We, as people, adapt to changes in our environment and with the barrage of technological advancements we have had in the past years, it seems as if we have gotten with the times in the best and worse sense both in general and in business. With the popularity of social media networks, companies have the power to look into the more private aspects of their employees’ lives, giving meddlesome managers ammo to pick on employees under their supervision. Luckily, the same social media platforms have also given more trusting managers the capacity to trust their employees more. For the former, any manager that breathes down the neck of any of their employees will most likely compel them to shun corporate accounts and use their personal accounts as to avoid the prying eyes of their supervisor.
It is known that happy employees make for a better company and in RingCentral’s blog, social media plays a positive role:
“There are multiple benefits to happy employees: increased productivity, improved retention, and an overall positive work environment. In addition, social media has empowered employees to be potential advocates of the businesses that employ them. “
The numbers are undeniable. According to Shawn Achor of The Harvard Business Review, “A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. “
Even for companies that take great pains to ensure that their leadership training is the best they can offer, they often overlook the role happiness plays in the effectiveness of their leaders. This may be a reason for those micromanaging leaders and why they think it is necessary to nitpick and give their employees grief. For happier, more trusting leaders, the technology that we now have available to us allows them to trust their teams more but it still must be taken into account that they are still fallible. In other words: what works for one may not work for the other.
Sadly, technology seems to be magnifying the kind of manager a person already is, which means that bad managers get worse while good managers get better. One important thing to take note of is that high cost of bad managers. According to Jill Leviticus over at Chron.com, the negative effects are high turnover, increased stress, poor hiring decisions, and lowered morale. These can all cost a company considerable amounts of money and untold sums in lost productivity.
Technology is supposed to give us the power to have a relatively high level of autonomy without compromising the way we conduct business but with the more empowered employees such as managers, it could be used for good or bad. There may be satisfaction in knowing what your team is doing and how they are progressing with projects but if you continue to do these things using technological means, you are driving them off the company’s network and forcing them to keep details from you.
“The workplace of today is more involved in technology than ever before, and employees use an assortment of tools to get the job done. The best managers understand the technology well enough to evaluate if the staff has what they need to meet objectives.” (James Kendrick, 2012)
Once you know that they have what they need, it will be in your best interest to trust that they are doing their tasks properly.