Establishing Rules of the Road
With many organizations standing up a remote workforce nearly overnight, the employee experience came as an afterthought. Businesses rushed to implement new processes they hoped would provide certainty in an uncertain time – such as digital happy hours or tips for ergonomic workspaces.
But employee experience is more than the effectiveness of your physical environment or an occasional virtual hang out.
To cultivate positive experiences for a long-term remote workforce, organizations must apply the right mix of flexibility and structure – empowering employees to know what success looks like, while still ensuring they have input in their work lives.
So, what’s a leader to do?
- Foster mutual trust. Goodwill goes a long way. First and foremost, an effective leader conveys that they trust their employees with the newfound freedom WFH offers. By not checking in on employees at every moment, leaders demonstrate trust. They also motivate workers to remain loyal and achieve the right results.
Let productivity prove itself. Many think remote working hinders productivity and performance. They worry about employees working less, attending to personal matters during work hours, or cutting back on communication and collaboration. However, a Stanford study¹ addressed these concerns, revealing that working from home led to a 13% increase in performance, which is nearly equivalent to an extra day of output per week. These results were likely due to employees avoiding long commutes and developing a better work-life rhythm.
So, instead of breathing down employees’ necks, leaders can rely on measurement tools to gather unbiased productivity insights and identify ways to drive even better performance. Employees will feel supported without feeling scrutinized.
- Chart a path for growth. As employees become accustomed to remote work, leaders can empower them with learning and development opportunities that allow for continuous engagement and growth. By making resources accessible, wise leaders help renew employees’ focus on personal growth, inspiring them to get proactive about change. With online learning, remote employees have access to an array of opportunities to develop new skills.