The Ultimate Remote Work Policy (In 3 Words)
With corona virus hitting the world, it seems impossible to open a browser or app without remote work tips being shoved down your throat. From the random corners of the internet all kinds of self-proclaimed experts share 'ideas' as if they were rocket science.
Three little words
Screw the so-called tips. The one thing you need to do well as an organization is summed up in policy that looks like this: "We trust you."
We trust you. That's all. There's nothing more to it. Support your staff in whatever it is they need and stop treating them like kids.
Remote micromanagement at work
If you're looking for a great example of what trust does not look like, here's inspiration from the Wall Street Journal...
And this is a company with highly educated journalists covering the world's most complex topics? Asking staff to let their manager know when they are about to take a dump?
The Ultimate Remote Work Policy (In 3 Words)
It becomes painfully clear we have a long way to go to turn organizations into liberated, engaging, and inspiring workplaces!
There is another approach
For positive inspiration, it's always a good idea to look at the guys and girls at Basecamp. Here's a proper approach to a crisis like this:
In other words: "We trust you".
Nothing reveals character like a crisis. As many organizations are in the midst of crisis right now, what examples (good and bad) have you come across?
Drop them in the comments below.
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great extracts to share with our clients - for them to feel what will boost people and their productivity and creativity (and continue business as usual as much as possible with kids at home), and what will hijack their amygdala and possibly lead to disengagement/working out of obligation(or not).
One thing I'd like to add - if for some reason work slows down in your industry or company, use the time to learn, learn, learn - so much time for learning is a blessing, and afterwards we will all be in a position to thrive more than ever before.
Happy retreating into your homes and families - keep sharing what beautiful things happen there! What has become possible from working at home?
I TRUST ME
Finally, we are almost all in a situation where proven methods no longer work. Where routine in the quick assessment of people based on behavioural observations no longer works. In remote mode we can no longer observe the employees directly, we don't know what they are doing exactly, we now suspect a lot based on the images we have collected in the "normal working world". These pictures are no longer current, we do not have new ones. We are groping in the dark. We no longer understand the reactions of the employees, we can no longer read them with the "old" parameters. Why?
Because in "crisis mode" people listen more and more to their intrinsic needs, because they act more and more in their "natural way". Because they ask themselves why, because they observe the environment closely and immediately question it with the inner filter for credibility. Who really helps, who is with me, who protects me, who is serious, who appreciates me, who can I trust. Yes, we are more vulnerable now than in business, we have come to the essence of our emotional DNA. Instinct, emotion, intrinsic purpose. On this level we are ALONE: we are with US. What each of us feels, feels, has planned, tried, experimented is unique and deeply connected to our individual values. If the leader cannot pick us up right here, he will lose his credibility. Then he will lose our willingness to perform. Then we switch to pull-through. With immense damage for us, the team, the family, the organization.
Only when I understand and accept this inner level Only when I accept that every employee experiences the situation differently. Only when I accept that many experience the situation quite differently than I do. Only then can I go from the I to the WE.
WE TRUST YOU
Therefore, dear PIM, your sentence WE TRUST YOU is so deep and important! Thank you for it.
There is an individual map from the research of Prof. Dr. Steven Reiss to commit yourself as a leader, especially now in remote mode, with the emotional situation of our employees, our team. A simple online questionnaire in everyday language gives us the chance to assess what is going on in our employees individually now. In his research he has found out that we all strive for 16 intrinsic motives. That is universally true. But what is much more important: each of us into a very individual intensity. The stronger the intensity, the stronger the emotions, the stronger the desire, the goal. For some the avoidance, for others the desire for more. This is exactly what our employees experience in remote mode. An emotional charge. For some, the crisis is a signal for pain and therefore avoidance. For others it is a signal of joy and therefore allowing. Leadership in a crisis must move to the emotional level before it gives rational answers. If we are designed for this level, then ONE SIZE FIT ALL is finally extinct. People are unique and need their own ecological niche to flourish. To find this niche, to accept, to promote, to develop is lived leadership: WE TRUST YOU! AS YOU ARE!
I do a lot of soft skill training Another good resource is mindtools.com, lots of FREE bite-sized content and relatively cheap premium content that your company would probably pay for if you ask.
For remote working use search words “remote” and “virtual” there,, and you can see specifically what skills will be most useful now. Happy life-long learning!
How are work outcomes affected by the treatment of those who do it? I have been exploring this question for ~50 years. In that time, one comment stuck with me more than any other. It was made in 1998 when I interviewed a group of men in Indianapolis who had redesigned most of the US city’s waste collection and disposal operations. “We are no longer expected to park our brains at the door when we come to work.”
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