My partner needs to see me every day and if I need to be away I need his permission. He says that if he does not know where I am, he does not really know what I am doing. I know he can always check my e-mails and needs to see my calendar. If I do not answer my phone when he calls, he thinks I just don’t care. I am starting to think my partner does not really trust me and this level of control is just not good for me….
Imagine you lived in that kind of a relationship, one filled with mistrust and lack of respect. Feeling like you need to spend all your time with someone for him or her to truly trust you. Most of us would absolutely refuse to be part of that kind of a partnership and would run as quickly as we could. Yet most of us spend 70% of our week going to work, and are in a “relationship” with our employer who likes to see us there, and if not needs to approve us not being there. “Face time” seems to still be so extremely entrenched as critical in the way we work. If we are truly honest we all know that insistence on 100% face time during work ours is nothing but lazy management. It also destroys the possibility of maximizing staff engagement and loyalty. That being said, face time is not irrelevant, and at times is critical, but it cannot and should not be more important than results and outcomes.
So why don’t we start thinking of the employee – manager relationship in terms of respect and trust - after all we demand and expect this in all other relationships in our lives. Let’s start trusting those who work for us to make the right calls on when they needed to be there in the office, and when they can run out to a kids swimming carnival, or go to that dr appt for their spouse without prior approval, or just go and make sure their grandmother is ok. Let’s make a commitment to respect the work ethic of those in our teams enough to let them make the choices on their allocation of time and presence. Let’s let their work and the results they deliver speak for themselves. And if they do not deliver any, let’s start putting in some true management and leadership in to see if they need more support, or if the role just is not the right fit.
In the end, we all know that a relationship based on trust and respect will only breed loyalty and commitment – anything else results in someone leaving, being miserable or even worse, cheating.