Have you started setting your goals for 2021? With this crazy and unpredictable year coming to an end, I know I’m ready to challenge myself in new and exciting ways!
To begin setting your goals, first look back on your personal and professional accomplishments of 2020 to reflect on what went well. Ask yourself questions like “What new skills did I learn or discover? What did I enjoy doing that I wasn’t expecting? How did I spend my free time?” You may have had more time on your hands to pursue new opportunities. Whether they were hobbies or professional achievements, you probably learned new skills that had an impact on how you want to spend your time in the future.
As you consider your goals for 2021, remember to:
Some goal suggestions to get started:
We conducted a quick poll to determine the status of remote / home office workers commercial and public agency organizations.
80% of organizations report that 50% or more of their employees are working from remote / home office locations.
75% -100% staff work remote 59%
50% - 74% staff work remote 21%
25% - 49% staff work remote 9%
0% -24% staff work remote 12%
In some instances, employers are allowing remote office locations to continue as long as the employee wants to and return full-time, part-time, or not at all, at their discretion.
Of course, there are some job categories where this would not be possible such as aircraft mechanics and surveyor field technicians. But, we have become an electronic industry which allows many, such as GIS Technicians, to work from a remote office location.
Do we work better online?
A summary of a New York Times article 6-28-20
By David Gelles
© The New York Times Co.
When the online learning company Chegg started working remotely in March, Nathan Schultz, a senior executive, was convinced that productivity would plummet 15% to 20%.
Hoping to keep his employees on task, Schultz tried to re-create the high-touch style of management that had served him well throughout his career. He set up a Slack channel with his two closest deputies, where they began communicating incessantly, even as they spent hours a day in the same Zoom meetings. He began regularly checking in on many of the other members of his team.
“The first reaction was to smother,” he said. “I was trying to replicate the many touch points you have in the office environment.”
It didn’t work. Schultz himself soon felt burned out, and he could tell that his constant online presence was not very popular with his employees. So, he eased off.
Then something surprising started happening. Projects were completed ahead of schedule. Workers volunteered to take on new tasks. Instead of falling into a rut and losing focus in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Chegg employees became more productive.
Companies, too, are discovering that processes and procedures they previously took for granted — from lengthy meetings to regular status updates — are less essential than once imagined. And although some executives are concerned about burnout as working from home continues, they are enjoying the gains for now.
“We’re seeing an increase in productivity,” said Fran Katsoudas, Cisco’s chief people officer.
Most of Cisco’s employees have been working from home for months, and Katsoudas said data showed many were accomplishing more. For example, according to the company’s tracking, customer service representatives are taking more calls and customers are more satisfied with
At Eventbrite, the engineering team is thriving, while the sales and customer service teams are having a harder time working from home, the chief executive, Julia Hartz, said.
Hartz said that her customer service team worked in a more collaborative manner, and that Eventbrite’s representatives missed being able to trade tips on how to handle different situations.
“It’s never the same call,” she said. “Our office is open. There’s a bullpen-type feel. You can turn your chair around and all face each other and share ideas or share the stress with your coworkers. You can’t do that remotely.”
Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, lamented the loss of in-person interactions, even as he said productivity was ticking up.
Nadella said he worried that companies like Microsoft were “burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote.”
Douglas Merritt, the chief executive of Splunk, an enterprise software company, questioned whether the appearance of busy remote workers was leading to actual gains.
“There’s a big difference between activity and productivity,” he said. “There’s no doubt that our employee population is not performing at the same level they were.”
At Chegg, 86% of employees said their productivity was as good as or better than before, according to an internal survey. They attributed the uptick to not commuting and not having boundaries to the workday.
Recently, Schultz’s team completed a project for Verizon in 15 days that he said would have taken a month during normal times.
We all have personal motivations that drive us in our daily work. How do we engage our employees to ensure they are performing their best while working from home?
As we’ve moved into a new era of remote working, you may have hit some turbulence with managing your staff as they’ve begun to work from home more often. There is no “one size fits all” plan to motivate your employees, so you will need to identify the source of motivation for each person. As you find out what makes them tick, you can help push them further to achieve their goals.
First, it’s important to identify the types of motivations. There are two basic motivations that people have – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the act of doing something without any obvious external rewards. You do it because it's enjoyable and interesting, rather than because of an outside incentive. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside the individual and is a behavior that is driven by rewards such as money, fame, grades, or praise.
Next, you can begin to identify which motivation your employees have. Start by conversing with your staff members individually about their personal and professional lives. These conversations may take some time to develop rapport and trust by engaging with the employee on topics that aren’t directly related to their job duties. Asking questions about their purpose, passions, and autonomy will help you get a feel for their long term desires and goals.
Since you might not be able to meet in person, make this effort more personal than a phone call by holding a virtual coffee or happy hour. This may be more appealing for the employee to open up and participate in conversation.
Now that you know what motivates your employee, you can move to a more structured conversation to create goals and milestones. Create clear objectives with rewards that are personalized to each individual. Including the employee in this process should help give them a sense of significance and value in what they do within your company. After you’ve created goals, hold check-ins with the staff members once a month to see how they’re doing.
Communication is key to the continuation of success for your employees. Equipping your team with technology and productivity tools will ensure everyone is on the same page. Platforms such as Asana, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Hangouts will help with program management, chat messaging, and video conferencing. Use rewards to incentivize good behavior where needed, and reward your worker’s inherent motivations too.
As the employer, taking this leadership requires work and planning. Be consistent with your communication and show you care for your employees by taking responsibility in this role. It will pay off and you will see an increase in motivation with your employees!
It's clear that recruiting and hiring for top employees takes time, can be expensive and at times aggravating for HR teams, and internal recruiters. Finding and hiring the best people requires a lot of time and multiple resources including expensive advertising and experiencing an overload of unqualified resumes -- simply to begin the process.
HR personnel are very busy with duties such as compensation planning, benefits planning, and training. Recruitment is only one of their responsibilities. Companies need to maintain a budget, and employees need to work. Combining these all together with the best solution to the usual hiring obstacles, everybody wins. That's where finding the best talent as soon as possible is the key to success for hiring.
If you are a business leader, you probably enter each year wanting to impact your firm in a positive way. But just as with New Year’s resolutions, the chance of following through with your goals is not high unless you implement concrete expectations and objectives. By applying the tips below, you will ensure you're on the right track for success in 2020.