To begin, I want you to read questions below and mull them over for a while:
- Do you value the flexibility aspect of your work? How would you define it: as the option to work remotely or having flexible working hours?
- Maybe flexibility is about something else in the IT sector?
- What about your team? Are the employees trusted enough to let them work flexibly?
According to Adam Henderson, founder of Millennial Mindset, modern employees value flexible work. 90% of millennials says that they would like to know that they CAN work remotely but, interestingly, 66% declare that they prefer to work from office more often than from home. What’s more, none of the millenials who participated in Henderson’s research declared that they want to work only from home.
The conclusion might be surprising: it occurs that flexibility doesn’t mean the PLACE where you can work – it’s about WHEN and HOW you work. Flexibility should be about managing your resources and working time so it’s the most effective. Maintaining hugh productivity and sticking to such work-life balance leads to the best quality of completed staff tasks.
Many possibilities of flexible work, supported by different means of technology, will mean nothing if not supported by TRUST. That’s the word of this article and I’ll be focusing on it mainly. This is not the era of regime at work where employees are looked at from above, controlled and abused. Work is now something that brings satisfaction, development and fulfillment.
Do you remember Yahoo’s CEO decision to ban remote working in 2013? She showed her distrust towards her staff working from home, not present in offices. It wasn’t her best decision, I bet.
The benefits of strong employment relations in an organization
Strong employer-employee relationship will bring real benefits to the development of your organization. The best advantages are:
When the relationship at the workplace is strong, the atmosphere will be more pleasant. Employees’ motivation is increased, morale are improved. When you invest time and resources into building relations among employees and employers, you’ll notice increased productivity and profitable outcomes.
Pleasant environment and trust will boost the level of loyalty at your company. Loyal employees won’t want to leave your team and business (remember that employee retention means saving on recruitment, hiring and training new staff).
Every business loses on employee turnover so it’s better to invest in building trust in employment relations than search for new employees regularly. Low turnover and loyal team mean: skills, experience, training and quality.
Continue reading: When Key Employees Leave – the Guide to Move on.
Every executive would like to lead a team where people are both happy and productive. To achieve that you need time and understanding. Misunderstandings happen but do everything to reduce difficult conflicts between your team-members.
Work will certainly be efficient in a conflict-free environment. Employees trust is stronger when they don’t argue and are able to work on their tasks and work toward a coherent goal.
Strong employee relations
Concentrate on developing close relationships with every employee. First, show them that you can lead – strong management creates order and stability. Many surveys show that an employer who is a good manager earns more respect among their employees. The right executive in a management position is more likely to create a goal-setting, productive environment.
Why is trust valued?
Think of your employees as…partners (business partners, spouses, children, your colleagues, stakeholders, customers or anybody you’re building a relationship with). At the bottom of every relation(ship) is trust. Two people (parties, sides) have to trust each other to function successfully, achieve more, agree, be ready to reach an understanding, etc.
Every CTO or any other leader who fosters relationships among their employees should value trust in employer-employee relations because of:
- higher level of productivity among employees,
- maintaining high morale among staff,
- ability to engage fully in teamwork to reach organizational goals,
- reduced time of needless discussions,
- believing in other employees’ expertise, abilities and supporting their decisions
How to build trust in the team?
Build trust through actions, not big words and promises – lead by example. As a leader in your company, focus on building trust with the team on a daily basis. Show that you trust your employees and encourage this trust to flow between every employee in every department and team.
Below, we give you some factors that are examples of good management helpful in building trust in employment relations:
- empowering staff to be responsible for “owning” their daily tasks,
- leaving the decision-making process to teams so that they can give their proposals and show what they believe in to achieve business goals,
- openness and transparency in key decisions or changes to main business goals,
- don’t favor anyone or any team over another,
- recognize successes but also mention things that didn’t work out,
- be sure that you know what your employees expect of you and that they understand what your expectations are,
- stop blaming or shaming staff for mistakes – track them and draw conclusions for the future,
- as a CTO, stay connected with your web and mobile app developers – be present in front of your employees – both in formal and informal meetings,
- see a person in every employee – value them as real people, not resources/units – for their creativity, personality, sense of humor, etc.
- focus also on leadership – work with leaders of departments to reach a successful model – a real leader focuses on other managers and supports them in leading their teams – value this contact because such mutual support will pay off,
- the last thing: review your policy – does it have too many rules and/or punishments? Many companies embed too many regulations in their culture.
What you learnt from the previous sections about employment relations and the importance of trust is not easy to reach but, sadly, can be lost instantly.
Rebuild trust in your workplace
Building trust is a way easier than… rebuilding it – that’s the hardest process. Once you have trust in your organization – be careful not to lose it. However, if by any chance your company is in trouble and people fall into distrust – do everything to regain it.
Here’s the order of actions to undertake in order to rebuild trust in your workplace.
Admit your mistakes
When the trust is ruined, the most important step to take is to speak to employees about your mistakes. Make sure that they acknowledge what happened and that you withdrew conclusions out of it. Also, be sure you are aware of the reasons why employees lost trust in you. Most importantly, always take responsibility for your mishaps and do everything you can to repair them.
After admitting mistakes, it’s time to act. Here are some steps to take in order to start the process of gaining trust:
- think about an “open door policy” so that the staff can reach you out and talk about their concerns freely without being afraid of your judgement,
- start actively getting involved in analyzing what caused the problem of losing trust (that led to a serious mistake),
- if there are any people, teams, department that were deeply affected by changes due to a wrong step, ask managers or other leaders for support and mediation,
- show employees that you took action to repair what’s wrong and reach the peak of your leadership skills to develop a new, fresh style of managing critical situations.
The last thing – Don’t act as if nothing happened
Remember to acknowledge employees’ disappointment, depending on the scale of trust loss. Some people may feel cheated, angry or unsafe for some time. Being able to admit and talk to everyone will be a calming agent for employment relations for sure.
The process should be planned, subtle and sincere. If you show your employees true emotions and transparency – they will trust you and your business choices again.
Employer-employee relations are crucial when it comes to the development of any organization. Executives have to focus on various aspects of this relationship to cover it as a whole. Don’t forget that modern staff likes flexible work, clear communication and transparency.
Try to manage your employees in the way you’d like to be managed and always focus on the mutual benefits of employment relations.