REMOTE
INSIGHT

In today’s globally connected world, it’s fascinating to see what the human mind is capable of!  We’re witnessing extraordinary events and innovation as a result: self-driving cars, plant-based meat, spaceships in orbit, digital currencies, and more!  The world is gathering online and taking us forward every day.  20 years from now, imagine where we’ll be!

Yet our lives have been placed under a direct threat by a worldwide pandemic, and this became a catalyst for a dramatic mindset transformation. In 2020, businesses had to find ways to keep going.  Meanwhile, employees started to realize that there was a world out there … a world filled with nature, sports, and time for family and friends. As a result, they started to re-prioritize how they spend their precious time.    

According to a recent study by Fractl, one of the most valued perks of the 2020 workforce is Flexibility. Why? The combination of social isolation during COVID-19 and the widespread adoption of remote work has led the world to value flexibility in their daily lives.  Flexibility is both a need and a strength!  We’re starting to adjust our work to fit our lives, no matter how counterintuitive it may sound at first, and businesses are becoming stronger as a result!

In this article you are going to read about how to design a job role to allow flexibility by default. You’re going to learn the three fundamental pillars of successful operations which serve as a prerequisite for flexibility. Next, we’ll turn these pillars into actionable job spec writing!

The 3 Pillars of Built-in Flexibility

To effectively run any operation, there are 3 main pillars you need to incorporate into your workflow and processes.  These pillars help you achieve transparency, increase inclusivity on the job, and inspire creativity.  

  • Pillar #1: Autonomy
    Autonomy in operations means creating a framework where employees spend a huge portion of their time completing tasks independently.  So start by clearly defining your expectations - how do you expect them to behave and what rules/values do you expect them to follow?  Do you value speed, quality, or innovation the most?  Let them know what you care about, so they can align their behaviors and values with yours. Give them the time, space, resources and materials to engage in initial research. Remove any obstacles, barriers or blockers that may prevent them from completing tasks. Make sure the person responsible for this function or specific feature understands what the desired outcome is. Highlight the purpose and communicate it directly and explicitly. Then let the employee create something amazing!

    How can we turn this into a job description? 
    Describe your ideal employee using “you” sentences.
    “You value (speed/quality/innovation, etc) above all, and you are comfortable working independently.  You can take the resources and materials we provide and then do your own research and reach out to colleagues as needed to fill in the gaps.” 
  • Pillar #2: Mutual Trust
    Building trust involves multiple factors.  Building rapport and relationships which accentuate the uniqueness of each individual is only the beginning.  Trust means showing empathy, being a strong active listener, asking questions, and sparking curiosity.  It means being supportive and demonstrating a genuine interest in the care and wellbeing of your employees.  It means openly sharing information and giving everyone the chase to ask difficult questions, to speak up and to be heard in a safe environment.  It means building that safe environment to boost a sense of belonging.  An environment where people feel safe, free, respected and part of the team leads to loyalty.  It also encourages them to experiment, take risks, and innovate!  Trusting your employees to do their work to the best of their abilities is where the true power of leadership lies.

    How can we turn this into a job description? 
    Describe your values using “we” sentences.
    “We know that trust is everything in business, and that’s why we work hard to make sure you have a safe place to ask questions, take risks, innovate, and be heard.  We trust each other to do our best work, and we build each other up as a team!  We believe that transparency is key and relationships mean open lines of dialogue between unique, growing individuals.  We are excited to get to know you and invite you to reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about the role or our team!” 
  • Pillar #3: Accountability
    Now that you’ve established trust, let’s talk about accountability. Accountability is when someone is responsible for everything that they do and is able to give sound reasons for their decisions. Accountability comes with an “ownership mentality.” This mentality of ownership means you feel that the progress of the whole company relies on how you complete your daily work; it’s making you accountable not only to your direct supervisor but to your colleagues as well.  In order to demonstrate accountability, the employee must first have time management and organization skills, a history of self-driven actions, and the relevant level of maturity.

    How can we turn this into a job description? 
    Describe your ideal employee using “you” sentences.
    “You have a demonstrated history of being an organized self-starter who makes decisions with the goal of benefiting the company as a whole.  You know that your team and the success of your company relies on what you do every day, and you’re proud of that.  You take ownership of your work and make it excellent.” 

Why build flexibility into job descriptions?  The benefits are clear.  

Built-in flexibility helps your bottom line!  You’re increasing retention, building positive morale, and setting your operations up for long-term resilience and success.

If you need help with designing the jobs roles in your startup, reach out to us at contact@remoteit.world and we will help you get there smoothly.

Yours Remotely,

Yanny

Founder of Remote IT World

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