A global recession due to the Coronavirus downturn is inevitable. When everyone is worried and uncertain about their situation, trust and transparency become the foundation that has never been more important, to manage remote workers, than now.
Social scientist Joseph Grenny found that remote employees enjoy the freedom to live and work where they please, but working through and with others becomes more challenging. Of 1,153 employees surveyed, 82 percent said that workplace challenges could drag on for a few days or more, while 47 percent admitted to letting it drag on for weeks or more. Another challenge of telecommuting is that employees often feel mistreated and left out by colleagues. Remote workers worry that their teammates say bad things behind their backs, make changes to projects without telling them in advance, lobby against them, and don’t fight for their priorities.
Transparent communication and trust are two fundamental strategies in letting those fears out of employees’ mind.
Professor Kellyann Kowalski in her study emphasised that leaders should build a culture of trust through sharing visions with remote employees, using different empowerment techniques, delegation, and result-based performance management. As a result of complete trust between leaders, employees, and coworkers, there will be a greater impact on the success and satisfaction of virtual workers. Building trust can be done through off-site activities and other networking events that virtual employees can attend in person to engage in informal discussions with their peers and coworkers.
In management theory, the concept of transparency has been proven to be a powerful aggregate term for teams, improving employee and organisational performance. Transparency can be broken down into four major interests:
Though a company’s transparency is the best practice to foster a sense of stability and security among employees, Adam Hickman said that it is more difficult to convey company’s transparency over the phone than in person. Leaders should practise different strategies. In this regard, Hickman added, the two most effective ways to help remote workers feel secure is to practise transparency by looking back and looking ahead.