How to create a culture of accountability in your remote team

Prudential recently conducted a survey and found that 87% of remote workers want their company’s support for hybrid or remote work. But leaders and managers still hesitate to embrace remote work. Why?
Businesses cite employee accountability as the top reason for not fully committing themselves to remote work. Managers fear that remote employees will not take responsibility for their actions and performance. Although remote workers are more difficult to manage, it is up to business leaders that they make accountability a central theme of remote work culture.
Managers are responsible for accountability
Managers are role models in every organization because employees will often copy what they do. Managers who are always late or procrastinate will be a sign that their team is following their lead. You, as a manager, must model the behaviors you want your team members to adopt. This can be done in many ways:
Take responsibility for your actions
Accept your failures and mistakes
Respect the meeting times
Complete tasks before or on the deadline
Managers must be the ones who define appropriate behavior.
Learn more: How to Manage and Build a Remote International Team
Set clear goals and expectations
Uncertain expectations can lead to conflict, blame games and other toxic employee behavior that eventually affects employee output. Managers should establish a hybrid policy or remote policy that clearly explains what they expect. The guidelines for each project should be communicated by project managers working in remote teams.
To increase motivation and productivity, your goals and expectations must be clear and easily understood. You should set smart goals and expectations.
Inform every employee about their monthly targets, KPIs, and how they can be improved.
Early collaboration is key to achieving your project goals, workflows, as well as project plans.
Encourage employees and teams alike to reach out to each other with questions
Clear expectations and objectives will help team members work together towards a common goal.
Encourage feedback
Employees will give you valuable feedback. This data can be used to set expectations and demonstrate accountability.
Regular team surveys are a great way to gather feedback. You might ask your teams to rate their work and ask them questions like how often they request resources to help them achieve their goals. This encourages employees to take ownership of their projects.
You can also hold virtual icebreakers for your entire team or the whole company. Ask employees to share their views on the workplace culture and their feelings about workplace accountability. If employees are hesitant to share their views with the whole team, you should conduct individual follow ups.
During one-on-1s, review each employee’s commitments and recent accomplishments. Listen to and respond to any negative feedback. Make sure employees feel heard.
Keep track of your workloads
Over-committed employees can become burnout risky and may neglect their work. There are many ways to track remote employee commitments. You can start by creating an employee calendar that lists all meetings and deadlines. This can help you identify employees who are over-committed. You can also use project management tools to assign tasks, track progress, and track workloads.
You should log any employee who commits to delivering an update or deliverable by a specific date. This will allow you to check in with them at that time. You must ensure that employees and teams are constantly updating their progress. Also, that tasks assigned to them or their teams cannot be closed until they are completed.

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