#WFH: Do You Educate Your Intuition?
Educating and controlling your own intuition has an important role in leading, inspiring and measuring performance in the virtual workplace. It can have a profound effect on the governance, interactions and management of virtual workers and on institutional work polices and employee performance. When leader and workers are willing to engage in a reflective and analytical process that act as a check and balance on unbridled intuition, a great deal can be gained in the areas of trust, performance and engagement. Intuition promotes cooperation (Rand, et al., 2012).
Often the virtual workplace is missing or has blurred hierarchies, has a sense of flexibility and fluidity and a higher sense of uncertainty and risk. It is less stable and doesn’t follow a traditional hierarchy of leader-follower constellations. Rather, the virtual workplace is an aggregate of individuals collaborating for a common goal, mission or cause. Virtual workers are more detached and isolated and therefore it is vitally important to establish common objectives and values. Traditional forms of rewards and punishments have little influence in the virtual workplace and are difficult to practice because of the lack of hierarchical lines. Relationship building is what replaces authority and what influences perceptions, values and commitment.
Relationships focus on people, their motivations, beliefs and behaviors. These virtual relation-ships are what support virtual workers in an atmosphere that is inherently seeped with a degree of un-certainty and change. Shared vision goes a long way to provide structure and engagement. Having a vi-sion that supports outcomes and breaks down into tasks and aligns with goals that are clearly defined and detailed with specific responsibilities allows everyone to see the interdependence and reliability on each team member. Change always brings with it a certain amount of fear. Path and goal clarity and allowing room for discussion and individual autonomy and decision making is important. Because of the environmental uncertainty, leading in the virtual workplace requires building relationships that are certain, can be counted on, and are supportive and reliable (Tyssen, et al., 2013).
There is no room in the virtual workplace for what Jeffrey Pfeffer calls Leadership BS. Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford University, in his book,
Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, indicates that power and politics continue to play a huge role in traditional organizations. Al-though leadership development and training across industry accounts for a cost between $14 and $50 billion a year, most of it is ineffective according to Pfeffer. One in every two managers is ineffective. Employee engagement and job satisfaction are at an all-time low. Most companies simply don’t care about employee engagement and are more con-cerned with cost cutting because it has a quick-er rate of ROI. Most of the time leaders look after themselves and not their people (Leavy, 2016). This type of leadership will be catastrophic in the virtual workplace. The virtual workplace relies on trust and once it is lost it is very difficult to reinstate it.
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