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By Mikel Lindsaar

Trusting your team is the best productivity boost there is

One of the things I am most proud of at reInteractive is that we are a group of individuals, all with the clear purpose of exchanging high quality software with our clients that help them achieve their goals; and we do that 100% remotely.

My management team and I don't monitor our team minute by minute. Our team members have the latitude to walk away from their computer at 3pm to go spend an hour or two with their kids or schedule their day in any way they like. As long as they take responsibility for delivering top quality work and handling their job.

We measure the performance of individual team members by various metrics that all have the common denominator of "has the client received exchange beyond the money they paid?".

In fact, some of my staff right now might be away from their desk taking a stroll, or playing with their kids or tinkering on their hobby. I don't know. And to be frank I don't care.

What I care about is that the client that each team member is working for is totally in love with the work we are delivering and are exceedingly happy with the volume and quality of results being delivered. If this isn't happening, then that is a signal for our management to chat with the team member and find out what's going on. It could be any number of things, it could be personal reasons, could be that the team member needs training, it could be a personality conflict with the client, or it could just be that the team member just isn't enjoying the job. Whatever it is, spotting these outpoints and working out solutions for them is the job of management.

That's why when I read about the "useless" virtual boss I felt physically sick.

From my point of view, a management team requiring their staff to wear such a device are admitting that their management skills are so poor that the only solution is to create a virtual slave labour force. If your team are so bad at getting their job done that you need to monitor how many times they perk up in a meeting, then you have other problems and monitoring every movement and spoken word of your team is just going to make things worse.

I believe that each team member should be 100% responsible for their job. I require (and trust) my team to make decisions that relate to their job. And I expect them to make the right decisions balancing what the client wants with the ongoing viability of reInteractive. If a team member comes to me, or anyone in my management and asks them to make a decision, I ask the team member to go away, come up with what they think the correct solution is and recommend that solution for approval.

This process is very effective, it empowers my team and makes them feel trusted and valued (which they are). Empowerment, trusting your team to make the right decisions and requiring them to take responsibility to deliver the best service possible to your clients is the solution to booming your business. Not trying to micro analyse how many times they spoke to Joe.

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