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13 Key Management Practices To Manage Staff in a Digital World

April 28, 2022 | By Jeramy Gordon

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What is one key hiring and management practice you use to successfully manage staff in a digital world?

To help you successfully hire and manage staff in a digital world, we asked small business owners and CEOs this question for their best strategies. From hiring for core value alignment to maintaining a shared, living doc for all meeting notes, there are several ideas that may help you manage remote staff in the future.

Here are thirteen practices for successfully hiring and managing staff in a digital world:

  • Hire for Core Value Alignment
  • Change HR Strategies to Include Self-Starters
  • Keep Employees Connected
  • Utilize Intranet Sites for Employee Management
  • Set up Chatbots for Initial Interviews
  • Promote Healthy Internal Competition
  • Have a Clear and Detailed SOPs
  • Emphasize Work-Life Balance for Remote Teams
  • Provide all the Tools Employees Need
  • Maximize Autonomy for Workers
  • Integrate Digital Online Platforms for Relationship Growth
  • Ensure Employees Have the Required Skills
  • Maintain a Shared, Living Doc for all Meeting Notes

Hire for Core Value Alignment

One key hiring practice we use that is conducive to managing in a digital world is hiring for core value alignment. We work with our core values at the front of our minds, so we’ve developed questions to help us identify if someone will work in a way that is aligned with our core values. We can teach skills, but we can’t teach attitude and culture.  That comes naturally. So, we ask behavioral interview questions related to our core values – because past performance is the best predictor of future behavior. These questions allow the candidate to identify HOW they work, and it will help us understand if they are prepared to work for a firm that supports hybrid work and requires a certain level of independence and maturity to be successful.

Eric Mochnacz, redcloverhr.com

Change HR Strategies to Include Self-Starters

All those qualities you look for in good hires–good communicators, self-starters, innovative thinkers, and organized performance management–took on a whole new meaning once employees had to work in silos. Working from home without the luxury of office drop-ins and strict schedules means team members need to think outside of the box to find ways to not only get the job done, but get the job done well. Be sure to really assess these qualities when hiring for remote jobs because they’re more important than ever for success.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

Keep Employees Connected 

If you want to improve your company’s remote work strategy, you have to ensure your employees feel connected to the company and each other no matter where they are. Having regular check-ins between supervisors and their teams, hosting virtual company hangouts, and utilizing chat software like Slack are all great examples of how your company can keep employees engaged. When employees start feeling isolated, their mental health can suffer which can ultimately impact their productivity and overall quality of work.

Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm

Utilize Intranet Sites for Employee Management 

A good example of digital disruption in the HR industry is the emergence of employee intranet sites. It’s a cloud solution that offers a self-service portal where employees can manage their personal details, update insurance information, request time off and complete other job-related tasks. The space can also be used as a central location to post newsletters and other compelling employee information.

Rachel Blank, Allara

Set up Chatbots for Initial Interviews 

Digital hiring can be faster, but it can also give a much larger volume of global candidates. Chatbots can easily handle those initial screening interviews and are much more flexible now than they were just a few years ago. You can even have chatbots set up to translate a candidate’s answers if you’re hiring across languages. There’s so much you can do with them with just a bit of initial set-up. Figure out what the bot should take care of before moving to a human-to-human interaction, and you’ll save yourself valuable resources.

James Diel, Textel

Promote Healthy Internal Competition

One of the ways managers can help remote workers stay productive and engaged is by fostering a little competition internally. Try to get more creative than just sales goals, and offer rewards that people actually want. While company t-shirts are great, people will be less likely to engage with the competition if the prize(s) are not desirable. Create fun competitions that encourage employees to interact with and learn new things about each other, allow them to feature their special talents or hobbies, or expose them to new things. Make it exciting and enticing if you want it to be successful.

Brett Sohns, LifeGoal Investments

Have a Clear and Detailed SOPs

Communication and setting expectations are absolutely essential to avoid problems with employees working remotely. Having very clear and detailed SOPs (Systems and Processes) that are well documented will make the work process go smoothly. It is best to let them know what is expected of them and how you will judge the success or failure of their work. It is important to give remote employees the resources they need to successfully carry out their work. I have also learned that it works much better to give remote workers measurable responsibilities and allow them to accomplish those tasks in a timely manner. Being available to answer their questions is also key.

Alex Shute, FaithGiant

Emphasize Work-Life Balance for Remote Teams

We emphasize work-life balance when managing staff. Over the last two years, remote work has become increasingly common and digital advancements have only made it more efficient. However, working from home has drawbacks when it comes to time-management and potential burnout in an entirely different way than traditional workplaces. When working remotely, it’s possible to work at odd hours all throughout the day, having the comforts of your home consistently interrupted by work. This lowers employee satisfaction and performance, however setting strict regulation about how and when employees should work, reduces flexibility, the defining benefit of remote work. The key is to create a company strategy around work-life balance, such that employees feel free to work when they want, but not like they are working all the time.

Charles Hua, Poised

Provide all the Tools Employees Need 

Managing people in a digital world can be convenient yet challenging. To ensure success, one of the things you can do is to provide the necessary tools that your people need to perform their jobs productively. You need a collaboration platform to communicate and coordinate project tasks. You may also need specific software and subscription services. If you have the budget, you can also sponsor their home office setup. A lot of remote workers complain of backaches, neck pains, or eye strains because they don’t have a comfortable chair and table or ergonomic tools like a keyboard or mouse. These will help keep your employees happy, which consequently keeps them productive and committed.

Bobby Klinck, BobbyKlinck.com

Maximize Autonomy for Workers

Employers should try to maximize autonomy for their workers. This means that employees are free to work wherever, whenever, and however, they please.  Our philosophy at Contentellect is that we’re all adults and we trust our employees to manage their day in a way that works effectively for them. All we care about are quality outputs. As long as deadlines and a high work standard is maintained there is no need for extra perks or micro-management. Remote workers respond extremely well to this approach and we’ve enjoyed much success in retaining workers since we went fully remote.

Mark Whitman, Contentellect

Integrate Digital Online Platforms for Relationship Growth

Talent management in the digital age means that companies must utilize technology as a relationship building tool between senior leaders and employees. Think about integrating an online digital platform, such as LinkedIn or GitHub, into your hiring process to help you find top talent that will thrive with your digital team. These same online tools can be used for corporate learning to help leaders raise productivity and chart career paths of employees.

Liz Donahey, Red Pocket Mobile

Ensure Employees Have Required Skills

One key hiring and management practice for successfully managing staff in a digital workplace is to ensure that all employees have the required skills and knowledge to effectively perform their jobs. This can be done by providing employees with adequate training and development opportunities, as well as by continuously monitoring their progress and providing feedback. Additionally, it is important to create a positive and productive work environment where employees feel valued and supported.

Neille Bonner, NEC

Maintain a Shared, Living Doc for all Meeting Notes

For all team and 1-1 meetings, we keep a single shared doc that we review and add to.  Each meeting gets a new entry and nothing gets erased.  This way important notes are recorded, tasks are followed up on, and anyone is free to review.  This has been hugely helpful since our move to remote and many other teams have adopted something similar to help keep everyone on the same page.

Sylvia Kang, Mira

 

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