Uniting team members in different geographic locations is one of a series of short blogs in response to questions asked at the seminar on performance management run by TimelessTime at the Let’s Do Business show in Hastings.
This one is a little bit outside the scope of performance management since it nudges into other areas of management practice and human resource management. Nonetheless there are recognised performance issues here.
The first thing is that the employee must identify with the firm and feel motivated to put the necessary effort in to achieve performance. Identity in an accountants’ firm is not too difficult to achieve for the accountants themselves. They will draw identity from their profession and from the progression that they can achieve through promotion in the firm. The ultimate of course is to achieve partner status. If such a professional services firm is well established and has a good reputation as an employer in the area then professional status and status in the company will work well together.
Problems do exist however for support staff who perhaps don’t have the same relationship with their careers. The important thing here is to be sure that they have management support. Probably the best way to do this across different locations is to be sure to have a team leader or senior staff member located locally. That senior staff member can then espouse the values of the company and help translate identity for more junior staff.
Turning to performance management for staff in different geographic locations, one might look at team oriented objectives centred on that local office. A typical example would be to grow the fee earning capability of that office rather than of any one individual. This allows goal setting to be done per office, allowing office performance to be reported and celebrated at whole-company team briefs.