Letting go, and the perception of losing control is the biggest cause of anxiety for most Leaders and managers right now during the Covid19 Crisis. The adjustment to the new dynamic of remote working, is slowly being strengthened by TRUST, but it also feeding management anxiety.
In this blog post, I want to share why the perceived lack of trust won’t support you as a leader during this challenging time.
Firstly, if your team members functionality only requires a laptop to do their job, why is TRUST now a concern! Your answer may sound like this, “when they are at the office they are working and I can see them” !!
So, let me give you my reasons why you have this so wrong.
So being at the office and at your desk is not a measure of work and productivity. You may SEE your team physically, but this is not an indication they are there in mind. This term ( in body and not in mind) is what we call Presenteeism, another pandemic costing the globe billions of dollars in productivity losses.
Secondly – as I mentioned earlier, if the functionality of your team to work effectively, is only a laptop, then why do some of your managerial practices emulate a supervisor in the 1900s, the industrial age, when humans were working on production lines for 8 hrs a day with controlled breaks.
Yes, our work deliverables, in the current knowledge /data age are less tangible, but, if you have set realistic KPIs then push back on control and getting too involved in execution.
In simple terms, if you have cultivated the right culture of accountability, then it should give your teams the autonomy they crave, and the results you desire. Be warned though, if you are not firm enough with the consequences of failure, I.E letting you people get away with underperformance or late deliverables, then watch how this culture of accountability will dissolve.
Thirdly, the anxiety could be down to your own insecurities and confidence in your ability as a manager. What management style are you practicing or inherited from legacies of bad practice, is it command and control, lead by fear and respect, still a very common management style across ASIA.
In summary, stop worrying too much about TRUST. I have highlighted that working from an office, does not mean that your teams are working harder or being more productive. So stop monitoring whether they are online, and then having unnecessary virtual meetings to get back control.
Reflect on your own insecurities – Where do you lack confidence – Don’t be afraid to ask your team how they would like to be managed!
Finally, as a manager, you also need to keep supporting your boss – The leaders further up the chain, maybe they are under immense pressure. Don’t take anything personally, emotions will be up and down, show compassion and empathy when needed.