Remote work is often associated with online jobs, but you can also do remote work as a freelancer.

The biggest perk of freelance jobs is that you will have endless assignments, but they tend to pay less per hour than on-demand jobs. While freelancing might not be quite appealing anymore, the mindset is what you need. Remote work makes it easier to accept long hours and a lack of oversight.

📈The benefits of doing remote work are:

▶️ You can do your job anywhere with an Internet connection, and you don’t have to commute, making it much easier for people with families to plan their days. You’re also more likely to earn more money per hour than if you were working in a call centre or on-demand job.

▶️ While we may see increased remote work, hybrid work is not going anywhere soon. Companies will always need office workers to make them money.

▶️ Remote and hybrid are great options for those who have families, freelancers looking for a steady stream of assignments or full-time workers looking for a change of pace. Whether you choose one or the other, you should pick the best option based on your needs.

🙏🏽 We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here.

90% of employees demand flexible work. 

For years, employers have faced an ever-growing demand for making work more flexible. Consider that 90% of employees now say they want to work flexibly; it’s no surprise that the number one goal for many new managers is to be able to support this trend.

Here are five ways employers can adapt to support the future of work, especially as millennials become the most plentiful generation in today’s workforce❤️

Do you have the tools to support the future of work?

💬 Give people a voice

Millennials believe they need to earn respect constantly; they don’t expect it just because they got hired or graduated from college. If you want your employees to be a part of the future of work, they need to learn how to work collaboratively. Millennials expect a voice in their hours and days off and will leave if they don’t get it.

🕐 Know when it’s time for a culture change

Millennials have been raised with fast-paced changes in technology and social media that have influenced their workplace opinion. If you aren’t adapting as an employer, your employees will leave for another job that can support their working style – or create their job! Consider offering something beyond salary increases, perks, and bonuses if you want your employees to stay with you longer (and feel like they are valued).

🚼 Support workers who are pregnant or have children

Millennials want to do what they want to do even when they are at home. If you aren’t welcoming of working parents, you’re not going to get their loyalty when it’s time for them to decide on employment. Support your employees’ childcare by having flexible working hours, offering flex pay and on-site babysitters, and childcare subsidies. And don’t forget about single parents, many of whom have only one employee at home. Help them take care of their kids and offer flexibility with their schedules!

📢 Have more open-door policies on communication

Open door policies are antiquated, in general. People want to feel welcomed, but they also want to feel respected. They’re never going to feel welcome if you don’t respect their time and treat them with dignity. Offer flexible work hours with flexible work schedules, allowing employees to work from home if they need the flexibility or have a family emergency that forces them away from the office.

🥰 Change your attitude toward millennials

People’s biggest complaint about millennials is that they’re entitled, but employers are more likely to encourage entitlement than anyone else. Millennials are the most educated generation, yet they feel overworked, not supported, and underutilized. The future of work requires employers to allow employees to take ownership of their jobs and feel like they are making a difference in their organizations.

🙏🏻The future of work requires employers to adapt their working environment to support their employees’ work styles. Consider that 90% of people want to work flexibly, and you’ll see why it’s becoming the new norm.

We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help you here.

5 Hybrid Work Models

❤️With the never-ending pandemic constantly looming overhead, many companies have become more flexible with hybrid work models. As either an employee or business owner, what are the different types of hybrid work models and what does each offer?

Hybrid work models fall into three main categories with emphasis on either the work environment, the division of employees, or schedule. Across these categories, there are 5 Hybrid Work Models that each have strengths and weaknesses. Some of these models may work great for one type of company and not another.

💡The five main types of hybrid work models are:

  1. Office-first
  2. At-will/Remote-first
  3. Split-week
  4. Week-by-week
  5. Designated teams

Each of these emphasizes a different aspect of working. Office-first and At-will/Remote-first are focused on the work environment. Split-week and Week-by-week emphasize scheduling. Designated teams split employees into remote and on-site teams. Let’s look at each model in more detail now.

1. Office-first

🌟 In the Office-first model, all employees may be working either at home or in the office, but the preference will be for employees to be present in the office more often. This model is easier to introduce because the changes to the work schedule and environment are smaller. This model works best for companies who rely on teamwork and collaboration to accomplish work while still wanting to allow for some flexibility. At the same time, this model may actually become counterproductive in instances where output is digital and employees tend to work individually.


2. At-will/Remote-first

🌟 At-will and Remote-first models are one in the same. While they prioritize remote work, employees are free to visit the office or stay at home. This flexibility allows employees to choose what works best for them. Employees are encouraged to find what is most efficient for them. In theory, this should optimize the company’s workforce. The downsides to letting employees choose are underutilized office space and the unpredictability that comes with letting everyone make their own choices. Team collaboration also may suffer if face-to-face interaction is needed often.


3. Split-week

🌟 Split-week models are a compromise between the two models explained so far. It revolves around assigning some days of the week to on-site work and allowing remote work on other days. This avoids overcrowding while allowing for efficient meetings in person and maintaining team dynamics. As with any model that has remote work built in, there are some increased operational costs for underused office space.


4. Week-by-week

🌟 The Week-by-week model is similar to the Split-week model where there is going to be alternation between on-site and remote work, but with less disturbance to the workweek. The organization will assign mandatory on-site schedules for some weeks while allowing remote work on other weeks. With large numbers of employees, this model may allow an organization to reduce office space through desk sharing and save on expenses. The downside is the lack of flexibility should on-site work be required unexpectedly.


5. Designated Teams

 

🌟 The fifth option for hybrid work is to designate which teams need to be on-site and which ones can work remotely. This model can improve efficiency for employees who don’t need to be physically present at all times while still having staff present in job functions that don’t allow for remote work. It is important to note that this model may create some resentment among employees who are not allowed to work remotely. There may also be increased reliance on technology and communication and the growing pains that accompany those.

🙏🏻 We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here.
 

Compliance Tips for Expansion with Jayross Lee – Compliance Director

Staying on top of compliance updates is crucial. Companies who fail to do so may risk legal penalties which could affect both the reputation and drain the organization financially; It could worse case scenario even lead to the business being shut down completely.

For these reasons, many organizations choose to use the help of an Employer of Record (EOR) in getting compliance tips for expansion. In this post we will give you the best tips and risks to be considered by an industry expert.

With work from home becoming normalized, it is important to consider how this will have an impact on compliance, which will also be discussed.

 

Tips on compliance to be on top of & employment risks to be considered before expanding, as well as a prediction for the future

🌏 What are your top compliance tips for companies looking to expand?

 

The most important compliance tips that companies need to consider before relocating is to get familiarized with the country’s personal income tax laws and to be on top of the local employment laws.

 

All countries have different tax treatments which makes it important for companies to be aware of the personal income tax law that is enacted in the desired relocation country. For instance, in Singapore you are only taxed the following year and there are specific rules in regards to tax deductions.

 

Being on top of the employment laws of the desired location is a necessity in a compliant expansion. The employment law mandates the minimum standard of benefits that an employer needs to provide the employee. Further, awareness of the industry best practices, in regards to the number of leave days to be awarded per year, the medical coverage etc, is also key in getting regarded as an employer of choice. 

🤩 What do you consider as the top 3 employment risks companies should be aware of before hiring?

1️⃣ The company needs to be registered with relevant departments for the payment of taxes, employees’ provident/social funds, state health insurance plan and so on. This could be done internally through the organization but a recommendation would be to do it through a local partner who has full knowledge of the requirements. As different countries have different standards of practices, it is crucial to be aware of the local employment laws.

 

2️⃣ The company should be aware of the salary arrangements in the country where they want to hire so as to avoid over or underpaying their workers.

3️⃣ The company should be on top of the discriminatory hiring practices. Countries have different tolerances in regards to discriminatory hiring practices such as:

  • The amount of females workers
  • The legal age of working
  • Local vs foreign percentage of employees
  • Severance payments
  • Terminations
  • Maternity

Companies should therefore ensure that they are in line with fair employment practices in order to stay compliant in their hiring.

 

🔮 What is your prediction on the future of work?

 

The pandemic has had a big impact on the future of work. It has required companies to be more reactive to changing laws, with countries switching regulations regarding travel and vaccination requirements. While it has created complications for businesses to relocate, one cannot deny the array of opportunities that has come with it as well. The normalization of remote work will allow for companies to get employees from various countries; talent that doesn’t necessarily need to be relocated but where employees have the flexibility of even working from their home country.

 

It is very unlikely that laws and regulations will change to be more adapted to remote workers in the future. However one can expect that companies will be increasingly open to changing their policies to be more open to remote workers. Furthermore, companies will most likely become more open to engage with remote workers, allowing them to get access to a more diversified pool of talents without the need for them to relocate to a different country.


We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here.

How to Successfully Scale a Startup

It is the goal of every business to continuously increase its market share from time to time. They work to become market leaders. Among the well-known strategies to gain a big share in the market are scaling and growing a business. The two terms may seem similar in terms of expanding a business but in a real sense, the two are different.

 

The simplest way to differentiate growing a business and scaling one is that growing is expensive. This is because growth would demand effort, resources, and time for your business to progress. On the other hand, scaling for a business happens without the need for additional resources thus making it cheap and therefore a better option for your startups.

 

The additional resources that in most cases requires more capital hinders small enterprises and especially startups from concentrating on growth. For success, both scaling and growing your business requires good planning. But before deciding on either to grow or scale, the first thing to do is to access the current situation of the business. This helps to make a good decision on either to grow or scale the business.

4 Ways to Successfully Scale your Startup 🚀

1. State Your Vision, Mission, Goals, and Objectives


This acts as the map to guide your enterprise in its daily operations in such a way that the needs of customers are met efficiently. Scaling aims to expand or increase your income from a business without adding on the resources. The mission statement works to see that all the operations are directed towards the interests of customers.

2. Skilled Management Team


Management helps to shape the success of many businesses. Involving a team of skilled managers helps to come up with appropriate decisions to deal with different issues in the best way possible. It can also be easy to delegate duties according to demand without necessarily having to hire new people. This helps to keep costs low even with the increase in demand and sales.

3. Lasting Connection


Every business from startup needs to build a lasting network with all the stakeholders that include suppliers, customers, and partners. This ensures that your operations continue without interference. It is costly and time-consuming for your enterprise to keep on looking for new suppliers, customers, or partners. Maintaining a good relationship helps an enterprise to concentrate on customers satisfaction.

4. Quality Products

 

Building on the brand is another way to help scale your startup. Quality products help to increase sales and profit with all other factors being constant. Startups that focus on the quality of their product help them to increase sales. This is through customers’ referrals to others.

Agile can help you with scaling via Employer of Record, Payroll, Visa / Employment Work Pass and other administrative tasks that most people find difficult to handle. If you want to avoid mistakes and ensure a smooth passage through this starting phase, feel free to reach out to us.

Gender Equality in the Workplace #breakthebias

While there has been progress for gender equality in our society and in the workplace over the years, there are still biases and stereotypes that need hinder this progression. We are all responsible for breaking that bias.

 

In order for a bias to be broken, it needs to be addressed as early as possible and in all environments, from school years, universities and setting the culture right in the workplace. Further, this bias should be addressed on all levels. In an organization, it should start in the hiring process, showcasing the values and company culture and continued through the employees’ journey within an organization to ensure that all employees feel that they are being treated fairly and without any prejudice or bias.

 

Gender biases have been ingrained since a young age and are indeed influencing our way of working. Leaders therefore need to take steps to change this.

8 Tips - How to Change Gender Equality Bias

Equal Pay

💰 Wage Equality 

Wage transparency in making sure that men and women are receiving fair payments for equivalent roles is the first step in creating equality in the workplace. According to the World Economic Forum, women earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2020, which shows that even if progress has been made, wage equality should still be enforced. Further, as women tend to be less prone to negotiate their salary, companies should ensure that they are setting fair salaries from the beginning. 

⚖️ Understanding Bias

One of the first steps in removing any possible bias is to make sure to build awareness around the concept. There is significant unconscious bias in the workplace context, hence encouraging employees to question their assumptions, beliefs and biases is a good first step. Leaders could start by communicating how unconscious bias affects individuals and which actions that reinforce this unconscious bias.
inclusion

🥰 Introduce an Inclusion Index

Assess your employees’ sense of belongingness, psychological state and so on. Ways of assessing this could consist of a set of questions where the employees rank how they feel from 1-10. 

The right questions are at heart and need to be well thought out. The questions could look like the following and should be asked on an annual basis:

  • To what extent do you feel like your opinion is valued and respected?
  • To what extent do you feel like you can express your feelings openly amongst your colleagues without any unfair judgment?

This would allow for managers to be aware of the well being of their employees and to take actions to help if necessary.

🏋🏽 Train your Hiring Managers

Train your Hiring Managers. Offer a guide for interviewing without bias including open questions and some brain teasers – play with it and test whether the candidate thinks in a biased way or not. Here is a good example of testing your candidate’s mind for unconscious bias:

 

A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” Explain – who is the surgeon?

 

Answer: The mother is the surgeon

The majority of our brains are inclined to always picture a man in the role of a surgeon and while the answer makes sense when it is told, our unconscious bias might initially point us towards a male character. 

📚 Employee Handbooks

Adjust your Employee Handbook. Share company values and culture within the hiring process and throughout your employee journey by keeping your company employee handbook up to date and championing it through your company culture. Many companies have guidelines in their hiring process but then fail to extend their initiatives further. 
help

🙏🏽 External Resources

Ask advice from consultancy as to see what best practices they recommend. These have previously helped companies in the same industry as yours so they have good case studies in ways to go about. One common advice that is given is to mix up teams. This will allow for new perspectives to be introduced and forces employees to interact with team members which they are not used to. 

☁️ Anonymous Brainstorming

Anonymous brainstorming. This could be in the form of silent voting- it would allow individuals to give their ideas without the pressure of getting judged or being disregarded due to any biases. It gives everyone an opportunity to get their ideas fairly considered and most importantly of all, removes the pressure from conforming 
empowerment

 💪🏽 Promote Empowerment

Proactively promote empowerment. Create a resource group for employees in your organization where these are encouraged to open up about their stories; encourage inspiration rather than judgment. This could be in the format of a workshop, chat group, panel discussion etc.

Empowerment is key here. Another way to promote empowerment within your company could be through leadership programmes. This could incentivize more employees, regardless of their gender, race, etc… to believe in themselves and to always reach for higher. A company needs an empire of leaders; one therefore needs to create a working culture that allows for that to happen

 

Women who succeed are inspiring other women to succeed as well. It is therefore important to have female leaders in organizations. We are therefore proud that our team is composed of 70% women! We believe that together we can make a change. In AgileHRO, we support the journey towards women’s rights economically, socially, politically and culturally!

Agile is now available in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Every new country Agile expands to, means you can to!

Today, we are pleased to announce that Agile is now available in Brazil 🇧🇷

Brazil is the first of many to come with our expansion into LATAM, so watch this space 😉

Brazil

What does this mean?

Our team is excited to now offer you the same best-in-class global employment services in Brazil, as we currently do in over 13 countries. This means Agile can now help businesses of all sizes expand through employing full-time, part-time, and contract employees in Brazil.

Our new office supports all Agile Solutions – Global PEO, Global Payroll, Global Mobility  and Global Expansion Advisory solutions.

Our team of HR experts eliminate third-party outsourcing to ensure you receive the best-in-class service with high level local compliance possible.

Feel comfortable that your intellectual property is protected, you receive a superior experience for your employees, and, of course, the best payroll and benefits platform.

What sets Agile apart from our competitors is we are able to support expatriate mobilizations with our inhouse immigration consultants and with our new opening in Brazil, this is no different.

We are excited to expand our top global employment solutions to more countries. 🌎

Interested in expanding or hiring your employees? 

📱Contact our team at [email protected] or visa our website www.agilehro.com and schedule a coffee meeting ☕️ with our MD, Jamie Haerewa

Why strong women make companies agile

Not just on International Women's Day

Who run the world girls

“Who run the world? Girls.” I agree with Beyonce to some extent but I am certain that to build a truly agile organization you need strong women in leadership.


Only being able to reflect on those business we have been personally exposed to it is interesting to see how many wouldn’t even exist without these super women. Agile HRO is one such company if I think about our journey to date I have to start with the first super woman; my mother. An immigrant single mother of two who moved us to Australia for a safer life with more opportunity.


With no family in the country to help she worked 18 hour days to ensure we never went without. She, as do so many single moms and women in general, knew how to be agile; because she had to be. She knew that if a job wouldn’t work around her she would have create a business around her life. In writing this it is clear that I am one of the lucky ones as this blog / article / opinion contains six powerful women which were necessary to build one small but thriving global platform for the engagement of remote workers.


During this time of coarse I had a partner in crime, my sister, a successful athlete, physiotherapist and social entrepreneur who shows that the apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

Most important to this case study is my business and life partner, my wife. Without her 14 years of experience in complex human resources leadership and policy creation we would have never created the framework to compliantly engage a global workforce for our clients quickly. And of course she did all this while raising my two beautiful daughters who kept us grounded remembering why creating this company helps parents around the world be there for their families more which is hopefully a positive contribution.

The unfortunate truth is that outside of companies like agile (50% female leadership) globally, women hold just 24% of senior leadership positions

The U.S. lags behind the global average at 21%, compared to China where women hold 51% of senior leadership slots. Women represent 45% of the S&P 500 workforce, but only 4% of the CEOs. Which brings me to our CEO and MD, a woman who epitomizes the values of agile, Jamie Haerewa. A demonstrated leader and social entrepreneur who refuses to accept that a company needs to be built in one location of bricks and mortor. Moving from China to Germany to Portugal all to ensure agile’s entities are meeting our strick 100% corporate governance and compliance requirements. She did this all amid the COVID Pandemic opening multiple countries despite the restriction on travel.

 

Before my daughters are in the workforce I hope that the world sees that to be successful more importance needs to be given to flexibility of engagement. A sometimes unique perspective that I believe women naturally have. 

 

By Leon Farrant 

 

Employee Evaluations: How to evaluate your remote teams

In our last blog post, we shared 7 tips on how to build culture in a remote team which, from the feedback I received, is a hot topic and something we will keep working on as we navigate the realms of remote working even further. Keeping on our series of helpful tips & tricks, we’re digging a little deeper on how to evaluate employees in your remote teams. We even have a little gift for you…..not 1 but 3 downloadable templates at the end of this blog ✨Happy Lunar New Year 🥳 this is our Hong Bao (red packet) to you. 😊

Employee Evaluations are an important part of growing a company, over the years we have seen it evolve from basic questions, to including employee self-evaluation and even in recent years, data and analytics. When done properly, evaluations can be a great source of information to both parties and essential in your employee development and employee experience. It paves way for succession planning, growth and retention 💁🏽‍♀️

But what about in a remote team? 🤔 Let’s forget for a minute that you probably have met your team face to face before starting to work remotely, because you will genuinely know how they work, limitations, personality and probably have preconceived ideas so evaluating them is a bit easier. But when you start onboarding new employees and they start working remotely straight away, it becomes a little different. 

While you can apply some traditional methods used with your in-office employees to measure their performance, here are some tried and tested ways in which Agile HRO have used, that we suggest to evaluate your remote employees by:

measuring

📈 Measure Output, Not Input 

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but micromanagement ends here. If you are a micromanager, please go all the way back to 2010 and change your style, it’s no longer valid in the future of work environment 👋🏽 

Right, this is possibly one of the most important topics. We need to start measuring our employees’ output, let’s be honest, we work way longer at home than we should because we are motivated to complete our projects and hit our objectives. What does not motivate us is when you are being clockwatched on your active chat status…. No sir,this stops here. 

Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, has some strong doubts about the normal 9-to-5 grind. “If someone shows up in the morning dressed appropriately and isn’t drunk or asleep at his desk, we assume he’s working. If he’s making spreadsheets and to-do lists, we assume he’s working really hard. Unfortunately, none of this gets at what an employee actually creates during the day,” Mullenweg says in a Harvard Business Review post.

Measure remote workers on OKR’s, objectives and key results. Originated by Google’s internal system, it

aims to organise the company’s workload by setting objectives that work towards key results.

These objectives correspond to targets that can relate growth, change or innovation. One objective could be to increase engagement with clients, for example.

A practical example of objectives, results and how they could be presented:

  • Objective 1: increase sales
    • KR 1: double monthly sales leads
    • KR 2: reduce our sales cycle by 10%
  • Objective 2: improve customer service
    • KR 1: reduce calls to support by 40%
    • KR 2: reduce response time on any channel by half.
    • KR 3: keep the resolution rate to at least 95%.

Getting Started with Objectives & Key Results explains more about the methodology and how it positively impacts and organization. OKRs, therefore, enable the team to stay aligned while remote working. At the same time, the human resources department has a tool to assess each person’s work and measure their progress.

feedback

🗣 Get feedback from the team

This wouldn’t be a remote team without some team feedback 😊 It’s always important to remember that your employees don’t just interact with their immediate supervisor and HR, they interact on a daily basis with their colleagues in their immediate team making them a crucial part of evaluating your remote employees and essential to building company culture in a remote team. 

Phil Haack, software coach and author, said he heavily relied on this team atmosphere to evaluate performance when he was an engineering manager at GitHub. He explains that when you create a strong team, it’s easy to see who isn’t pulling their weight. For performance reviews, Haack asks each employee to send him a list of three to five co-workers they would like peer feedback from. He then asks those co-workers to provide feedback for the individual in three categories: Start, Stop, and Continue. Each box should focus on behaviors that match the title (behaviors someone might want to stop, for example). Haack adds the boxes aren’t mandatory. “If you have three categories, the temptation is to put something in each. You might not feel very strongly that someone needs to stop doing something.” In that case, employees can just leave a box blank.

Haack takes those bits of feedback and distills them down into major takeaways, combining duplicates and making sure feedback is worded in a useful manner. The end result is a collection of behavior-based feedback from individuals you work with daily.

Two elements are crucial takeaways:

  1. The format (Start, Stop, and Continue) provides a framework that makes a difficult task (giving peer feedback) easier. The main purpose is to help employees organize their thoughts. 
  2. The feedback should be focused on behaviors, not personalities. The former is something an employee can improve; the latter isn’t.

💁🏽‍♀️ How to use self-evaluations 

Self-evaluations are an amazing way to get employees to really stop and reflect on their goals, responsibilities, overall performance, strengths and weaknesses, however, they also have a bad rap.

In the Harvard Business Review article, Keith Ferrazzi explains employees tend to fall in one of two traps (potentially both). First, become a victim of the “Overconfidence Effect”, which causes them to overestimate their competence in a given area. Second, they’re likely to make a Fundamental Attribution Error, pinning their successes on talent and wisdom while failing to acknowledge environmental factors.

The trick with self-evaluations is to combine how the employee sees themself, how their colleagues see them and then how their manager sees them and see what alignments there are and where the disconnects are. If they are used in this combination then there are no bias assessments from any 3 pillars. 

well done

💬 Provide Valuable Feedback Often

Do you remember the old days when you’re in the office, something exciting happens and everyone around you is buzzing and hi-fiving or your boss sees how hard you have been working and gives you a pat on the back? Motivating right? Or perhaps you aren’t doing so well and you need that feedback and support? As a remote worker, silence can be deafening. It is probably the worst thing to do as a manager or colleague going a whole day without hearing from anyone. 

As a manager it is important for you to keep providing them feedback often, and document it. That way they won’t feel disconnected from the work environment and would continue to perform stably. And you will be able to follow the pattern of their performances.

Everyone I have spoken with about remote work, emphasized the benefits of giving regular feedback outside of formal reviews. Why? Because regular feedback lets employees know where they stand, gets everyone on the same page, and reduces the chance of a surprise during a more formal review.

When Haack was at GitHub, he had regular one-on-one meetings with his distributed team (they live all over the world) using a video conferencing software called Blue Jeans. At Help Scout, team leads have scheduled weekly reviews with everyone in their department. They chat about what has gone well since the last check-in and what’s looming on the horizon.

Share praise and own blame.

trust

🙏🏽 Trust in your employees 

One common thread that runs deep across every method of managing a remote team: trust. 

As i mentioned it in our previous blog post, employees need to trust that their managers are looking out for their best interest. Managers need to trust that their employees are engaged and motivated at work. 

Part of this trust is built during the hiring process—selecting candidates who are self-motivated—and the rest is built over time with each positive interaction.

Just like in-person office cultures, remote office cultures can differ wildly. Being transparent about your company’s values and culture  goes a long way towards establishing trust in your remote team. 

Download Free Templates

templates

As promised, here are our downloadable templates to help you manage your remote teams: 

🍪 Remote Employee Self-Evaluation

🍪 Remote Employee Evaluation: Peer Review

🍪 Remote Employee Evaluation Template

We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here.

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