What should you do to force your remote workers to work?

I was talking to my brother-in-law, who was talking to his tiler who was talking to his brother who was employed by a top UK car manufacturer. His brother works remotely. If he does not have any activity on his laptop for more than 15 minutes, he gets a message asking him why he is not working. 

Now as a leader you might be thinking, “great, we know he is working.” The most common problem with KPIs is that we measure what is easily measured NOT what matters. Worse often by measuring what we can easily measure we damage what really matters! 

If you type “mid-staffs” into Google the mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation trust comes up. Up until 2009, they were the poster boy for Tony Blaire’s hospital reforms to ensure hospitals were financially viable. Sensible goal. Financially this hospital was a great success. 

That’s not what comes up on google though. Nor is it anything good they did this year. Or last year. Every link on the main page is instead about the fact that 14(!!!) years ago between 400 and 1200 people died because the staff only focused on the KPIs. A woman died of thirst with a cup of water at the end of her bed because, due to disability, she couldn’t get to it. 

So back to our car manufacturer. If you can’t trust an employee, then perhaps you should fire them. If you can’t trust any employees, then perhaps you should fire yourself. 

A few morals to the story.

We all act out what we can’t speak out! The employee is unlikely to be productive in what matters if he knows he doesn’t matter.

If your employees are telling everyone BUT you that working for you is a nightmare, then you are not going to get great staff. In three jumps it got to me. It’s now on social media. There are not that many UK car manufacturers.

The result is unproductive staff, and a hiring problem. Not a great outcome.

This type of mistake is caused by managing human resources instead of leading human beings. 

So, let’s turn it positive. How have you been treated that made you go the extra mile?

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