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The Importance of Trust to Employee Productivity

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I love seeing our customers fully embrace mobile labor management technology in the workplace. Between employees texting to confirm shifts posted in TimeForge, and both managers and staff using the TimeForge apps to coordinate scheduling and attendance, trust is built, employee productivity rises, and efficiency is maximized!

Why does this thrill and surprise me? Because I’ve worked in a “No Cell Phone Zone”. When I was a freshmen in college, I took a temporary job at a school memorabilia shop across the street from the university I attended. Employees were not allowed to use their cell phones. In fact, they had to be locked in an office and retrieved from the manager before we left. In other words, there was absolutely zero trust from the manager.

On one particularly busy football game day, the manager asked to see our text messages before we left that evening; they wanted to ensure we hadn’t been texting on the busiest day of the year. I was outraged. What an invasion of privacy and lack of trust! The manager assumed that employee productivity would increase if we didn’t have access to our phones.

Why trust is important to employee productivity… and distrust hurts

The problem was that a single sent message was grounds to be fired – and I saw it happen. I respected the rules that day and kept my job. (Indeed, I would fold and refold a lot more t-shirts before I moved on from that place.) But, I never fully recovered from the lack of trust my employer showed us. Our purses were checked before we left each day. Also, we were not allowed to be in the store for more than thirty minutes if we were not scheduled to work. We were all considered thieves with expert knowledge of where money and the more valuable items were. I assume that my employers employed enough bad apples to ruin their impression of the whole bunch, but that hurt! Demonstrating obvious distrust for your employees only reduces employee productivity and morale. I learned this later as a retail manager.

Even worse, the store management team spent more time interrogating employees than managing them. Schedules, hand written and taped beside the mechanical time clock, often didn’t show up until the day before the new shifts began. Time off requests were generally forgotten and rarely granted. Rather than pay invoices with our paychecks, we had a note in the memo of each check about hours worked and federal deductions. What a mess!

Labor management tech can be adapted to different styles

Managers need tools that allow them to manage in whatever style works for their business and keeps employees productive. That’s what impresses me about TimeForge. I appreciate the tools that make management as transparent or as guarded as each individual employer needs. Tools that respect varying management philosophies. With mobile apps and text messages, you can communicate about important stuff, like time off and schedules, on the device employees already know like the backs of their hands.

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