From the desk of Patti Andes, Chief Operating Officer

Your organization has finally embraced telecommuting – but how do you know its working? How do you know that your employees are being productive, and your customers are receiving the same level of care? How do you know your telecommuting policies enabling your employees and business to pivot to meet the changes in the market?

We recommend using a variety of data sources.  When creating an evaluation plan for any new company strategy, we suggest looking at your three main constituents – employees, customers, and stakeholders. 

Employees:  Employee sentiment data will be essential to evaluating the impact of telecommuting on your workforce, with engagement being one of the key metrics.  However, organizations will need to look beyond the engagement for two reasons – 1) your engagement score may be skewed significantly by the impact of COVID-19, 2) engagement alone does not measure areas impacted by telecommuting arrangements, such as teamwork, communication, recognition, autonomy, and wellness.    Beyond attitudinal data, we suggest looking at other employee experience metrics, such as frequency of promotions or job changes, rate of participation in learning and development opportunities, leadership effectiveness ratings, and turnover.

Stakeholders:  No doubt the impact to your organization’s bottom line will be at the forefront of any telecommuting evaluation.  Real estate costs, productivity, IT support and infrastructure, talent acquisition / retention, and sales all contribute to the overall financial performance of an organization and are heavily impacted by telecommuting arrangements.  In heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare, it will be important to evaluate the impact on key metrics. 

Customers:  An overall Net Promoter Score is a good starting point for understanding the impact of a disparate workforce on your customer experience.  As with employee attitudinal data, it is beneficial to dig deeper into root causes of overall trends in your NPS.  For example, telecommuting allows for easier expansion of customer service hours which may lead to increased NPS.  Alternatively, a dispersed workforce introduces elevated risks of poor call quality and internet connections – which can lead to a negative customer experience.   As a demand for services increases within an organization, understanding a workgroup’s ability to be agile and provide similar or enhanced levels of responsiveness in a virtual environment is an additional area to measure.

Each organization will need to determine where the optimal intersection of employee flexibility and business performance are when instituting more permanent telecommuting workplaces.  The use of people, operational, and financial metrics will aid in finding the right-sized telecommuting solution for your organization.

If you need help measuring the effectiveness of your remote employees. Contact us at [email protected].