Building Accountability in Remote Employees Without Micromanaging

by Matthew Brogie on Jul 20, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Building Accountability in Remote Employees Without MicromanagingWhen accountability is present within an organizational culture, employees feel a sense of ownership for their job functions. When remote employees are engaged with the work they are doing and feel connected to their coworkers and managers, they will experience a heightened sense of responsibility for reaching organizational goals. However, a system that lacks accountability forces employees to become disenfranchised from their jobs — a detrimental consequence on your business’s health.

In order to cultivate accountability, organizational leaders should focus on encouraging engagement and boosting staff morale rather than adopting a Big Brother approach. If employees feel as though management is constantly monitoring their every move, they will become distrusting and consequently will not be empowered to perform at their highest potential.

Why Communication Is Key

Organizations that hire remote teams need to promote strong employee-manager communication practices. That way, managers will be able to easily convey their performance expectations to employees. This eliminates any confusion about personal or enterprise-wide goals that employees may have had.

When employees understand exactly what is expected of them, they will feel more responsible for meeting those expectations. Managers should also make an effort to provide consistent coaching and administer feedback to their employees. Positive feedback makes employees feel valued for their contributions, which in turn raises engagement levels. Employees will be dedicated to improving their performances if they receive help and encouragement from management.

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Peer-to-Peer Communication

In addition to communicating with their managers, employees should also be able to easily communicate with each other. Since field employees work independently and do not often interact with their peers, it is vital that organizations establish an efficient means of communication for remote teams. Doing so will aid in forging bonds between team members.

What’s more, through the use of an effective communications tool, remote employees can work collaboratively in addition to building personal relationships. Employees will feel more accountable for their work if they experience a sense of community, which is why intra-team communication is so important.

The Relationship Between Visibility and Trust

Managers need to trust that their field employees are working as efficiently and productively as possible, even though they are not being monitored in the same way that office employees are. On the other hand, remote employees should trust their managers to handle problems that would affect operations in the field.

Visibility is the foundation for trusting relationships in an organization. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity about established structures, processes, staff roles, or organizational goals. Similarly, employees need to be aware of exactly what metrics they are being held accountable for, such as number of client visits per month, duration of customer interactions, etc. It is the responsibility of organizational leaders and managers to facilitate trust by being transparent about all procedures that bear relevance to remote employees as well as by providing the tools necessary to reach company objectives.

Accountability is crucial for ensuring that employees will perform at the highest proficiency. In order for a culture of accountability to exist within an organization, employees need to be engaged with their work. Managers can avoid micromanaging by shifting their focus to employee empowerment, which will raise morale and strengthen productivity.


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This post was written by Matthew Brogie

Matthew Brogie is a COO of Repsly, Inc., and a long time mobile technology consultant. With deep experience designing and implementing mobile retail execution solutions for some of the world's largest CPG companies, Mat has developed a passion for mobile computing, particularly around retail execution best practices.

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