The Way Forward
Contemporary business needs to leave behind flavor-of-the-month programs that promise to improve worker motivation like ‘open workspaces’ and the ‘four-day workweek’. ROWE™️ is adaptive change and requires a mindset shift that when infused into the organization’s cultural DNA, positively affects business, people and community. And employees are treated like adults, not a bunch of overgrown children (which is quite refreshing).
What does it mean to shift your mindset? Or unlearn your beliefs about work? Jody Thompson was recently interviewed by Alison Kaplan of Twin Cities Business and she provided insight to these questions.
Change the language. Don’t label employees “work from home” or “teleworker”—you don’t label them in the office, Thompson points out. “People are working. How do you know that? When you talk to them, you talk about the actual work.”
Ask what employees need from you right now. “When you ask that question, people take a step back. They’re used to being told what to do and it boxes people in.”
Communicate the goals. “If you are in a ROWE, not physically seeing people in the office during ‘standard business hours’ is not a sign of low engagement, insubordination, or lack of responsibility. Rather, if individuals and teams are clear on the results, then they can choose the most effective and efficient means to achieve measurable outcomes. Let your employees know what is needed and when so they can work efficiently and effectively.
Hold people accountable, regularly. “Performance conversations are not isolated events that should only occur once or twice a year. In a ROWE, open communication about goals and performance intrinsically happens weekly or monthly, as employees and teams become more efficient and find new and better ways of working together."
View your employees as your trusted partners. “Your employees are being compensated in exchange for achieving the measurable results that both parties agree to. The vast majority of employees want to be as successful as they can in their job, and will have the best chance of success if results and communications are clear. It’s also quite clarifying: if the results are not being met, are they really the right person for the job?”