According to a leaked memo, Elon Musk has told Tesla workers to return to the office or leave the company. The billionaire suggests anyone opposed to the plan “should pretend to work somewhere else”.
For a company so committed to innovation and world-changing technology it is somewhat shocking that Tesla’s approach to work is so far back in the dark ages. Far from being disruptors or early adopters in the people arena, they have a reputation for the type of old-school people management that many have left behind and is certainly not what job seekers are looking for in a competitive marketplace!
While some organisations have already rushed to bring all their employees back into the office and others are busy creating a one size fits all hybrid frameworks, many leaders are still asking how they can create a culture of loyalty to the company if people are never in the office?
Sadly, when reading some posts on LinkedIn there is a sense that some leaders feel that people can’t be trusted. If you’re feeling that way it’s a failure, not on your team’s behalf, but on yours. When you’ve hired the right people, people you brought into your organisation to do a job, and who you felt were the right fit, this should not even be a consideration. During the mandatory work from home period, colleagues proved that they could keep your business going and you trusted them to do so. If you have work organised effectively, results are what’s important, when and where the work gets done are of little concern.
If you have employees who are struggling with the arrangement you have in place or your managers are struggling to manage these people, perhaps it’s time for an alternative solution.
Instead of demanding everyone return for x number of days a week, why not really listen to your teams, understand what the role requirement is, and understand what will work best for each individual. You can create the framework which works best for your company, frameworks which work for both employees and organisations and build loyalty from employees. The culture you’re creating is one where people feel valued, are engaged, and have a sense of loyalty to the company, because the company is creating that bond of trust and caring for the employee. Personal circumstances are considered, and good work life balance allows people to work at their optimum.
Where issues arise, instead of resorting to bringing everyone back into the workplace (where commute times and unnecessary meetings feed into a culture of disdain), consider how to effectively manage performance remotely. Take some time to support and develop your managers to give the necessary feedback to employees who aren’t performing, and if there is no improvement, support managers to deal with poor performance. Give managers the skills and capabilities to do their jobs!
At 3SIXTY we specialise in helping organisations build cultures of respect and trust where individual employees thrive and grow.
It’s your business – if you want to create a flexible framework where the individual circumstances of a job role and a post holder are taken into consideration and an optimum working arrangement defined, you can do that. We can support you to define what that might look like.
If you or your managers are struggling to manage people working from home, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to develop the skillset of leaders rather than rush to have all your employees in one place where you can keep a watchful (and dare I say non-trusting) eye on them? At 3SIXTY, we develop managers to give them the skillset to build trusting, enduring relationships with their teams.