Do you trust your people to be productive while they work from home? Have you put all the correct measures in place to allow your employees to work in a dispersed way?
For many managers and employers unfamiliar with remote working, the transition is proving Challenging, particularly in cases where individuals are underperforming. It would be easy to lay the blame at their virtual feet, but ultimately it falls to the manager to encourage behaviours that promote productivity In order to do this, it’s important to define your principles. What is fundamentally important to your business? What makes you different to everyone else, and what are you trying to achieve?
Next, you will need to look at the behaviours you need to instil in your staff to ensure that these principles filter down to all parts of the business and how it operates. Once you’ve agreed on a principle, give it a title and create a draft definition.
Workshop it with the rest of your employees online. Ask each workshop participant to put forward suggestions for “what good looks like” under that principle. This way you’ll have their buy-in and there can be no confusion over what is expected of them.
When the workshops are completed, mix all the findings and come up with an agreed title and definition and an outline of “what good looks like”. While every organisation will have its own nuances, here is a snapshot of our own three core principles and three core behaviours.
For us, this is about maintaining and promoting social, business, ethical and organisational norms across all of our internal and external business activities. Putting it into practice, we expect all of our employees to maintain confidentiality, meet personal and business commitments and adhere to the company’s policies and procedures.
A firm’s core principles must filter down to all its staff
Trust and truth
Trust and truth are the foundations of remote-working success. Without them, it cannot work, but it’s a two-way thing. We ask that our employees have trust in the company’s actions and be truthful to the company at all times.
We operate an open transparent meritocracy As such, our employees have a duty to the company and to themselves. We believe wholeheartedly that their development, performance and relationships will lead to success for them personally and for the company as a whole. The three behaviours we have defined in order to ensure we uphold these principles are as follows:
Behaviour 1: Flexibility
For us, this is about maintaining effectiveness in varying environments and with regard to differing tasks, responsibilities and people. It is about continually seeking new and better ways of working and becoming more efficient and simplistic. Delivering on this behaviour means:
- applying an agile approach to work at all times;
- adjusting our behaviour to others’ style in order to promote efficiency;
- changing priorities to meet the changing demands of our business and clients;
- adjusting quickly to new responsibilities and tasks.
We’ve defined this as working effectively with others, both inside and outside our team, in order to accomplish organisational goals and to establish and maintain good working relationships. It is also about taking actions that respect the needs and the success of the business and the contribution of others. In practice this means:
- establishing and building good interpersonal relationships, not keeping secrets relating to work and supporting and listening to others;
- asking for help and encouraging involvement, sharing thoughts, feelings and rationale, and exchanging information freely;
- building on and developing our own and others’ ideas, and supporting company decisions when appropriate, even when they are in conflict with our own;
- clarifying situations and facilitating agreement when needed.
Behaviour 3: Initiative and execution
This is about “self-starting” and taking the prompt action required to achieve objectives. It works well when employees:
- take immediate action when they are confronted with a problem;
- implement new ideas and solutions without prompting;
- take action that goes beyond the basic requirements of the job in order to achieve company objectives;
- generate ideas that could improve work processes and practices;
- take advantage of opportunities for self-improvement when presented.
Adam Coleman is chief executive at HRLocker
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