Leaders trust employees over surveillance software

Companies are rejecting surveillance technology and employee monitoring in favour of building work cultures based on trust and autonomy post-lockdown, a new survey of HR executives has found.

With organisations making the transition to a new world of work involving more remote working, the poll, by business consultancy firm The Culture Builders, has given a revealing insight into the true impact of the pandemic and its influence on future ways of working, including the management of remote workers.

Its findings include:

Some 50.3% of companies said they would give their employees greater autonomy and support

Trustworthiness (58%), empathy and supportiveness (57.6%) and resilience (52.3%) were the most important leadership qualities post-lockdown

Only 15.9% would consider surveillance technology, such as mouse monitoring software, to help manage the performance of a remote workforce

Chris Preston, Co-founder and Director of The Culture Builders said, “if you buy surveillance technology for your workforce, the cost will be the trust of your employee base. And once that’s spent, good luck getting it back.

“If you game the employee-base with monitoring software then, guess what, they will game it right back. Just like me tying my stepometer to the dog, people will work out how to make it look like they are hard at work when they are anything but.

“If you don’t trust your employees, you probably need to take a long hard look at your leadership style and cohort, not dash to the store and buy snooping software.”

Researchers interviewed 150 leaders in human resources and personnel development about the journeys their organisations have been on since the global outbreak in early 2020. The findings, published in The Culture Builders report Poly-working: the evolution of hybrid working, give a fresh perspective of the immense challenges to re-shape the workplace but also of new opportunities to do things differently and better.

Other key findings in the survey, conducted in July and August, include:

despite the perception of many that the pandemic brought us all closer together, the pandemic weakened company culture for a significant proportion, particularly for companies with between 500 and 1,000 employees

employee engagement, such as maintaining motivation and developing talent, was singled out as the biggest challenge for most organisations during the first phases of the outbreak

supporting the mental health and wellbeing of workers was the most time-consuming for HR leads, but they now have a better understanding of how to manage it

as recently as last August, a significant proportion of organisations did not have a fully-fledged plan for transition to new ways of working post-lockdown.

The full report can be found here https://theculturebuilders.com/polyworkingguide

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