This is Becoming Inclusive from The Kaleidoscope Group, where we’re thinking differently about diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more empowered people at work. We’re committed to real change and that begins with real conversations. Welcome in.
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“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” ― Steve Jobs
There’s a buzz going around among hybrid and remote workers and it’s not reached a boiling point yet, but it’s simmering just under the surface. It’s about micromanagement and its impact on the employer-employee relationship—especially among hybrid and remote workers.
The Steve Jobs quote above, is just one example of a savvy leadership approach when it comes to hiring and retaining good talent. Micromanaging that talent is a sure way to push them toward the exit doors, but there’s still a challenge in ensuring that remote and hybrid workers remain productive without the watchful eye of their managers hovering over their desks—whether in person or virtually.
It’s a conundrum, but not one that can’t be solved by forward-thinking leaders and their workforce.
The cohosts of The Kaleidoscope Group’s Becoming Inclusive Podcast, Kat Potts and Reggie Ponder, tackled this topic head-on in a recent episode and the generational divides were stark, but not unbridgeable. While Ponder, being the older of the two, has expressed some skepticism about the trend toward remote work, mostly because of issues like productivity and accountability; Potts was more direct in her advocacy for remote work and concerned about the growing trend of managers remotely monitoring their employees based on keystrokes and screen times.
Potts was quick to stake out her position by reading a quote she found reading, “Micromanagement is a complete waste of everybody’s time. It sucks the life out of employees, fosters anxiety, and creates a high-stress work environment. If you hired someone, it means you believe they are capable of doing the job, then trust them to get it done.”
While unattributed, it reflects a sentiment expressed by many younger professionals in the workplace, which presents an opportunity for older workers to adapt and appreciate a new way of working that is technologically driven and aligned with new workplace realities that will only expand, not contract.
As for Ponder’s perspective, he believes, like most of his generation, that the relationship between manager and employee is based on transparency about a worker’s preferred styles and processes. He makes an interesting point since managers may know of a better way of accomplishing a task and provide the necessary mentorship and coaching to improve employee performance and productivity. That, after all, is an effective manager’s role and responsibility. There’s also an opportunity for older workers to have a greater sense of appreciation for new ways of delivering results using new ways to accomplish the same task. So, from that perspective, it’s a win-win, for managers and employees. And we should all keep in mind that managers are also employees, and we all report up to someone hoping they have confidence and trust in our abilities to deliver the desired results.
Thanks for joining us, and a special thanks to our subscribers. Consider becoming one today. Becoming Inclusive is presented by The Kaleidoscope Group, your full-service Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion partner serving clients worldwide. Learn more and continue the conversation and kgdiversity.com