According to a workplace study by Gallup, the U.S. saw its first major decline in employee in a decade — dropping from 36% engaged employees in 2020 to to 32% in 2022. we all know that employees who aren’t engaged tend to be less productive and more likely to leave the company for greener pastures. If we want companies to get the most out of remote working, we need leaders who are willing to rethink how they manage their teams by focusing on helping them find meaning in their work through short and long-term projects that connect people across functions and business units. This will increase engagement, productivity and collaboration as well as innovation within an organization which will ultimately drive better results for corporate America.
The primary reason why remote working isn’t creating the results that corporate America is expecting isn’t that employees are ineffective at managing their own time, it’s that managers aren’t leading their employees in a way that connects the corporate strategy to employees roles and responsibility in a manner that stimulates meaning and purpose.
Leadership and management are not the same thing
Management is very different from leadership. Leadership requires a different kind of mindset, and execution: it requires you to get out in front and inspire people to do things that are hard but necessary—things like changing how your team works or challenging complacency in an organization. Leadership is about inspiring action and inspiring people to do things they didn’t think they could, or didn’t think they wanted to.
- A MANAGER’S primary focus is to ensure that work gets done leveraging their people as resources that their company can expend to achieve strategic outcomes
- LEADERS know that their people are knowledge workers that will generate greater value when the company invests in their employees individual success, and development on a regular basis
- MANAGERS often withhold training and career development out of fear that their employees will leave the company and take that knowledge with them
- LEADERS know that if their employees remain untrained, the pool of talent density stagnates, and innovation, and customer satisfaction will suffer
- A great leader knows that their employees will eventually move on, but that creating a healthy culture of leadership, increases engagement, stimulates retention and reduce churn.
Leaders focus on the things that employees value most.
- Focusing on employees’ value drivers such as quality of work-life balance, professional development, and creating opportunities for advancement.
- Ensuring that managers are invested in the success of their employees, providing training, mentoring and psychological safety.
- Creating an environment where employees feel connected to their company’s mission and goals, which will help them grow as individuals and professionals.
Managers must learn how to better connect their employees to the corporate mission, vision, and strategy daily.
As a manager, you must help employees understand how their role and responsibilities connect with the corporate strategy. You must also help them to see how their individual achievements are connected to that same strategy. Your job is not just about getting work done, it’s also about helping people understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Employee engagement is the key to productivity. If you want your employees to be engaged, they need to know their work matters. This means managers need to connect corporate strategy to employee roles and responsibilities in a way that helps them understand the purpose of their work and its impact on the organization as a whole. To achieve this Managers must create a culture of trust, transparency and inclusivity. Managers who are transparent about company goals and objectives help foster meaningful relationships between themselves, their teams, and other business leaders within the organization as well as outside of it (for example: vendors).
Leaders must coach their team members on how to advance their careers in meaningful ways by engaging them on their career aspirations and goals.
Your job as a leader is to make your team stronger by helping them grow. This means that you need to understand what it means for your people to grow, and then help them achieve their career aspirations and goals.
Leaders must coach their team members on how to advance their careers in meaningful ways by engaging them on their career aspirations and goals. Coaching can be a daily activity to be incorporated into your routine as a leader. It’s imperative to take an active interest in the career development of your team members; it will strengthen both sides of the relationship between you and your employees. As part of this process, set up regular times to meet with each employee to discuss his or her plans for professional growth.
Managers need to help employees find meaning in their work through short and long-term projects.
People don’t always like their jobs. Even if they do like what they do, it’s not uncommon for employees to get bored or frustrated when their work doesn’t have a clear purpose. This is especially true for those who are just getting started in their careers: many new workers lack both experience and perspective on how to approach their jobs effectively. However, if your team members can find meaning in their work through short-term projects and long-term goals, then they’ll be more engaged with what they’re doing each day—and that means better results for everyone involved!
As a manager, you can help your employees achieve this level of engagement by enabling them to self select work that they connect with as well as having meaningful impact on the organization as well. The more tasks you assign to an employee, especially if the tasks are disconnected from meaning, repetitive and mundane, the less engaged they’ll feel and the more likely they are to look for another job.
A good rule of thumb is that if someone is doing something only because it’s their job and not because they enjoy it or want to do it, then there needs to be some sort of change in order for that person to keep working with you.
Managers must help employees achieve the right balance between work and life, including defining a flexible work schedule that provides personal time off and work from home flexibility.
It’s important for managers to trust employees and give them the freedom to manage their own work day. When managers trust their employees to self manage their time, employee motivation is improved and performance is increased. The more opportunities managers can provide for employees to make decisions about how they spend their time, the happier and more productive they will be.
When given the autonomy to self-manage, employees are encouraged to take on new challenges, which can help improve performance and retention.It is a win-win situation for both the employees and the company. Employees are motivated to perform better, they are more satisfied with their work environment, they stay longer in their jobs and they report higher levels of wellbeing.
Leaders must create a collaborative environment where employees feel they are part of something special by connecting people across functions, business units, or departments on important projects or initiatives. This will increase engagement, productivity, collaboration and innovation.
Collaboration is important for any business. Collaborating with other divisions in your company allows you to share information and ideas, which helps develop solutions for problems. Collaboration also allows employees to feel like they are part of something special: working towards a goal together with others within their organization who are achieving the strategic vision of the company.
- Employees need to feel that they participate in something more than simply their own role on an assembly line or in a specific department.
- Employees will not be motivated unless they feel they are part of something bigger than themselves, instead feeling and behaving withdraw. (quiet quitting)
- If your team members are disconnected from the larger purpose, then it is difficult for them to make meaningful progress toward goals and objectives.
Why do we care about this? Because research shows that when people enjoy working together both individually AND collaboratively then they will go above & beyond just doing things right; instead being motivated by something greater than just getting through each day’s tasks.
The key to unlocking remote working productivity is providing employees with more meaningfulness in their jobs, better alignment with the corporate strategy and increased coaching and development on their career path.
- The key to unlocking remote working productivity is providing employees with more meaningfulness in their jobs, better alignment with the corporate strategy and increased coaching and development on their career path.
- Focusing on the things your employees value most and providing them the support and autonomy they need to solve complex problems will ensure they have what they need to get the job done
- Investing in your employees as knowledge workers and working with them to improve their skills, capabilities and career trajectory will ensure that your company’s talent density remains high
- The most important thing you can do for your remote employees is to help them find meaning in their work.
Now that you have all of the research and data on what makes remote workers more productive, it’s time to start putting this knowledge into practice.