Sponsored by Poll Everywhere
Working remotely is nothing new. Yet somehow, it has changed. Wait. Weren’t we just (finally) getting comfortable with Zoom meetings and 4-day workweeks? What exactly is different? And why should leaders be paying much closer attention right now?
Well frankly, the stakes are getting higher. Even during today’s economic headwinds, the market for qualified talent remains remarkably tight. And let’s face it — if you lose strong people because you don’t see eye-to-eye on remote work, replacing them will be costly, time-consuming, and may even end the same way.
How Can Working Remotely Succeed, Going Forward?
Maybe it’s time to shift your work structure. Maybe not. But here’s the bigger question: Whatever you do, how will you know if you’re moving in the right direction?
Every company is unique — no matter what the work structure may be. The tradeoffs you need to consider are specific to your team. So it makes sense to engage people in honest, open conversations about how to map their work expectations with your organization’s mission and business realities.
How can you make that happen? Let’s talk with someone who understands this process from the inside out…
Meet Our Guest: Robert Graham
Please join me in welcoming Robert Graham, CEO of Poll Everywhere — a SaaS company that offers live online polls and other interactive feedback tools that help organizations gather and act on valuable insights from employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
Robert is a software engineering expert and serial solo entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering his team — all of whom are working remotely. He’s also interested in helping other leaders grow their teams personally and professionally, while building successful companies. I’m interested in that, too, so let’s get started!
What People Want From Work Now
Welcome, Robert. To set the stage, tell me your perspective on the modern workplace. What are you seeing?
There’s a video by Simon Sinek that talks about how we all used to be more involved with “third places.” People were members of a church or a softball team or community groups.
But now we spend a lot of that time online or watching Netflix. So we’re looking to work to fulfill more aspects of our lives.
Motivations Haven’t Changed
You recently published a LinkedIn article about engagement and working remotely. What should employers consider about these issues?
Key features of the modern workplace haven’t changed much. However, our relationship to them has changed a lot, and our context has also changed a lot.
For example, you and I are able to do this podcast remotely. A lot of our work can be done remotely now. And that’s mostly about new tools and processes that make it possible.
But as Daniel Pink says, people are motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Those things haven’t changed much, even though the environment has changed quite a bit.
So if you want people to feel engaged while working remotely, you need to get them connected to those intrinsic motivators. How do you build a remote culture and teach managers to be effective in that setting? There are so many trade-offs.
The Value of Continuous Listening
How can organizations respond to these changes?
Doing this really well requires curiosity and consistent listening. Because when you try new things you’ll make some mistakes. Or sometimes the context will shift, so what worked previously may no longer be right for your organization or your people.
It’s important to find ways to build systems that encourage new ways of working, and promote people who work effectively when things are changing. That’s especially important if your organization is growing.
Where Listening Fits In
Whether people are working remotely or not, how can listening help improve employee engagement?
Start by asking yourselves if your organization has a clear purpose. Have you communicated it? And do your people believe in it?
And another part of that journey starts with asking your team what motivates them. Do they feel they have autonomy? How can you enable them to be more autonomous? Do they feel they’re able to grow and develop mastery over their work? Do they feel connected to a purpose?
Every organization is going to start in a different place with those questions. And that’s why this process depends on listening.
Learn More About Working Remotely 2.0
For more insights from Robert about how organizations can adjust to today’s changing workplace, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.