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Holding Remote Workers Accountable

Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in coaching leaders on how to lead their remote team. Leaders are often suspicious about the productivity of remote workers. Remote workers who previously enjoyed working for a particular leader are suddenly frustrated as they find that same leader using a micro-managing manner not previously experienced.

The fact is, whether an employee is working remotely or under direct supervision, these frustrations often occur because we’re trying to measure time in a chair, or at an activity, rather than on outcomes, deliverables, or success factors. If we lead based on performance measurements and culture fit, our direct report (especially if they’re a superstar) will be MUCH happier and will generally achieve greater levels of success, and we as leaders will be far less frustrated.

The typical job description is generally just a laundry list of activities ending with “and other duties as assigned.” We recommend an Accountability Matrix or Performance Acceleration Tracker (PAT) instead (see below). Detailed instruction on how to create an Accountability Matrix of PAT can be found at our website

Imagine taking that laundry list, and slotting all those activities into 3-5 primary accountability buckets. Oh, you may need to add things like attend meetings, demonstrate Core Values, pursue personal/professional development that are often forgotten. Then prioritize those buckets, assign a percentage of time to be spent in each, and create the success factors – how will you know if the incumbent has done their job well enough to keep it? Then review monthly or at least quarterly to make sure you and your direct report are on the same page.

Empower the success of your direct reports by clarifying expectations!


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