Almost everybody is aware of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a helpful framework developed by an American psychologist in the mid-twentieth century. Previously, we have discussed the significance of establishing a sense of community amongst remote workers, and now we will consider this same pyramid in the context of the current world – one where the prevalence of Covid-19 has tested our policies, procedures, and management practices over the last twelve months.
It is essential to recognise that this pyramid is applicable to any type of distributed group, such as a team, department, organization, or even an entire industry. All members of the group, regardless of their geographic location, faith, culture or background, are affected by these five factors and should be taken into consideration when designing our remote recruitment, management and development strategy.
Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Assess the Effectiveness of Telework
The Groundwork for Health and Safety
It is essential that we take care of our personal health and wellbeing during this pandemic. The changes to our everyday lives have had a considerable impact, both physically and mentally. Remote working has presented its own challenges, particularly during lockdown periods, such as homeschooling children and working longer hours with limited activities available.
Many organizations across the world have come to recognize the necessity of implementing regular procedures related to mental wellbeing, such as ‘Wellness Fridays’, regular check-ins with management, enhanced Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and psychological assistance, as well as additional days off for rest and relaxation purposes.
Efficiency and Accountability
After this foundation has been laid, we can begin discussing the tools we use to keep ourselves and our work on track and accountable.
Companies that rely on remote workers are increasingly turning to tools designed to improve their productivity and efficiency. Managing a high volume of applications, tracking ongoing tasks without hindering progress, and introducing program to help maintain focus during peak working periods are all common challenges. Solutions such as the Marinara Timer can provide a useful aid in these areas.
Having access to these resources enabled us to carry out much of our work while operating from different locations. Establishing trust between managers and their employees, which is one of the most significant challenges associated with working from home and remote working, would have been much more difficult to achieve without them.
Without the proper method of communication, it is impossible to expect the same outcomes.
Multinational corporations commonly employ a range of software systems to facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication. However, these systems are not always compatible, which could lead to an inefficient use of resources.
A leader’s primary role is to bring their team together under a shared vision, strategy and expectations of contribution (the What and the How). Regular, clear communication of this message, free from jargon, can be sufficient in itself.
Make Your Connection
The concept of nurturing meaningful relationships with colleagues is rooted in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As humans are social beings, we thrive when we have the ability to engage with others and form connections based on common interests (linguistic, cultural, familial, ethological, or athletic). Such interactions also provide invaluable learning opportunities.
It is essential that both managers and employees demonstrate appropriate behaviors, and that the perspectives of employees are taken into consideration. However, this can often be difficult in remote teams due to time and cultural discrepancies.
Creating an environment where people of all ages and backgrounds are able to form meaningful relationships with one another is an important factor in creating a successful workplace. To this end, some businesses have implemented initiatives such as interest-based employee clubs and celebrations when targets are met. Other businesses, such as Salesforce, have employed artificial intelligence to pair employees from various offices once a week. By exploring these initiatives, employers can work to foster an environment of inclusion and connection.
Leadership: The Key
It is essential to assess the development of our leadership approaches throughout 2023, including our understanding of downsizing and upscaling internal teams, addressing uncertainty, and rapidly adopting new technologies.
It is of utmost importance that leaders demonstrate to their team that they not only possess strength and skill, but also demonstrate a care for the people they manage. When faced with difficult challenges, leaders must be resilient and proactive. A recent example of this can be seen in Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky’s open letter, in which he assured employees that the company would do all it could to ensure competitive packages, references and support, despite the 20% global workforce reduction.
The prevalence of hybrid working schedules which combine remote and onsite days, along with nonlinear working arrangements, has been such that even the most traditional businesses have been forced to embrace this new norm.
No leadership manual was available to guide us through the year, and there was no one with the required knowledge to make all the necessary decisions. Leaders will always be held accountable for their decisions, both positive and negative.
Do you feel confident that you have the necessary resources and methods to effectively recruit, manage and develop the members of your remote team?