In many organizations, there seems to be a disconnect between employees and upper management, especially those working in remote environments. Studies from Citrix and Microsoft both found that while workers feel that they are performing well in a hybrid or remote capacity, employers are not so sure. In fact, 85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work decreased their confidence in employee productivity.
These perceptions are likely contributors to the “return to the office” movement and the rollback of some of the flexible schedules that many people have grown used to over the past three years. There are certainly good reasons to have in-person time together, and productivity is not necessarily one of them.
Research has shown that efficiency increases in remote conditions, so if output is an employer’s top concern, they should think twice before bringing everyone back to the office. For leaders that want to see performance soar, they will need to shift their focus from literally seeing employees, and instead, set their sights on seven actions that will motivate and inspire staff.
#1 – Lead with Purpose
People who are engaged in meaningful work tend to see improved outcomes (and well-being). Managers can promote a sense of purpose by painting the picture of an energizing vision as well as making connections between their employees’ day-to-day responsibilities and the resulting impact on the big picture and practical outcomes. It can be even more meaningful when leaders speak to the interests of each individual contributor.
#2 – Amplify Alignment
Effective teams have one thing in common – all of their members are working toward the same objective(s). It’s highly likely that they also agree on a common set of norms. Investing time upfront to ensure that staff clearly understand their goals and roles, and how they will interact with one another to achieve their targets, empowers personnel to be industrious no matter where they are located. Be sure to provide them with the resources to check in periodically, so you can help them make necessary adjustments along the way.
#3 – Empower with Responsibility
Often, efficiency is reduced if decision-making power is unclear or only held by one person (usually the manager). Be transparent about the authority teammates have over their functions and in making decisions. While not every choice has to be left to individual staff to drive productivity, it’s important to provide some autonomy and create clear pathways to help employees move forward without a lot of bureaucracy and red tape.
#4 – Encourage Collaboration
Remote or hybrid work does not need to happen in a vacuum. It can still be a collaborative effort, and teams who leverage their collective cognitive diversity can also improve quality and efficiency. Make sure that groups have the proper communication channels in place to connect, coordinate and solicit each other’s thoughts, feedback and opinions. For more tips on how to promote collaboration, explore our eBook!
#5 – Value Diverse Working Styles
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach that will suit every employee. Each person will have their own interests when it comes to hours and workspaces, among other things. While not every option may be able to be accommodated (for example, a night owl may still need to show up to a morning all-hands meeting), finding ways to allow for some control over one’s work life empowers people to execute their tasks and responsibilities to the best of their abilities. If a manager has autonomy, they can build goodwill by giving the same space and grace to their direct reports.
#6 – Show Appreciation
69% of employees say that they perform better if they receive timely recognition, and they are 4.6 times more likely to deliver their best work when they feel their perspective matters. Thank staff members as well as celebrate their achievements and impact to inspire greater motivation and effectiveness.
#7 – Prioritize Outputs, Not Inputs
Last and certainly not least, it’s important that supervisors reframe their focus to prioritize the outcomes that they want and/or need to see from their team members. Rather than worry about who is where and when, employers will be better equipped to boost efficiency if they assess performance based on the actual outputs of their staff. By examining opportunities for improvement as well as areas of success, managers can coach their direct reports and amplify achievement.
Each of the elements listed above can stimulate a productive culture, and collectively, they also inspire something else: employee engagement. People who know that they are valued, trusted members of an organization will be motivated and loyal, which in turn encourages them to operate industriously. In effect, employers who focus less on perceived barriers like office hours or locations and more on the mindsets and systems that truly fuel efficacy can create a self-sustaining flywheel where performance generates even greater accomplishments.
Curious to see how Emergenetics® helps employees use their strengths to drive organizational success? Explore our website or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today!Print This Post