Work Culture: Freedom & Structure in Managing Employees

• Nikki Kerr • 2020-06-25 08:13:25 •

COVID forced an unprecedented paradigm shift in our thinking about the way work can be done. Organisations may have had a long term strategy to effect planned change in its flexible work policies, but  suddenly the economic forces compelled organisations to allow employees conduct work remotely. As confinement has been lifted, business operations are escalating and Teams are reconvening in physical places of work., however the future world of work is being reshaped, remodeled and redefined as we operate.  During confinement, whilst consulting with your work teams, you may have identified systems and processes that no longer serve you, your business or clients well.  In response to the crisis, businesses have under taken various forms of change. Organizations have transformed, reengineered, restructured, downsized, rightsized, redesigned and reinvented in order to survive. With structure in place and by fostering a culture of effective and empowered employees, you can achieve freedom to work on your business. When management give employees clear responsibilities, outcomes and accountability you are building a culture where the message is clear, there is no leading with carrots and sticks.  To create a more empowered team, these three factors need to be part of the work culture . First is, each team member should know the business mission.Second, employee autonomy should be encouraged and lastly, role mastery is expected over time. The combination of positive adaptations leads to a better work experience for your employees. An example of employees living the brand can be seen in the Apple mission statement which states their mission “is to bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software and services. With the purpose clearly defined, Apple and its employees have been successful in creating products and services that have changed our world. When returning to work, we may feel a natural compulsion to want to immediately dive into driving sales, however a good strategy would be to restart operations with refresher training on the company’s mission statement. This can give the team focused structure. Employees need to understand why the business exists, and why the work that they do is important. Understanding the value of their contributions can give them renewed pride in their work. Providing employees with clear outcomes and freedom to achieve their KPI”s can lead to them exceeding your expectations. Importantly, intentionally recognizing effort and input, as well as final product and output is a proven morale booster, and self-efficacy enhancing tool.  Role mastery is firmly encouraged, Mastering ones role not only demonstrates an employee’s commitment to the organisation it feels good for both the employee and the business.   The benefits of empowering your employees is that you can step back from the daily operations and let your independent work team handle what needs to be done. As a business owner, you can remain focused on the long term survival of your company. You’ll have more time to analyze the business results, identify areas of concern and address these by using interventions such as learning and development, business coaching or using virtual work teams after right sizing. In summary, we must continue to develop a resilient business model which embraces change in the way we work and remain encouraged to innovate proactively. To conclude, change by others can be scary, change done by ourselves, can be a lot of fun.