Will remote working change the pecking order of employees and leaders?
Knowingly or let’s say unconsciously organizations and bosses categorize their employees as racehorses and cart pullers. It has nothing to do with their intentions; it’s how things get measured in most teams & organizations. Flashback time…
I remember my first job, where about 40 of us were recruited fresh from college as sales executives. All of us were assembled at our corporate headquarters for a 5-week initial training program. For many of us, it was also the first time away from home, staying in a hostel, sharing rooms with two other people. At Office, there were new discoveries every week.
Week 1: The Trainers introduced us to biology, where we found people who came from a science background quickly absorbing the concepts and sharply answering the questions in no time. The rest of them were wondering why they did not study science.
Week 2: The written tests started and we saw a different set of people scoring higher (in fact, art background guys scored better). People who came from a science background were left red-faced.
Week 3: The mock sales calls started. Not surprisingly, we found new heroes in this exercise. The outgoing ones enjoyed this interaction based evaluations and winged this with ease.
Week 4: We had video cameras live recording the mock calls, and all 40 of us were observing mock sales calls made by our batchmates. Each one of us had to evaluate our peers on 22 different parameters (things like how you make eye contact, body language, following the sales process). Some of us froze in front of the camera; many couldn’t complete a 3-minute session with their mock customer.
WEEK 5: We had to make mock calls with all the brochures and medical samples to the CXOs of our organization. CHRO, CMO, MD, CFO all turned up as customers and evaluated us. In the end, they declared one of us as Topper and gave him an award. Finally, we were sent to our respective work locations (90% of us got Non-Hometown postings). Five of our batchmates were considered as failed and were given air tickets to fly back home.
6 Months later, we were called to head office for a refresher course of one week. Amongst the 35 of us, about ten were no longer in the company, including the topper. We were told that many couldn’t adapt to the fieldwork discipline and pressures. Some couldn’t handle the travel, and many understandably couldn’t adjust to being out of home and not to forget their bosses.
15 Months later, when we assembled at head office, we were about 15 people from our batch. As you can imagine, with every passing day, people either found the job difficult or the managers felt they were not fitting in. On arrival, we got to know that one of our batchmates was already promoted as manager (the first from our batch).
If you are already bored reading my story above, blame it on my WFH depression! Yes, there is a context!
So far working in offices, some of us got more personal time with our teams and bosses & have been performing at different levels.
The new remote-working the situation has changed contexts for all of us. Do you think we will see new racehorses at your organisations and teams? It’s a foreign setting (but home) for all of us. Some of us may be struggling to work alone, and even our leaders may also be struggling to support you or make you successful.
Something in me says this we might see the new context of remote working bringing productivity and success for a different set of people!
At my first job with every new context, we had new performers emerging and many quitting!
Are you the one who will take advantage of the new opportunity and change the way you perform?
Time Will Tell! Huh?