[0] => WP_Post Object
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Emma Birchall is Head of Research - Future of Work at the Hot Spots Movement. Here she has the opportunity to convert leading research into practical insights for clients who are looking to find new ways of using technology to drive human capital performance. She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015.   IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

EB: Bring back the trust. They’re human.

IMI: What does this mean? EB: From collaboration to performance to employee engagement, everything we know about work is changing – but our businesses are seemingly slow to respond. People are more attuned to sharing posts, writing blogs, and providing instant feedback through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ than they are to completing surveys, so why does our approach to employee engagement still centre on a set of fixed statements and a rating scale? In their personal lives people collaborate naturally with those around them and have an amazing propensity to share even when there is no immediate benefit to them, hence the success of crowdsourcing sites like Wikipedia. So, why do we spend so much time and energy in organisations on encouraging people to practice these seemingly natural behaviours at work? The challenge for businesses is to disrupt every process and practice in the organisation by asking: Why does it exist? What are we trying to achieve? If we were to start the organisation from scratch, would we choose to create this? And perhaps most tellingly of all, would this practice exist if we trusted our employees? IMI: Where should we look for further information? EB: For further information, take a look at the Future of Work website or follow us on Twitter @HspotM: engagement Source: Emma Birchall is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to [post_title] => "Bring back the trust. They’re human" Six Word Wisdom from Emma Birchall [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => bring-back-trust-theyre-human-six-word-wisdom-emma-birchall [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:45:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:45:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12751 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2016-03-01 12:05:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-01 12:05:26 [post_content] =>

Working with managers at different levels and in many industries, I consistently get asked various questions on how to manage better. One that surfaces most often, especially in large organisations is “ How can I trust my team to do the job in the way it needs to be done?”.



Of course the answer is always “it depends” after all there are many variables at play. To better answer the question, perhaps it is more valuable to understand what the question implies. This question assumes that there is a right way and a wrong way to do the job. The question also assumes that everyone in the team has the same level of skills and experience. If we dig deep, the question also assumes that everyone in the team has the same level of confidence in performing the job. When managers ask this question, they are in truth trying to look for someone to execute the task with the same competence and confidence they have in performing it.

Trust is fundamentally about dependability and predictability. Can I rely on my employee to do this job the way I would?

The consequences of this attitude causes managers to consistently rely on the same people to perform the critical tasks again and again and by doing so they find themselves subject to a number of by-products. trust


The usual suspect generally becomes overwhelmed and overworked but also becomes very capable and experienced and often finds the confidence to get promoted away from the team or leave to seek better employment conditions elsewhere. Those that are seldom trusted with critical tasks become disengaged, demotivated and even loose confidence to a point they might not even take the risk to look for a job elsewhere. Ultimately, these managers find themselves having to perform all the critical task themselves, don’t have time to develop new people and become frustrated with  having to deal with poor performers. The solution to this dilemma has been around for a long time and many experts have developed several models to explain how to manage people development effectively. The late Peter Drucker’s definition of the role of managing is “Achieving results through people”  this means that people are the critical resource to get things done. People are the most important tool a manager must use to execute a plan and deliver high performance results.

Of course for a tool to be effective, it is important to know what it does, how to use it and more importantly how to maintain it in good working order. So if we make this analogy to manage people effectively in the pursuit of high performance a manager has 3 critical jobs to perform:

1. The first job of an effective manager should be to get to know the people in their teams, their strengths and abilities, their passions and motivators, their attitude and preferences. This first step will help a manager understand who in the team is best suited to perform which task. 2. The second most important job of an effective manager should be to facilitate the people in the team to know each other and recognise the strengths and abilities each individual brings to the team. In this way everyone in the team knows who to rely on  for help and support to resolve problems and collaborate effectively. 3. The third most important job of an effective manager should be to formulate a plan that place the relevant talent and skills to work on the tasks and roles that will deliver the required outcomes. While doing so it is also important for a manager to set the appropriate level of expectations that stretch an individual's abilities without straining them. In doing so, a manager should also provide each individual with the opportunity to develop and grow at an appropriate pace.

Things don’t get done if people don’t do them. The best way to develop trust in the people you manage is to help them develop their strengths, confidence and motivation, along the way they will also grow to trust you.

Fabio Grassi is the Programme Director for the IMI Diploma in Executive Coaching which is starting on 20th April 2016. Fabio is a specialist in the development of team performance, collaboration and motivation.  _____________________________________ [post_title] => Are you enabling people to trust you? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => trust-people-manage-help-grow-trust [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:18:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:18:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19182 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2017-03-30 13:48:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-30 13:48:18 [post_content] => [post_title] => 5 Tips for Motivating Employees [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 5-tips-motivating-employees [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-18 07:59:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-18 07:59:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Paula Milligan

Paula Milligan

23rd Apr 2020

Paula Milligan is associate faculty on the High-Impact Leadership and High-Performance Teams' short programmes.

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Building Trust with a Virtual Team

It’s not easy in this time of social distancing, office closures, and widespread work-from-home mandates, with many organisations learning how to function virtually on the fly. We have all been catapulted into a full-time virtual team environment overnight and are barely getting the basics right, so what can we do to bolster our teams and organisations to weather out this storm.

There has never been a more critical time for our team interaction and communications to engage rather than defend. Our leaders need to feel like they are not carrying this burden on their own, we need to find a new way of being together virtually and we need to work towards a new future. Trust is our one true ally along this new road.

Tips & Strategies for Building Trust into Virtual Teams

Building trust virtually is a pressing challenge (picture source)

I aim to provide some useful tips and techniques for instilling trust and a way to have real conversations at this critical time, in the hope that this will build something robust and durable from which to move forward with. Leadership communication is difficult, and our relationships need to be up to it. So be mindful of the tech and the people behind it. Agree etiquette and mix it up, there are plenty of ways we can get our work completed together.


1. Generation Gaps, Personalities & Cultures

Consider the challenges this all new virtual way of life, will affect the different generations, personalities and cultures within your team.

You may need to offer additional training and support to the older generations who are less tech savvy and less comfortable using this medium of communication. Create a test bed where they can play around with it and offer plenty of training and support.

Also consider the “Introverts” and “Extroverts” in your team. People are already reporting “Death by Video Conferencing”. Consider that your introvert’s will be physically and emotional drained by back to back video conferencing calls. Extroverts may not mind so much but in their case will be yearning for human interaction and as a result energy, focus and productivity levels can drop.

Recognising the diverse personalities, age, backgrounds and cultures of team members and respecting them is key. Trust develops when team members feel accepted, irrespective of their cultural beliefs and the virtual team environment is void of hostility and disrespect. Being mindful of who you are interacting with on a call and being sensitive to what is going on in the background for them will absolutely help to promote understanding, empathy and trust.


2. The All Essential Communication

Communications change fundamentally when they go fully virtual (picture source)

Trust and communication are inextricably woven together. Trust is communication in how we make each other feel listened to, understood, informed, valued and motivated. Therefore, there has never been a more important time to put a plan around how to build trust, understanding and inclusion for all virtual team members.

Also, let’s throw in the bombshell, that one method may energise one character and drain the other.

Being thrown into remote working has led many business leaders into unknown territory. Some have reacted by over rotating and micromanaging their people’s movements and productivity levels. I have even heard of one organisation, who are asking their staff to record their work flows every 30 minutes and send in for review. This approach will quickly erode trust within a team.

Use this as an opportunity to define a communication strategy or charter including all virtual team members – promoting openness, transparency, inclusion, total clarity on team goals and objectives and a forum for asking questions and sharing ideas.

What does success look like?

Create a dedicated place for communication, whether among employees in the same department or freelancers working on the same project. An internal communication tool (such as Slack) can allow for communication across many channels. Future employees can see the answers to commonly asked questions, have idea generation sessions and virtual coffee chats.

No matter what tool you decide to use, as long as there’s a way to foster 2-way communication, remote workers won’t feel isolated from one another.


3. Teamwork and Participation

Virtual collaboration brings its challenges, but also opportunities (picture source)

Interactive and collaborative teamwork is also a key factor in building trust. This typically involves knowledge sharing, team identity, common purpose and goals and a whole big bag of humour thrown in for good measure.

Get your team members to discuss what is working and what is not regularly. Agree a virtual team charter driven by values and purpose by which to hold each other accountable. Facilitate opportunities to get to know people better – there is real power in discovering commonality when building relationships.

Have some fun together, the new night out is now a night in. Have lunch together, movie nights, comedy nights, styling parties and good old chin wags. Humour and connection bring people out of themselves, the barriers come down, the communication starts to free flow which inevitably leads to people contributing and participating at a different level.


A future history lesson

We can learn great things in this unprecedented time of life. A friend recently said to me, we are in the middle of a future history lesson. All our businesses will look and feel different after this, with most of us extending our new virtual capacities to our customers and workplaces.

Yet, nothing can compensate for real human interaction. We are social animals, wired to connect and relationships are our primary driver. Trusted relationships provide context for our communication, they give meaning to our words and good relationships are the cornerstone of happiness.

We are now globalised like never before. I truly hope we hold onto this sense of togetherness and take the good parts with us.

See you on the other side.