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December 12, 2018

Managing Remote Employees With Trust

Summary:

If you don’t trust your people enough to give them the opportunity to test the remote model, then why did you hire them?

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How do you manage employees when they are all remote?

I agree with an inspirational business leader, Marcus Lemonis. There are three things that make your company successful. They are:

  1. People
  2. Product
  3. Processes

Let’s talk about people. I believe the most important of the three is people. Good people can fix processes. Good people can enhance products. Good people are what truly make your business successful.

  • How many times have you worked at your home, a coffee shop or a co-working space and thought, “Wow, I got a ton of work done today”?
  • How many times have you worked in your office and at the end of the day thought to yourself, “I didn’t get ANY work done”?

Let’s face it, if you are one of those organizations that feel that the employees (people) need to work in the office building from 8am until 5pm, you are going to have a very hard time finding true talent! Today’s employees can be highly productive anywhere. Sure, there might be a need to connect at the mothership once in a while for face-to-face meetings, client meetings, etc. But to think, “if they are not here, they are not working,” is absurd. Please refer back to the previous questions and think about it…

See also: Engaging Employees: Key to Success  

The organizations that believe that all people have to be in the office 100% of the time have a glaring issue that they need to address. The issue is TRUST. My thought is, if you don’t trust your people enough to give them the opportunity to test the remote model, then…

1. Why did you hire them in the first place?
2. Why would they want to perform above average for you or your company?

Are there some individuals who need to be in the office? Sure. And I would argue that, if they are good people, they will be honest with themselves/your organization and tell you that! One person I spoke with said, “I think I need the structure of coming into the office at a certain time and leaving at a certain time.” GREAT! That is a person who is being honest with you and himself or herself. That is a good person! He/she is more than welcome to come in to the office at 8am and go home at the end of day. However, to have a policy or a culture that says all employees need to be in the office at all times is a disservice to the employee and the organization.

At Benekiva, our entire executive team is remote. Sure, we have an office that we go to for certain functions. However, if you find good people who believe in the vision, mission and passion of the company and the problems you are solving, they are never “off work.” The issue you will have with these people is to make sure they manage the work/life balance. That’s for another discussion. Burnt-out employees are not a sustainable recipe for business success.

See also: 4 Good Ways to Welcome Employees  

Bottom line: Find and hire good people. Test and measure innovative methods. You might be amazed at how much work gets done even though the people are not at “work.”

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About the Author

Brent Williams is the founder and CEO of Benekiva, a configurable SaaS technology platform that transforms the end-to-end life claims and servicing experience. He is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations for the company.

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