How Can Managers Trust Employees To Be Productive
Productivity is always a hot topic amongst business professionals, organizational leaders, and industry influencers.
Not only individual productivity, but organizational productivity, and employee productivity as well. This isn’t groundbreaking by any means, productivity has always been crucial to getting things done, achieving goals, and gaining information. However, the approach to organizational and employee productivity specifically often varies from leader to leader, organization to organization, and manager to manager. That being said, there are certain methods proven to promote productivity on the employee level which ultimately contributes to the productivity of the organization as a whole.
Managers are a part of the leadership team in most organizational hierarchies. This means that they’re tasked with overseeing teams of people, while also contributing to the foundational value of the organization on a higher level. Not only that, but managers also have a whole slew of other responsibilities between their team members and the people who are still even further above them. In turn, the relationship between managers and their teams is an extremely influential dynamic to examine when dialing in on employee productivity.
The following tips help create a workforce culture that allows managers and employees to trust one another, even in the context of daily productivity.
“A study from PayScale revealed that the more employees feel like their bosses trust them, the happier they are and the less likely they are to look for a new job. The research found that 72% of workers who can act and make decisions on their own said they are satisfied with their jobs. Just 26% of employees who aren’t able to do anything without being told first said they are similarly happy.”
– Adam Uzialko, Editor, Business News Daily –
The Proven Power of Autonomy
When it comes to employee productivity and developing trust between a workforce and their managers, it’s important to consider the power of autonomy. While leaving someone completely alone, isolated, and unchecked is a bad managerial plan, it is still better than micromanaging every single second of a worker’s life. Micromanagement is one of the top deterrents to motivation. Employees who feel micromanaged quickly lose interest in their role and their work, the manager practicing this style is losing time that could be better spent on higher value activities, and the dynamic between employee and manager becomes demotivating for not only the employee impacted, but fellow employees witnessing this relationship as well.
“Too much autonomy can be a bad thing. But you could leave someone alone and let them do their thing with far less impact to total organizational productivity than the damage done by a single micromanager.”
– Omid Semino, CEO and Founder, Diamond Mansion –
On the flip side, a well-balanced portion of autonomy is extremely conducive to individual productivity on an employee level. Allowing employees more autonomy increases employee engagement. This happens through an increase in role and task ownership, as well as the liberating feeling of being able to work in a way that best suits you and your personality.
“Most people take pride in their work, and by giving them some autonomy and decision making-ability, organizations can facilitate and nurture those fulfilling feelings that stem from a productive day at work. Without that autonomy, though, there’s no real substance for them to grab onto.”
– Chris Bridges, CEO, VITAL –
A Fulfilled Workforce is an Accountable Workforce
Employee engagement, fulfillment, and work satisfaction have all been taken significantly more seriously in the past decade. Then, with the onset of COVID-19 and the massive transition to a remote workforce, these factors became even more vital in the eyes of organizational leaders, businesspeople, and even the workforce itself. Managers who work with teams of individuals that report a high sense of work satisfaction and fulfillment often have no issue with employee productivity levels. This can be related to the buy-in factor. The more engaged an employee is with their role and their work, the more accountability they’ll take on regarding the results of their time and energy.
“If you’re paying your team well, delivering high-quality benefits, and working on a culture that’s inclusive, diverse, and equitable, people will notice. Not only that, they’ll respond positively, and will probably be willing to work a lot harder for you.”
– Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Fighting For You –
Employees who report high levels of job satisfaction and fulfillment at work are also more likely to have an increased sense of employer loyalty. This is good as it can lower the average turnover rate year-over-year which is often one of the most costly expenses that a company can incur.
“Prioritizing employee fulfillment and satisfaction comes through the workplace culture. The stronger the company culture, typically, the higher the rates of employee fulfillment, and in turn, productivity. It’s all connected.”
– Vincent R. Chan, Chief Financial Officer, Christina –
With Strong Communication
One of the most important skill sets of the modern day is written and verbal communication. These skills have always been valuable in most business settings, but again, with the recent migration to a more digital and remote work environment, the value of these skills has been amplified by a significant magnitude. Employees and managers both need to be able to communicate clearly through a variety of modern-day instant communication platforms, without coming off as rude, disrespectful, or generally unpleasant.
“I don’t think there’s a doubt in my mind about the value of communication as it pertains to the modern-day workforce. It’s probably the most important, if not at least the top three. This goes for employees and managers, both in my opinion.”
– Gigi Ji, Head of Brand and Business Development, KOKOLU –
Communication best practices involve a variety of methods that keep communication channels open, transparent, and honest. With open and honest communication skills, organizational leaders and managers are more effectively able to communicate expectations, instructions, guidelines, education, role-pertinent information, and even interpersonal interactions that facilitate stronger personal relationships. In turn, all of this leads to a more communicative, flexible, and understanding community of professionals who understand their company obligations but still see and treat one another as human beings.
“Communication is also invaluable in problem-solving situations. If you or your team is working on a creative solution, it doesn’t matter where you’re located, you need to be able to bounce ideas off one another and take feedback. That entire process is rooted in our ability to communicate.”
– Cesar Cruz, Co-Founder, Sebastian Cruz Couture –
The Value of Flexibility in the Modern Workforce
There is a common misconception amongst an older philosophy when it comes to employee productivity. Actually, there are quite a few myths that have surprisingly survived this long in the context of human and employee productivity. One of those misconceptions is that work has to be done at a certain time for it to be valid, or count as productivity. For instance, for whatever reason, work at 2am is not considered valid but work at 3pm is supposed to be a ‘requirement.’
This is simply outdated thinking as psychologists have long proven that not everyone is productive on the same schedule. Additionally, with so many people balancing a professional career and a family life, flexibility has become a top priority for employees.
“The amount of professionals I’ve interviewed in the last few years who are only interested in remote work positions is unbelievable. Too many to count. I didn’t even see a tenth of the remote positions I do today back in 2019.”
– Liza Kirsh, CMO, Dymapak –
Many modern roles throughout the professional workforce are now completely remote and allow employees to be productive with a little bit more flexibility toward individual scheduling.
“As a manager in the remote work world, it honestly does not matter to me when you get your work done, as long as it’s finished by the deadline. You can burn the midnight oil and work from 12am to 6am, or you can work 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours at night, it simply doesn’t matter to me. The work is what matters.”
– Chandler Rogers, CEO, Relay –
Trusting Workers in the Remote Work World
The remote work world is very likely here to stay well into the future. Working from home has proven itself viable and preferable to many organizations, employees, and managers. That being said, organizations still need to be able to trust their workforce to be productive daily.
“My secret ingredient to leadership is empathy. Y’know I try to hire people that will contribute to the culture here even in a remote work setting, we’re all human at the end of the day and that’s what I want to recognize.”
– Melanie Bedwell, E-commerce Manager, OLIPOP –
If you can’t trust your workforce to be productive on their own with a little bit of autonomy, you likely need a new workforce or new managers. Developing a strong dynamic between workers, managers, and organizational leaders benefits everyone involved and only helps the company grow further faster.
“Trust is integral in any relationship, personal, professional, or otherwise.”
– George Fraguio, Vice President of Bridge Lending, Vaster Capital –
A few Final Words on Employee Trust
Building a team of trustworthy employees and strong managers will help your organization create a powerful culture in which everyone is accountable for their levels of productivity on a day-to-day and weekly basis.