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Or, I could just trust the employees to do their jobs

Mutual trust in the manager-employee relationship is critical to productivity, and one of the keys to employee engagement. This issue could not be more salient right now.
“How to Manage Remote Employees” is a common subject for business articles today. Employers are nervous, and want to make sure that productivity doesn’t suffer. The first response for many is wanting to know:
  • What is the employee doing right now?
  • When is the employee at his/her computer?
  • What hours is he/she really working?
So what a great time this is to improve employee engagement by showing trust.  
The questions above and the subsequent answers will likely lead to another headline: How to Disengage and Demotivate Your Remote Employees.” The questions smack of a desire for control, not management.  Why can’t most, if not all (depending on the kind of work, of course), of the employees be empowered to get their work done without the boss watching their every move? Employees in an office aren’t watched that carefully–so why start now?
I just read that some companies are taking advantage of  “a powerful remote desktop monitoring software that lets you know what your employees are doing at the moment from any device and any place”, while other companies are looking to use remote employee monitoring software to monitor unproductive activities when they work from home”.  Can you think of anything less motivating and leading to more disengagement than showing that you don’t trust them?   Many businesses have been managing remote employees successfully for years. Businesses with road sales forces, or with multiple units or distribution centers, and firms with offices in more than one city have faced this problem forever–without asking employees to forfeit privacy and sel-esteem. How?
  • Communicate clear expectations with deadlines
  • Communicate trust–no surprise calls to “catch” them
  • Have daily or sporadic scheduled check-ins–whatever you did before
  • Manage the results, not the new working environment
Take this opportunity to improve mutual trust now…and it will be better for the long-term, too.