#30 - How do I know they're working?

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Hey #people team! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about remote work over the last decade. There are many, many advantages, some disadvantages and one or two things still up for debate. What is clear though, is that “bums on seats” is a poor metric for measuring productivity, unless you work a production line. Setting and measuring real goals is the only way to be comfortable in knowing what your team are doing.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
🙋‍♀️ How do I know they're working?
I wrote a long article (too long for this newsletter!) and published it on Medium. The intro is here and a link to read it for free is available at the bottom.
How do I know my staff are working if they’re all remote? Won’t my team slack off if they work from home? How do I manage people remotely if I can’t see what they’re working on? How will I understand an employee’s performance if they work from home?
These are all questions I’ve heard, read and been asked. They’re also all completely missing the point. The question you should be asking is: am I a good manager?
Getting people to do work
What do you want from the people you work beside? You want them to be able to do their jobs and do them well. As an employer or a manager, the responsibility lies with you to ensure that your people have the tools they need to do their jobs. Laptops, software, access to secret things — all the regular stuff. You need to provide them with training if you need them to do something they haven’t done before and the tools and trinkets they need to do their jobs effectively.
But enabling the work is only half the problem. Once staff have the tools, they can do the job, but what is the work? So first, let’s briefly overview purpose, goals and objectives.
Purpose
What does your company do, and what is its vision? For what purpose does your organisation exist, and for whom? Setting some big picture ideas around who you serve and why are essential as NorthStar metrics. All people, remote or otherwise, need to know why they’re doing the work. Otherwise, they’ll feel disengaged and feckless.
Read the full article here. (👈 Medium friends link, it’s free!)
👏 Recommendations From
This week’s recommendations are from an old colleague and good friend, Rucha Kapare. Rucha is the Head Of Business Analysis at Springer Nature Digital.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished ‘My life in full: Work, Family, and Our Future’ by Indra Nooyi.   It’s a memoir by the trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo. The book inspired me on many levels and I would definitely recommend it all. I have summarized my 2 takeaways here.
What’s your favourite app, or website?
It’s not an app/website really but a YouTube channel with short business case studies, very interesting and insightful - https://www.youtube.com/c/ThinkSchool
What quote inspires you?
My mother - In a fairness obsessed nation like India, she stood up to make a small attempt to make women feel they are all beautiful. She is a beautician by profession who has trained 100s of women most with no or minimal fees just because she understood the background they came from and the importance of being independent as a woman where they can start something of their own. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, an entrepreneur and a role model to many and has touched 1000s of lives. 
What’s your favourite recipe?
Vada Pav. Is a fast food dish native to the state of Maharashtra, India. The dish consists of a deep fried potato dumpling placed inside a bread bun sliced almost in half through the middle. It is generally accompanied with one or more chutneys and a green chili pepper.
🧠 Bigger Brains Than Me
(5 min read) This is a great article for those wanting to move into leadership, or who have just taken on a role as a leader.
conscious leadership is the process by which a leader becomes radically responsible, self-aware, and focuses on building a culture of “we” rather than a culture of “me.” 
(6 min read) There’s lots of ways in which you can waste time at work (reading this newsletter isn’t one of them! 😅). But meetings are often thought as one of them.
“[W]e found that employee productivity was 71% higher when meetings were reduced by 40%. Rather than a schedule being the boss, [employees] owned their to-do lists and held themselves accountable, which consequently increased their satisfaction by 52%.” But wait, there’s more…
(5 min read) Having said that, one great reason to have meetings to boost connections and help combat loneliness. We sometimes have an afternoon on Google Meet booked out and just don’t talk, we’re just online with colleagues (more chit-chat definitely happens, but it’s a boon for those who live alone).
Goldenberg says it’s important for managers in workplaces and teachers of online classes to hold synchronous meetings, rather than merely conversations over email or Slack. “Even if the decision will be the same, there is some value to it, which is people’s wellbeing,” he says.
📃 Classifieds and #people Jobs
Bit of a plug as it’s a sponsored link, but I’ve been using hired.com on and off at a number of organisations. If you’re looking for top tech talent, then hit the link!
Get instant access to a curated pool of responsive top tech talent actively seeking their next role.
Redox is looking for a HR Business Partner (among other tech and product roles.)
📭 #End Post
Thanks for reading. Any feedback is warmly received, hit me up at mike@hashtagpeople.co.uk.
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Mike Pearce
Mike Pearce @the_peoplepost

The #people post

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