NextGen’s Mixed Local and Remote Staff: How They Are Evaluated and Motivated

NextGen Gaming Studios is an exciting up-and-coming studio and its latest action/horror game, Something In The Dark, has been gaining widespread recognition. The game was recently approved for sale on the Steam market, and was developed by an expert team comprising of employees based both in-house and remotely.

At our meeting, we discussed the strategies and techniques necessary for managing and motivating the NextGen team with Kody Stone, the owner and lead programmer of the company. We also discussed methods for evaluating the productivity of remote developers.

When the Next Generation of Workers Meets Their Remote Colleagues

The organisation that created Something in the Dark originally began in one location but has since broadened its reach to collaborate with individuals from around the globe. At present, only four of the company’s twenty-three staff members are based in the region.

NextGen is a great example of a studio that favours simplicity; they utilise the well-known gaming chat service Discord as their primary method of internal communication. Discord is frequently compared to Slack; however, its free-of-charge structure and broader array of features make it a more suitable selection for online gaming communities.

At the daily NextGen group meeting, Cory highlighted the importance of familiarising ourselves with the project management procedure, as well as the need for flexibility in scheduling, considering that some of our team members work part-time. To facilitate our communication, we utilise the voice chat service Discord, with video capabilities in the pipeline. The aim of the meeting is to ensure that each team member is up to date and on the same page.

Kody uses one-on-one meetings if he thinks a team member may benefit from some extra guidance.

Modifying How We Keep Tabs on Projects and Assess Performance

The team’s Trello board provides a comprehensive overview of the project and is updated in real time. Kody believes that benchmarking their work against industry standards is the best way to evaluate it, and therefore he strives to ensure that their output is regularly reviewed by industry experts to assess the quality. As Kody states:

In order to gain an insight into the opinions of our customers, we make use of a Focus Group. This is a selected group of our customer base who are chosen to receive our products, stories, artwork, and games at an earlier stage in the development process.

With remote employees often feeling isolated, it was encouraging to observe initial enthusiasm from colleagues, and this proved to be more effective than traditional methods of team motivation. This has enabled them to feel less alone in their endeavours, as they have been receiving positive feedback throughout the process.

Kody is also unwavering in his dedication to his staff members’ personal lives outside of the office.

At our company, we strive to create a nurturing and supportive atmosphere that encourages our employees to explore their creative and imaginative endeavours. We are committed to providing our staff members who create content for platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, or who perform music for viewers, with our full support. This encourages them to be even more enthusiastic and eager to assist you with your project.

When Working from Home Doesn’t Work Out

NextGen learned the hard way that not all members of the team were cut out for working remotely after the debut of their game.

As an illustration, following a recommendation from a colleague, we introduced a candidate with an impressive portfolio. Unfortunately, over the course of the following three months, they failed to meet any of the milestones that had been set and submitted very little in the way of work.

According to Kody, the employee’s lack of the self-motivation that is required of an effective remote worker was the root of the issue.

Given that he was not taking initiative or leading the team, it was clear that he had a lack of motivation beyond monetary compensation. I gave him an opportunity and tried to engage him in dialogue, however, he simply ignored me. As a result, he was removed from the team.

Kody proceeded to explain that those who are tardy in responding to requests, or who fail to fulfil their commitments, are treated with kindness but with firmness. If employees are unresponsive to requests or do not complete tasks, they may receive up to three warnings from senior management. If the employee does not improve their performance following these warnings, the senior management team will arrange an individual meeting with the employee to discuss the particular issues and, if this fails to resolve the problems, the termination forms will be issued.

The excellent news is that you can reap all the advantages of NextGen Gaming’s virtual team without any of the teething issues that may have been encountered during the initial setup process. Works has a great deal of experience in sourcing highly skilled professionals who are well-practised in working in virtual teams and autonomously.

Do not wait any longer to expand your local team with our help by contacting us immediately.

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