As we read about companies ( and countries ) encouraging the change to flexible working, I ask myself what is keeping so many of our Maltese businesses from taking the plunge, and I suspect that the culprit is Trust.
It often sounds like we have the need to micromanage our employees and the experience of finding it difficult to trust them is inflicted in our nature. A misguided believe that it makes us better managers or business owners as we think to have full control over what our employees are doing, or more importantly what they not doing when they are sitting right across from our desk. Nothing is further from the truth if you ask me.
Let us be true to one another and discuss the long coffee or cigarette breaks during the office hours, and the never ending updates we have to listen to about our colleagues weekend affairs on a Monday morning, or accept the fact of how true it is that with today’s technology, and social media frenzi there is no telling what your employee is doing and at what time. Unless you plan to actually monitor your office internet and spy on your employee ( which now seems to be legit to do in Europe by the way ).
All we can do is trust them, trust that our employees are happy enough to be committed to our company and business, and trust that they will give us the work productivity and results which we are paying them for.
Trust is important in any relationship and it is no different at work. Here 5 reasons why we should trust our employees:
You’ll have more time to more important stuff. If you place your trust in your employees, you will be able to be more proactive as you dedicate your time and energies to do the more important work: like getting new clients, or strategising how to take your business to the next level.
Trusted employee are more productive. We are learning that many things we do or not do in the way we conduct our business is proving to effect positively or negative the employees productivity. If your employees feel trusted, then they’ll feel less compelled to check with you on progress, thus meaning fewer pauses in productivity while awaiting your approval. Without the constant progress checks, the employee can work uninterrupted. Your employee will work happier and thus complete his project more efficiently when trust is given.
Honesty. Employees who feel trusted, feel respected and when so they are more likely to give you an honest feedback and suggestion on improvements.
Flexibility. As Business owner, Directors or Managers of our business we appreciate when our employees show flexibility, stay late at the office, or finish up an important presentation from home which you know she has done because you received her email at 2AM. Don’t be so quick to reach out for the leave form the next time your employee requests to come in 30 mins late. She may have had to cancel her private appointments the evening before to accommodate the company’s need. An employee will give you much more of her private time, when she feels she is trusted enough to manage her time. Focus on how well the job gets done, not when or where the job gets done.
Your best advocates. Trusted employees are happy employees, and happy employees become brand advocates. Not only can you capitalise your business on your Advocates, but Advocates are also far less likely to look for employment elsewhere. reducing turnover, associated costs and building experience and expertise among your workforce.
Businesses are missing out on huge opportunities and depriving the very same people that could benefit most by not introducing flexible work opportunities.
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Image Copyright: Anna Bizon