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Best Practical Tips to Implement the New Way of Working

In the years that I have been involved in the development of organizations and specially with the implementation of The New Way of Working I learned a lot. Often the strategies I came up with went well. But I also had to adjust regularly. Sometimes things simply went differently than expected and provided new insights. Fortunately, that's also a success. Translating new insights into new behavior means that an organization develops and can become better. That's why I like to share my top 5 learning points in the implementation of NWoW. Use it to your advantage!

1. All Bricks & Bytes & No Behavior

Investing in a beautiful office building including furniture ( bricks ) and a new ICT environment ( bytes ) to make NWoW possible often involves investing in the people who are allowed to work with it and whose behavioral change is expected ( behavior ). A common problem that causes people to suddenly be confronted with a changed situation and to step into resistance. Or, in the best case, exhibit compliant behavior, while you want everyone to be enthusiastic about the new situation. Therefore; first pay attention to the people and then to the bricks and the bytes . That saves a lot of hassle and unnecessary costs afterwards.

2. Steering on output is steering on results, values ​​are forgotten

I still see these very often! Steering on output is a common statement in combination with NWoW. In almost all cases this is translated without hesitation into directing to result. A fairly one-dimensional view of NWoW where people suddenly seem to be converted into result machines. Steering on behavior is just as important as short-term results. Behavior that fits the organization DNA or the core values ​​of your organization. Therefore stop steering for output and start steering for values ​​and results.

My experiences with this method are very positive. You notice that employees who can develop on both the result axis and on the value axis make a positive connection with the organization. They learn to set goals in which joint success is the starting point. They gain insight into their own talents, but also in their motivation and can use them in a targeted manner.

3. Self-management? Think of the playing field

Time and place independent work means less in the manager's view and therefore more self-management. Giving freedom and trust to be able to make decisions yourself is essential in NWoW. My experience is that this concept appeals to many employees, but that the result achieved isn't always optimal when there is no clear playing field within which you can take decisions.

Two examples. The first is the employee who starts enthusiastically and almost feels boundless. He or she moves a lot and easily takes risky decisions that need to be adjusted afterwards. My experience is that this is a minority.

Then the second example and there are a lot more of that. These are employees who know somewhere in their minds that there are limits to what they should decide, only they don't know where those limits are. The result is that they don't move, they are careful and wait. As soon as you indicate the boundaries of the playing field, people start moving and they learn to use the field optimally. Speak your expectations as an employer and dare to indicate limits.

4. People also want their own office

In many NWoW campaigns, the impression is created that employees 'soon' mainly work at home or at least at a different location than their 'own' office. That offers a lot of freedom and is certainly nice, but not only. People just want to have their own office, I get to hear again and again. Why? Because they want to meet colleagues. People invest in relationships and attach to a social environment with 'familiar' faces. The freedom to work at any location - at home, at the customer, in a flex office - is nice, but doesn't offer a complete alternative to your own office.

In addition, it's also the case that starters in a company have a strong need to learn from colleagues and therefore also look for their own office. Often these are young people who are used to working with new technology at a distance. In your campaign, focus primarily on the combination of freedom and a truly private office, where there is always a place for your people.

5. Infobesitas

Every new communication option offers access to new information sources. Employees almost drown in information that they can't all take, but they feel that they should know. Of course that never works. What you see is that far too long information is collected and the moment of action, the decision, is repeatedly postponed. This doesn't really make your organization decisive.

Eliminating information sources is useless, but what you can do is to teach employees how to deal with this in a healthy way. Creating awareness is the first step towards a solution. I myself have good experiences with a 'expectations' workshop. Make clear in such a workshop that it's not bad to miss information, that you don't expect them to take everything, but that you do expect them to make decisions within their area of ​​work.
Realize that an important condition for eliminating infobesity is an environment in which employees can be vulnerable and therefore also make mistakes. If such a safe environment doesn't exist, but there is a culture of settlement, they will need more and more information to prevent every possible mistake.
I'm curious about your experiences with the implementation of NWoW.

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