Some attribute it to the culture of presenteeism, and others to the lack of resources, but the truth is that teleworking is a much more holistic challenge for companies that are pushed towards it.
From just 5% to more than 30% of employees working remotely after the tipping point of the pandemic. Eurofond data supports those who believe that this productive organization will lead to a new way of understanding corporate culture.
And that is where the role of the executive or manager will have supreme importance. Without eye contact with employees or the possibility of exercising control through meetings, leadership will have to be viewed from another perspective.
Start from within
To believe that digital tools designed for remote performance are accompanied by solutions in terms of management is a mistake.
Neither calendars nor video calls nor the most visual diagrams allow us to address the issue of cohesion and the management of professional intangibles.
According to a study by COGITI and the General Council of Economists, 40% of the companies that have implemented teleworking after the start of the pandemic are committed to continuing to maintain the formula in the future.
For all of them, the question of leadership will transcend the management of Microsoft Teams, Slack, or any other popularized software during the most intense months of confinement.
And it is that, as it happens with many other administrative fronts, the change and the adaptation must come from the own managers of the companies. Believing otherwise is a complete mistake.
” Working remotely involves much more than a simple change in the workspace “, they explain from Barna Consulting Group. ” The main objective is to improve employee satisfaction and productivity .”
The manager has cultivated leadership by seeing the situation as an opportunity to save costs, yes, but also to develop new skills in his team. In this way, aspects such as:
- The degree of schedule flexibility
- The period of application of teleworking
- Internal communication between equal and different hierarchical levels
- Work methodologies
- The evaluation systems
- The most optimal tools (not only in terms of productivity)
It is therefore not a matter of trying to maintain business volume, but of finding the best strategy to ensure that employees continue to be as satisfied at home as they are at the office.
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Government cooperation and agreement
If communication with employees is vital during day-to-day work at the office, telecommuting negotiation is even more important.
To the uncertainty and possible complaints from workers with incompatibilities derived from their private life, the leader must respond with conciliation and agreement. That is, with average terms capable of satisfying all parties.
For Barna, this consists of laying the foundations for a collective agreement that takes into account both the needs of the team and the individual needs of each employee. It is in this document where the pillars of the new performance system must be recorded.
Of course, it is not enough to stick to the bureaucracy. The leader in charge of this process has to strengthen his empathy and trust towards subordinates. Only in this way will internal communication be effective and the work guides taken advantage of.
The enemy to avoid in leadership: micromanaging
Being overly effusive or committed can lead to an incredibly common mistake: micromanaging. That is, not knowing how to correctly identify the moment or the way to communicate.
Although it seems illogical, ” monitoring employees too closely, communicating with them constantly and ineffectively, or requesting updates much more frequently than usual, ” can be counterproductive, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
Instead of focusing on what is important, work, employees will end up dedicating their efforts to attend to communications and how their performance is perceived by the top management.
All of this can lead to a crisis of confidence, and ultimately, a decline in productivity. How can the manager avoid it?
Fleeing micromanaging does not mean disengaging The leader’s goal should be active listening; the facilitation of relevant channels and the creation of a familiar environment.
If the employee feels comfortable, the observation and questions will be more aligned with the real concerns of the team. Thus, the person in charge will be in a position to help constructively to:
- Keep the team motivated
- Consider new ideas or methodological alternatives
- Solve interpersonal conflicts
- Maintain the commitment of the workers
- Facilitate decision-making
Also Read: COVID Has Accelerated The Digital Transformation Of Companies
Goals with autonomy
Empathy and trust. Around these two qualities, the manager will be able to exercise leadership by establishing the objectives that the company needs to achieve.
Of course, the numbers will no longer be the only guide to evaluate the traditional KPIs of the business. These will only be a consequence of a healthy relationship with each of the workers.
And for this, they must be able to operate with the sufficient autonomy that characterizes teleworking. ” Directors and managers must be able to know, understand and normalize these situations and the new workspaces of their employees .”
Always contemplating maintaining the conciliatory position, the management indicators may be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. Principles included in the recommended SMART methodology.
From that point on, measuring employee performance will be as simple as observing whether the objectives are met within the deadlines agreed with those involved.
It is not an easy task, and it requires qualified and solvent leaders; people capable of not generating contradictions between what they do and what they say.