Romania-Insider.com and Ideograf hosted the 10th edition of HR Executive Learning event series, “Managing Performance of Remote Teams. Shifting from Hours Worked to Results”.
The event, third in an online format, focused on how to ensure people deliver results without the type of interactions and supervision they had before. Raluca Leonte, CEO of Webhelp Romania, and Richard de Graaf, Head of People at ING Romania, were invited to share their learnings with people managers and HR executives. The keynote speeches were followed by a live Q&A and a networking session in smaller groups. The event was moderated by Sandra Jitianu, business owner IDEOGRAF and Volker Moser, Co-founder of Romania-Insider.com.
With 95% of the workforce in Romania working from home, Webhelp managed to have better performance than what had been planned despite the hard hit on part of their client base. “In our BPO business every second counts. It was not easy to explain to our employees we were expecting them to have the same performance – or even better – despite the sanitary crisis. We asked them to be as performant as before and we took the commitment to keep their jobs. Keeping the clients happy would ensure that in six months we would still have those clients in our portfolio, and we would be able to maintain the jobs”, Raluca Leonte, CEO of the 2000-people Romanian subsidiary of the international business process outsourcer explained. Her recommendation for managing performance includes controlling efficiency more via BI reports and focusing on human interaction on support and motivation while leveraging a tool for structured communications.
“In times like these where a lot gets virtualized you need to have the right BI tools to know how you are doing. Otherwise, you pick up the phone and check with your managers - and this is micromanagement after all. However, tech alone does not do the trick, we need to merge it intelligently with human behavior”, Raluca Leonte added.
Richard de Graaf, who was appointed Head of HR in ING Bank Romania in September 2019 shared his learnings and recommendations about how to build a successful relationship with employees when you don’t have the face-to-face interaction. ING Bank jumped from 14% of employees working from home to 95% in just 2 days. As productivity did not go down and people appreciate the time that they are no longer spending in traffic, ING is planning to increase the work-from-home ratio to 40%, with employees working remotely 2 days per week. Performance management needs to rely more than ever on listening to people and empowering them. “We all have a different style, but the leadership style that we need here now is supportive leadership. You need to have a manager who listens to you, is supportive and gives you the space to need what you need to do. Managers also need to take the time to understand the different personal circumstances people are facing.”, Richard de Graaf stated. Beside the 3 key formal moments of a performance review process when you put things on paper there should be continuous conversations between employee and manager, to make sure there are no surprises at the mid-year review. Other recommendations include moving fast and working in iterations, equipping managers on how to work with remote teams, promoting online learning and giving priority to employees’ well-being. “The most important thing that we need to do is empower people: we need to agree what it is we expect from the employee and then we have to leave the employee alone”, Richard de Graaf concluded.
The live Q&A session tackled topics like good tools to manage performance, the changes in the relationship between managers and their team after the crisis, keeping the trend of increased trust and reduced micromanagement and the shift in skills needed for the future ways of working.
The online event ended with a business networking session with people managers and HR executives.
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IDEOGRAF was founded in 2017 by Sandra Jitianu, management consultant with expertise in Human Resources and Change Management, having 15 years of project management and consulting missions in industries including utilities, oil and gas, financial services, retail, manufacturing and professional services. Sandra is the co-organizer and director of the HR Executive Learning series.
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