Recently, there's been a deluge of advice on what makes remote teams successful. While specific suggestions vary, most agree that focusing on results is the key to making virtual offices work. But that's easier said than done. The daily grind can make it difficult to see beyond the task at hand. Not to mention that success looks different for every department and individual in the organization. Some--such as sales and marketing team members--can easily draw a connection between their responsibilities and the bottom line. For others, the correlation isn't so obvious.
Thankfully, the solution is a simple one. By adopting the habit of recording key metrics in a weekly scorecard, you can give your remote team the information they need to stay focused on strategic results.
Choose the Right Metrics to Start
Most leaders know all too well how easy it is to get lost in the multitude of data points available to your business. But for your weekly scorecard to work, you'll need to make sure that what you measure matters. The best place to start is with your bottom-line strategic objectives. From there, work backward to choose KPIs that measure how each department contributes to these objectives.
To get it right, you may need to iterate through this process a few times to determine which metrics work best. Listen to your team and give yourself permission to learn and adjust as you go.
Keep It Simple
Scorecards are a snapshot of your organization's performance. You should be able to see the highlights at a glance. They're not meant to be a comprehensive collection of the metrics needed to run the business. When scorecards get complicated, it's easy to get lost in the weeds. Remember, the job of your weekly scorecard is to tie daily goals to big strategic ones. You can achieve this only by keeping your list of KPIs straightforward.
Of course, this doesn't mean that individual teams won't need a more exhaustive list of metrics to inform day-to-day decision-making. There will be plenty of times when you or your team members need to do a deep dive into the data to solve a challenge. Still, it's best to keep your weekly scorecard simple and let it guide you to the areas that require further investigation.
Make It a Habit
Whether or not a weekly scorecard will work for your remote team depends entirely on your willingness to embrace it as a core part of your business and company culture. On our team, each department opens its weekly meeting by reviewing its scorecard. We celebrate the wins and then meticulously examine the failures. We decide when more data is needed, document our efforts, and determine the next steps. We wash, rinse, and repeat until we've solved the challenges and met our goals. It's a carefully curated ritual that's embedded in our culture.
Like any tool, a weekly scorecard works only if you use it correctly. If you've decided to invest the time and effort to develop a scorecard for your remote team, make sure to follow it through with a solid process and you're sure to see success.