The Future Of Work: Outcomes, Trust, And Empowerment

As the world focuses on a global pandemic, remote work has been a popular topic. As reported by Brian Fung, Google just Announced  the extension of their remote work policy to July of 2021 – an acknowledgement that the pandemic could be with us a while. Siemens decided to make their policy permanent, but as this Recent Announcement indicates, their approach is very refreshing. Following in the footsteps of others, Siemens is adopting a new model that will allow employees worldwide to work from anywhere they feel comfortable. The permanent standard allows employees to leverage the new model for an average of two to three days a week. This article by Justin Bariso focuses on the refreshing part of the announcement, reflected in this quote by incoming CEO Roland Busch:

The basis for this forward-looking working model is further development [of] our corporate culture. These changes will also be associated with a different leadership style, one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office. We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results. With the new way of working, we’re motivating our employees while improving the company’s performance capabilities and sharpening Siemens’ profile as a flexible and attractive employer.

In a world where the foundation of trust is withering away, this focus on trust and empowerment is spot on. As we increasingly move away from hierarchies and command and control structures, trust and empowerment are not just buzzwords, but critical to success in a world that is increasingly organized by Ecosystem. In these multi-stakeholder environments, trust and empowerment are the only means of driving effectiveness. The focus on outcomes versus hours is also telling. At the end of the day, it is all about outcomes. Too often, we are not focused on outcomes, rather too distracted by process. Driving outcomes in an accelerating world requires trust; kudos to Siemens for recognizing this.

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