Myth #1 - ROWE is delegation
In fact, ROWE is the very opposite of delegation. The traditional work environment operates under a “command and control” management style, which ROWE advocates against. In a ROWE, manager (Results Coach) and employee clearly define outcomes and metrics. That’s autonomy. Holding the belief “the manager should always delegate...how those objectives are met” is authoritarian and so 1950’s! Creating opportunities for employees to contribute in all areas of business is what fosters relationships. Giving employees freedom to decide for themselves how, when, and where the work gets done is grounded in trust. As a result of having clear measures in place and the employee and manager having ongoing, objective performance conversations, accountability is strengthened.
The beauty of a ROWE is that it’s 100% accountability and 100% autonomy. No results? No job. Not ‘no results? Let’s tell everybody how to work and live!
Myth #2 - If you can see people at the office, you know they’re working!
The idea is that by gathering everyone together for a big feel-good huddle in the office and getting “all hands on deck,” you will turn the ship around. We have no problem with people working at the office and collaborating face-to-face. But making it mandatory and not trusting employees to make common sense decisions about where and when they get the work done….Yea, we do have a problem with that. The belief people have about communication and collaboration is can’t really be done without a sit-down meeting. Um, have you heard of the interweb? Or a phone? Would space travel exist under this belief? Eeek!!!!! In fact, when leadership commands ‘all hands on deck’ they’re really saying ‘we don’t know how to get everyone on point’. Even worse, we don’t trust you to get the work done unless we can see you.
A Harvard study debunked the benefit of office face time myth.
ROWE means employees can meet in person when it’s necessary to achieve agreed-upon results, because ROWE is not a Remote Only Work Environment = be where you need to be, when you need to be there in order to achieve results.
Myth #3 - ROWE is a one-size-fits-all program
ROWE is a shift away from office politics and rules, and a focus on what really matters: the work. It requires a mind shift - to understand and move beyond roadblocks such as beliefs, judgments, and time. It is NOT technical change. It is adaptive change. It flips the script from managing the people to managing the work.
What is one-size-fits-all is the expectation that everyone is focused on and accountable to results. Period.