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Specifically for Managers

Managing people with flexible work requires the same skills that all managers should have. But empowering and managing remote workers and people working non-standard hours does require extra insight. Below are some key principles that can help set you up for success.

  • Look at goals with fresh eyes: By integrating principles of employee wellbeing into departmental goals, the sometimes unpredictable responsibilities of dependent care can be better anticipated, normalized, and accounted for in planning deliverables.
  • Manage to goals and results: All employees should have clear goals, deliverables, and deadlines for which they are accountable, whether or not they are in your line of sight. Managers and employees should strive to discuss unexpected challenges and be willing to make adjustments in real time.
  • Productivity updates can stand in for stopping by the office: During this prolonged period of flexible work, it may be useful if employees send managers scheduled productivity summaries. Even a few lines noting accomplishments and status against targets can help keep both the manager and employee on track.
  • Emphasize communication: All teams should address how they will handle communication among team members or with customers and stakeholders. With so many useful tools available, it may be helpful to keep things simple by selecting fewer tools and identifying which tools will be used for which workstreams. Now is the time to explore Microsoft Teams!

Managing at a Distance

Whether goals stay the same or get re-prioritized, clarity around these goals will help anchor people in doing their best work.

Tip: Continually prioritize and check-in

Once initial priorities are set, schedule regular periods each week to review work (and to touch base personally), one-on-one and as a team. Re-prioritize as needed based on those discussions. Check-ins can help to replicate the organic social interaction that most everyone will miss.