“I didn’t expect to find an employer I enjoyed working for—but I did. As a result, I’m working harder than ever before and liking it. Here’s why my employer does right.” Thus began a reader who emailed me, in response to recent articles on “quiet quitting” https://bit.ly/3R4dysh and “your work honeymoon is over, what now?” https://workplacecoachblog.com/2022/09/when-your-job-honeymoon-is-over-heres-what-you-can-do/.
In this post, I outline three key ways in which employers and employees can make pandemic-driven changes work for them.
Many employers give lip service to flexibility but create a one-size fits all approach that doesn’t work. My blog reader said, “My boss gives flexibility in a way that echoes what I learned raising my boys. Neither kept their rooms clean. One year, I promised the older a costly bike if he kept his room clean. It worked. The next year, I made the same promise to his younger brother, and it didn’t work. Then he said, ‘Mom, I don’t want a bike.’”
According to this and other blog readers, successful employers practice employee-driven flexibility at the team and department level, allowing employees to start their workdays at varying times, and long as they work eight hours daily and attend scheduled team and company meetings. Said one reader, “This flexibility is profoundly satisfying.”
Intentional collaboration replaces meetings
Time is precious and is a commodity we can’t grow but can leverage. Effective organizations do their best to eliminate unnecessary meetings, particularly those in which each member gives a lackluster report that other attendees snooze through. Concise group emails that can be read in minutes can replace these meetings that easily eat up forty minutes.
Before any meeting, the organizer needs to ask, “What’s our intent? What results do we need to achieve from this meeting that we couldn’t achieve by independent action?”
Managers that coach
Multiple studies reveal employees are increasingly disconnected from their organizations, and that empathetic managers who “coach” can reconnect them.
What’s the difference between managing and coaching? Employees believe they and their coaches are on the same team and want the best for them. In contrast, many employees don’t enjoy being “managed.” Coaching requires that managers are there for their guide and resource. You’ll find detail on coaching in https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/01/want-to-be-a-great-supervisor-do-a-180-coach/ and a full chapter on how to be a coach that gets high performance from employees in Managing for Accountability: A Business Leader’s Toolbox, https://amzn.to/3IKB0Yw.
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