Afifa Siddiqui has worked in the remote space for more than a decade. So, she has some perspective on the challenge facing so much of the working world today.
As CEO of Cronos Consulting Group—whose team of recruitment consultants works in the fields of IT, development, engineering, and analytics—Siddiqui manages remote teams across Canada that handle recruitment and payroll for companies overseas.
She admits that she finds her performance more effective working at home, and her team of 15 people is managing similarly under COVID. But she still has to maintain effective contact with them.
Staying in touch and keeping people accountable are big aspects of her role these days.
She has one call a day per team function, whether it be HR, data, etc. Pre-COVID, she could go from office to office and speak with the team members, to check on them and track their performance. She could see first-hand what they had up on their whiteboards and measure progress on projects and goals.
“Now, it’s really about providing the team with the structure and metrics to do their jobs better remotely.”
While she works at a team level to benchmark performance, she also digs down to the individual level to create metrics for each person. “Everybody I have working for me is smarter than I am,” she says. “But they don’t all have the organizational skills you think they should have, so keeping everyone focused on their metrics is a big part of my job. It’s important even for my senior people.”
She says even the most dedicated people “can get lost in this environment, so even they need help to stay on task sometimes.”