While many companies were well on their way to enabling remote work—for others, the lockdowns associated with COVID-19 have accelerated a decade’s worth of digital transformation in a matter of months. The way in which people communicate, collaborate, and perform their professional duties has changed forever. So, what does that mean for people management?
In a world where employees desire, and deserve, more autonomy, flexibility, and agility to get their work done in a way that works with their life in a balanced way—managers must adapt to a new normal, “the next normal.”
Becoming an effective manager when face to face interactions are at a minimum, teams are entirely distributed, and when staying in the loop can feel like a challenge or a burden, we have to look towards new avenues to provide the answers leaders need to ensure the well-being, alignment, and balance of their teams.
Leaders Must Learn to Rely on High-Quality, Real-Time Data
Teams are generating more data than ever before, and arguably more so in the last few months than the cumulative years prior—due to an increased usage of various tools. A distributed workforce needs those tools to operate efficiently and effectively—and these tools are distributed themselves, rely on leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure, enable individuals to work from anywhere, and most importantly gather a TON of data from the end-user.
However, a distributed tech stack also means that the data your team is generating is also distributed. And data just for data’s sake is useless. It’s essential to incorporate that data into a centralized location where it can be accurately structured, analyzed, and contextualized before it’s made actionable (which traditionally could be insanely costly, but keep reading, we’ve got an affordable answer 😊 ).
After all, the success of data-driven management relies solely on the quality of the data collected and the effectiveness of the analysis and interpretation of the story locked within that data. So why is becoming a data-driven manager so important in the next normal?
The Benefits of Incorporating Data-Driven Management
Improving Your Soft Skills
If you’re scratching your head here, bear with us. Soft skills and communication are still the backbone of the world’s most effective leaders. By incorporating data-driven management into your workflows—you take biases (like recency) and emotion out of management. Instead of relying on gut-check feelings, you, and your team members need to be equipped to come to the table with facts so that adaptations, pivots, and strategy are rooted in truth. Doing so helps to build employees’ trust in their leader. Incorporating data-driven management gives everybody a fair shake, and as a leader, can give you a deeper level of understanding on how to best empower your team members to perform.
Increasing Accountability and Transparency
Good, actionable data also leads to higher levels of accountability and transparency. In an open data-driven culture, teams and the people that compose them know exactly how performance is measured, what levers exist to help shape the outcome of that performance, and most importantly have an opportunity to learn and adjust when the outputs don’t align with the inputs. When everyone is on the same page around goals, and feels good about how their work is being measured, they are more passionate, invested, and collaborative.
Results That Can Be Measured—And an Opportunity to Grow
By putting the systems in place to collect and analyze data, leaders gain not only insight to the past, but unlock a new pathway for the future, something that is critical in the post-COVID-19 world. By looking at results measured within your team’s data, you’re given incredible insight into how decisions, shifts, or even deadlines have a positive or negative impact on your team and their performance. Sure, setting goals and measuring performance against those goals has been proven to align teams, but so has effectively communicating your collective successes.
It’s important that you can showcase wins, identify bottlenecks, and optimize in near real-time. Measuring data points across the breadth of potential inputs (for instance inferring personality alongside accomplishments) gives you a holistic understanding of your team, an opportunity to learn and adapt, and create a culture of continuous improvement that people can really get behind.
The Next Normal Requires a New Set of Tools
With the advent of a number of technology platforms that keep us all connected around the clock and across the globe—and the necessitation of distancing as a resulting outcome from trying to curb a global pandemic—now, more than ever is the time to incorporate data-driven management as a skill.
What You Need to Be an Effective Leader in the Next Normal
- A way to quickly aggregate, analyze, and act upon all the data your team is generating.
- Processes that offer continuous reinforcement of managerial best practices.
- An empirical, non-biased way to drive engagement, performance, and a better employee experience
This post first appeared on Peoplelogic.ai’s website here. Peoplelogic.ai are an exhibitor on the HRTech247 Employee Engagement and Startup Tech floors. You can visit their HRTech247 exhibition stand here.