our everyday life

How to Manage Self-Monitoring Employees

by Lisa McQuerrey

In many ways, managing self-monitoring employees is easier than overseeing staff who need constant supervision and direction. Self-managed employees are typically responsible, self-sufficient and self-motivating. However, to ensure that work projects stay on track and that goals and objectives are being met, an oversight system should be in place. This ensures that staffers are on track and provided with the resources they need, while keeping you apprised of their progress or difficulties they encounter.

Establish Expectations

Self-monitoring employees may work from home, telecommute or set their own hours. If this is the case, establish a structure for checking in. Request status reports and project updates, or be available for periodic in-person meetings. This creates a level of accountability for self-monitoring employees, and helps you stay on top of their performance.

Create Goals and Measurements

Even self-monitoring employees should have specific work productivity goals and objectives in place. For example, a self-monitoring sales representative should have appointment or sales quotas he's expected to meet. Establish these parameters with the employees to ensure they’re appropriate and attainable. Revisit goals periodically to ensure you aren’t asking too much or too little of your staffers. Coach, rather than direct, to see increased results.

Communicate Regularly

Even if you don't see self-managing employees on a regular basis, establish a schedule for checking in via e-mail, phone or even text messages. This allows you to maintain contact, makes you available if an employee needs managerial support, and allows you to monitor projects and troubleshoot potential issues before they get out of hand.

Conduct Performance Evaluations

Just as you conduct assessments of other staffers, schedule performance evaluations for self-monitoring employees, as well. This allows you to touch base on job expectations, check the status of goal meeting, exchange information, set new goals and objectives and look for ways to improve performance. It also provides an opportunity for employees to give you feedback on your management approach.

Encourage Participation

Self-monitoring employees might not always feel as if they’re part of the workplace team, especially if they work off-site or keep odd hours. Encourage participation in staff events and activities, brainstorming sessions, all-staff meetings and corporate retreats. Create a sense of camaraderie by copying these staffers on group e-mails, and encourage them to participate in internal surveys and focus groups. This will help to create cohesion, and potentially will increase the job satisfaction of self-monitoring employees.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images