How To Be OK About Your Team Working Flexibly!

Apparently there is a Great Resignation going on – a global survey by Microsoft recently finding that 41% of people are considering resigning or changing professions. Whether it’s the pandemic encouraging people to rethink priorities or just the usual January ‘hangover’ driving change, something is definitely afoot.

We know that the millennial generation is prioritising its wellbeing like no other group before but apparently only 38% of Companies have redesigned their structures and processes to make themselves more attractive  in the new hybrid working world. “I want everyone back in the office” is just not going to fly with people as it did before so we are going to have to reinvent the approach to work – and be happy and comfortable doing so!

Let’s face it: There are bosses out there thinking “I don’t trust that the work will get done”, ‘”Will they be on Netflix all day” etc. What they had to accept because of Government restrictions will no longer apply soon – so how do we truly be ok in this ‘new world’ with flexible working, hybrid working and the like? For me its about one word: Results (or perhaps even Outcomes if you like)

Over the years many blogs and commentators have encouraged bosses to 'trust homeworkers and manage the results/outcomesrather than the hours they are working'. But if this is so easy why weren't we letting people work from home before now? The brutal truth is that if we see people aren’t doing stuff, have run out of work etc in the office then we give them something else to do! Difficult to manage activity and stuff in this way when you can’t see people. But if we are really clear on results expected then it is easier to think ‘what do I expect as a result of 40 hours of activity’.

So, working from home can be more effective when managing Results - but only if we know what they are! Let's test this a bit - if these outcomes are so easy to identify and manage then which of these meet the definition of a good one?:

  • Run ten workshops
  • Produce documentation
  • Put together and present an action plan
  • Implement a new system
  • Update content on the website

The answer - none of them, even though you may have thought one or two do. Results we expect are the things that then get us a "well-done". What if I did these five tasks horrendously and badly! You wouldn't call that a good result would you? So I need to go further then just managing what are currently worded as ACTIVITIES.

How about: Put together and present an action plan.... that is signed off/agreed by others with no more than a couple of amendments by Aug 31st? That sounds more like a well-done result, doesn't it?

Talking expectations with people has to be about results and outcomes if true flexible working is to be long-term successful and for everyone to fine with it. Who knows, you may even keep people longer!

Managing Performance for Overnight Results - A different approach to objective setting and identifying/measuring results - check out our BROCHURE