The workplace is changing at a rapid rate and with those changes come new issues to be addressed by leadership within an organization. The role of manager means something different from decades past. Instead of distributing and evaluating tasks and performance, managers are now expected to walk alongside their employees, guiding and leading them along the way. This shift can mean vast improvements for your organization, but what does really that look like?
Flexibility is Key
“Traditional” work is very different from what employee expectations are today. According to research published by Gallup, 52% of employees want flexibility in when they work and 43% of employees work away from their team at least some of the time (flexibility in location). The expectation expands in regard to the actual work. Instead of clearly defined roles, many job seekers desire project-based employment, even within the same company, where they can solve new and interesting problems and find work they truly care about. With flexibility and fluidity defining the when, where, and what of a position, the way organizations manage their team members looks very different going forward.
Enabling this level of flexibility requires a fair amount of autonomy for workers and places a high expectations on managers. When implemented correctly, employee performance and engagement improve, and, in return, employers are gaining loyal and high-performing followers. However, it means a shift in leadership roles and focus. Instead of performance evaluations at the end of a project or calendar year, a manager is better suited to have regular, casual check-ins with direct reports. These check-ins allow for the development of meaningful relationships, an ongoing conversation about employee growth trajectory, and collaborative problem-solving. These one-on-one’s are especially critical for remote workers because of the isolation these employees can feel from their teams. Managers need to know their team members and be able to connect with each in order to coach them toward success.
Expectations are Everything
No matter how desirable your benefits package may appear, one thing that will never change is the ever-present need for clarity of expectations between manager and employee. Why? Because the vast majority of “issues” at work are rooted in unclear and misunderstood interpretations of expectations. In our personal and professional lives, we should all be working toward the following goals with the people in our lives:
- Setting clear priorities
- Defining desired outcomes
- Clarifying timelines
- Establishing boundaries
- Agreeing on communication norms
- Gaining permission for ongoing, two-way feedback
If we embrace the idea that expectations are at the heart of every relationship we have, we’d be on a path to creating harmony, engagement, and enthusiasm for work and our other commitments that could deliver exponentially improved results.
Activate Human Capital Group can help your organization adjust to the flexibility needed in your teams, from general employees through management and leadership teams. Our training and assessments help define the talents you possess and the ways your organization can adjust to meet the needs of your employees. Contact us today for more.