The digital revolution and new management methods are transforming our companies in a profound way. As a result, employees take control of their destiny and management becomes more horizontal. But this is not done without asking many questions.
Can the fact that employees are acquiring more and more autonomy have a positive impact on their productivity? Yes, as long as you accompany this movement rather than suffer it!
We have entered a new era of management. The idea is to give employees autonomy, to empower them, to allow them to express themselves. By trusting, we expect more creativity and commitment. This more horizontal management is certainly in vogue, but is it a real miracle solution?
The first answer to this question is no. For many companies with years or even decades of top/down management, the transition is complex. However, it is necessary in a context of profound changes in the labour market.
Today, the aim is to support the movement towards horizontal management and to push the logic of autonomy to the limit. How far? How far? Up to the empowerment of everyone! A strategy is needed to ensure that teams truly express their potential and CHOOSE the conditions that will make them work better. It is the manager’s role today to ensure that employees have all the cards in hand to succeed. And the question is: how do I get the most out of my teams?
What if we did project management
Project management is becoming more and more widespread, and this is perfectly in line with the logic of accountability: everyone is concerned and has a value to bring. From now on, employees no longer work in their own corner and are not limited to a single task. This can create confusion or even friction points if the frames are not properly fixed…. How? How? By following this approach: a clear and achievable objective is set and must be achieved by a deadline, regardless of the number of hours devoted to it. The employee is left free to manage his effort, but he must bring a result!
A logic that is proving effective but which has not yet finished transforming our working methods. Because by pushing the reasoning to its ultimate consequences, some companies have decided to take into account the fact that not every employee is productive at the same time. Some are energetic and motivated from the morning while others find the best working conditions in the calm of the evening. They have therefore decided to allow their employees to work at times that are convenient for them.
A choice that can be a winner but also has its limits. For the logic of autonomy to be truly applicable and to bear fruit in terms of productivity, it is also necessary that a minimum synchronization can be done to collaborate effectively.
Collectively choose the tools best suited to the new working methods
To be truly successful, employee autonomy must also be accompanied by a real ability to choose their working methods and tools. In a context transformed by digitalization, increasing productivity depends more and more on the adoption of high-performance technical tools adapted to the needs of the teams that use them.
Collaboration tools such as Slack or Teams in particular have radically changed the way team members exchange and manage their common tasks. Since these tools have become so important for the well-being and productivity of all, they must be the subject of continuous reflection on the part of the manager.
Ensure the well-being of all
Many studies have shown that happy employees are more productive than others. While companies have no legal obligation to ensure the happiness of their employees, they have a significant impact on their well-being. In this context, which management is best suited?
While micro-management strategies tend to lose their impact or even disappear, taking into account the well-being of employees is proving to be a new performance lever in addition to an ethical concern. Paying attention to their work environment, maintaining a positive work atmosphere, celebrating everyday events (birthdays, etc.) and listening to everyone’s needs through regular satisfaction surveys are therefore strategic choices. The emergence of the role of Chief Happiness Officer in human resources departments is emblematic of this trend.