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9 Proven Tips for Keeping Remote & Hybrid Team Members Accountable

No matter how many people you have on staff, there’s only so much you can accomplish in a day, right? Your organization exists to serve your community. 

You and your staff have a mission to reach as many people as you can in your community and, thanks to technology, even beyond your community. 

But as organizations begin to embrace remote or hybrid workforces, we’re often asked how we hold people accountable. How we know that our employees are putting in their time and getting their job done. How we keep them motivated.

The answer is simple: Results. It’s not about hours or processes; it’s about results, whenever and wherever the work happens. 

In fact, organizations of all sizes are continuing to embrace a remote or hybrid workforce. In fact, Gallup's State of the American Workplace reveals that roughly 43 percent of companies allow some employees to work remotely.

Even more interesting, however, is that the survey revealed remote workers tend to log more hours than their in-office counterparts and tend to be slightly more engaged. 

Say what?! JACKPOT.

But if you're managing a remote or hybrid team, how can you really be sure everyone is on task, staying productive, and collaborating appropriately? 

There are countless online tools that can help you keep your team humming along every day but if you’re wondering how to hold a remote or hybrid team accountable, here are nine steps and considerations:

Fill Gaps With Trust

There is one thing – one oft-overlooked and neglected little thing – that, if cultivated and nurtured properly, can change the course of your organization. Think you know what it is?

Here’s a hint: It’s not synergy. It’s not culture. It’s not the size of your team. It’s not the number of projects you are doing.

It’s trust. All of the aforementioned things are decidedly and categorically critical, and the foosball table is just awesome – don’t get us wrong – but all of those can’t exist without trust. Trust and just about every other mission-critical element of your organization’s success are mutually inclusive; they simply cannot exist without trust.

To earn, build and compound trust with your employees, start by asking yourself the following questions. If you answer ‘no,’ then consider those action items to improve upon.

    • Do you treat employees like organization partners? If not, start by asking for their input – and listen.
    • Are you true to your word? if not, make sure that if you say you'll do something that you actually do it.
    • Are you proactive in delivering your contributions? If not, start anticipating your responsibilities that impact how others do their jobs and deliver on them – without being asked or hunted down.
    • Do you ask for help? If not, consider asking as needed to let your employees know that you value how their role and input contribute to the success of the organization.

Provide Clarity

More is more when it comes to providing clarity for expectations and directions. It also opens the door for conversations, coaching opportunities, and constructive feedback. This is the time to ask questions, talk through priorities, and make sure that your vision is shared often.

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”
    • Be clear on what the mission is
    • Be clear about what the needs are for the ministry or outreach
    • Be clear what the wins are for the job

Inspect What You Expect

You have to measure. You have to have some way of tracking the functions of that job and whether your expectations are being met – or not.

    • Establish, communicate and maintain processes to increase transparency and accountability
      • Are you trying to achieve a certain result?
      • Are you trying to implement a new process?
      • Are you trying to create new habits?
    • Communicate if there are gaps
    • If people fall short, ask yourself:
      • Was the training not good enough in the beginning?
      • Was the role too big for what you hired the person to do?

Know Your Why

You need to be able to answer the following: Why do you really need to know everyone is on task, staying productive, and collaborating appropriately?

Is it to ...

    • Keep an eye on employee productivity?
    • Monitor performance?
    • Increase billing?

Then, determine which tools, products and policies will help you uncover those KPIs.


Research software and determine if it has the necessary features to accurately monitor those areas you identified above, such as …

    • URL and application monitoring
    • Activity tracking
    • Basic time-tracking features

Roll Out

Introduce the policy to your staff. When doing this, it is best to frame the introduction of remote staff monitoring as a positive initiative. Explain about how …

    • It will empower individuals to be more accountable
    • Allow objects to be done more efficiently
    • It will promote a larger impact for the team and community

Curate Accountability

Create a culture of accountability, leading by example.

    • Share your activities and calendars with your remote or hybrid employees
    • Use project management tools like Asana or Trello so everyone can see progress ahead of deadlines
    • Utilize PTO calendars to show when the team is away from the office
    • Encourage the sharing of timesheets among your remote or hybrid teams to help increase employee motivation
    • Encourage employees to individually benchmark their performance, efficiency, and productivity as compared to everyone else


In a ‘push-button-get-banana’ world, people need to know not only the ‘why’ behind what they’ve been tasked to do, but also the ‘what’ to answer, ‘What’s in it for me?’

    • Celebrate the impacts
    • Maintain flexibility on the team


With so many apps, sites and resources for just about anything, it’s impossible to create a comprehensive and complete list with all the ‘best’ – but here are some resources to keep everyone on task, productive, and collaborating appropriately.

    • Digital File Manager. For us, we use Google Drive. But wherever you keep your documents, it needs to be something to which everyone has access.
    • Web Conferencing. Next, you'll need a standard web conferencing tool. At BELAY, we use Zoom – and we highly recommend it. There's also Google Hangouts if you're a Gmail user, and tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx.
    • Instant Messaging. Sometimes, you just have a real quick question and you don't want to flood someone's inbox.
    • Project Management. This is how you get projects and tasks managed for a group of individuals or a team. We recommend tools like Asana, Basecamp, Trello – but there are so many.
    • Cybersecurity. There are tools to help with security and password protection – like LastPass – to make sure that people have secure access to all the tools that you're using.


Need some more resources on managing remote and hybrid teams? We’ve been at it for a while, and are happy to help guide you through it.

Here are some other articles you may be interested in.

Cultivating Culture In A Remote

7 Effective Delegation Tips for Virtual Teams

Best Technology Tips for Virtual Teams

Managing Virtual Teams: How to Lead Remotely

Do More With Less: How Fractional Hybrid Workforces Can Benefit Churches