One of the common barriers to effective remote work implementation is a very real concern about whether staff can be trusted. This is the experience of organisations worldwide who use ‘anywhere working’ is surprising: trust breeds trust.
Instead of focusing on greater control, leaders and managers of remote teams should focus on clarifying employees’ work outcomes; clarifying quality standards to be achieved and equipping their staff. Expected outcomes are clearly described and agreed, as a point of reference for both manager and employee. How would your staff respond to an approach that trusts them to get the job done?
Experience shows that this approach leads to staff who are more trustworthy. An important support is established by clearly described work outcomes, which provide the basis for conversations about performance, should they be needed. Strong leadership and management support are important complements to the approach.
The manager’s role is to ensure that your organisation’s strategic direction and corporate plans are distilled into a clearly defined set of work outcomes for each role being managed.
These need to be discussed with staff and agreed, so that your team members have an understanding of the expectations of their role. Spend more time establishing that agreed understanding and you will find that staff respond to the respect they receive from you – an expectation that they are capable.
Micromanagement is death to trust, so avoid it like the plague. However, even trust fails if staff aren’t fully equipped to do the work expected of their role – technology, training and strong recruitment processes are all important. Be sure that your senior management are aware of these requirements that help to ensure your staff can work effectively remotely.