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It seems that most countries are learning to live with COVID, with hospitalisation rates from the virus trending down. And while there is a move back to offices following the end of lockdown restrictions around the world and business volumes continuing to pick up, a level of remote working seems to be with us to stay.

So, just as sailors tack to reach their destination, so business leaders need to ensure that staff remain efficient and effective – both doing things right and doing the right things – in this new working world, willing to makes the best use of conditions to reach their goals.

Some concerning data from Gallup’s 2020 worldwide workplace showed 7 in10 are people struggling or suffering in their lives, 78% of the working population not engaged in their work and 28% of US employees experience burnout very often or always. The survey also showed that remote workers suffer significantly more worry and stress than on-site ones.

And the link between happy and engaged staff, customer satisfaction and productivity is clear, with 80% of company output from 20% of staff, as this HBR article showed, and a survey across 14500 American workers showing just 15% said they were working at full potential.

Imagine the productivity if 30% of your staff were fully engaged…

A Forbes article looked at how the key factors in employee engagement are a sense of psychological ownership in the business (physical stock ownership alone has little or no effect) and this, in turn, is driven by people have a sense of autonomy and task identity / ownership in their work environment, with the most dramatic increase in sense of ownership coming from the most disaffected when they felt greater psychological ownership.

So, what are the key points to instilling a sense of psychological ownership in the team?

There are many acronyms, but I’ve tried to combine and summarise these into a single one: TACK.*

 

Trust – the team!

The first key point is about giving people space to do their jobs and trusting them to do their best. It’s about not trying to micromanage nor tell them in detail what you expect them to do but treating them as you would want to be treated in a similar situation. And bear in mind that a working model where people operate remotely for much, or all, of the time makes trust even more important.

 

Accountability – throughout.

A culture of accountability from top to bottom of the organisation is key, as I’ve written about previously (see some of the links below). A culture where people are held accountable by giving them the authority to perform their roles. And it has to happen right from the top – show your team that you, as CEO, are accountable to them, too, and when you commit to something you expect to be held to it. Lead by example.

 

Communication – clear and open.

Effective communication allows and encourages bi-directional communication. While you have to be clear on the vision, your priorities and expectations, you must equally expect, and even solicit, questions, ideas and other forms of feedback. People who contribute to something will be much stronger advocates of it than those who simply have it imposed on them. With remote teams, of course, clarity of communication is vital and encouraging participation and feedback will need extra attention, at least initially.

 

Knowledge – education & tools.

Richard Branson spoke about the importance of training people well, something too many companies neglect, especially if times are tough. Without the knowledge and tools necessary for peak performance, your team will feel discouraged and unappreciated. Conversely, well trained and equipped they’ll be far more productive and happier, too, so less likely to leave – all in all, a great return on investment.

 

With a culture of Trust, Accountability, Communication and Knowledge, you’re equipping your business with a competitive advantage – one that will not only improve productivity, but boost morale, enhance customer satisfaction and result in increased profitability, too.

 

#BusinessFitness #Business #Accountability #Attitude #Culture #Excellence #JobSatisfaction #Motivation #People #Productivity #Profitability #TACK #Teams #Training #Trust

 

* TACK in sailing, is about making the optimal use of resources (wind and tide in this case) to reach your destination, even while changing direction from time to time to reach it – so appropriate in business.

 

If you’d like to read more about this topic, these posts may be of interest:

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