First things first: To those who do not have the option to work remotely because your work is hands on – you who are giving, caring, providing, healing, and feeding – thank you seems inadequate for how you continue to quite literally put your lives on the line for all of us. How we re-recruit and retain you in the future deserves its own space, but read on…
For those who can do their jobs from home, this genie isn’t going back in the bottle, and many leaders are not innately comfortable with this. How will you attract and keep the best and brightest in a changed workplace?
Key Point 1: The fundamental principles of recognition and engagement have not changed.
My RWHC colleague, Cella Janisch-Hartline, brainstormed with me to list best ideas for showing appreciation of remote employees. Most of what we came up with applies no matter where someone works:
Key Point 2: Leaders may need to grapple with the issues of trust and control.
I invited another colleague, AHEC Program Manager, Katie Freeman, to share what has made working remotely work for her and her family since the beginning of the pandemic. While Katie said she was initially concerned about missing out on the social and team aspects of the workplace, remote work has been successful. She directly credits her manager who makes room for releasing control and trusting in her:
“Flexibility in hours: Generally I am at my computer during normal business hours, but I have the freedom to be a bit flexible as needed without feeling like I am going to get in trouble if I don’t immediately respond to a message.”
Leaders: Can you let go of some control?
“Trust: I have heard one of the concerns businesses have about their employees working from home is that with no one watching them, they won’t actually be working. I think it is important for a supervisor to look at the quality of the work produced and not worry so much about how much of the day the employee was in their chair. I feel trusted to complete the tasks of my role, and I think that goes a long way in the satisfaction of my job.”
Leaders: Can you allow yourself to trust people?
More ideas from Katie and Cella:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lead the Way in Five Minutes A Day: Sparking High Performance in Yourself and Your Team, by Jo Anne Preston is currently available for purchase.
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