Ellen Voie’s shorthand summary of her management strategy at the Women in Trucking Association sounds both simple and radical.
“We don’t have vacations, we don’t have holidays, we don’t have set hours,” said Voie, WIT’s CEO. “We just pay people to get their work done.”
Far from being a provocative or idealistic statement of what a workplace could be like, Voie’s results-only philosophy is reality for the six employees of WIT, a 6,500-member organization committed to gender diversity and inclusion for women working in nontraditional careers in transportation.
Voie founded WIT 15 years ago with only one other employee, a director of member services, on the payroll. “We just did our jobs,” Voie said. And when they started adding more staff members, they didn’t start drafting complicated management policies.
A Hands-Off Approach
WIT’s unconventional culture is a byproduct of Voie’s preference for hands-off management. “I’m an entrepreneur, founder of the association, and more of the visionary,” she said. “I like telling people, ‘This is your job, get it done. And when it’s done, report back.’” She reasons that if you’re already trusting people to work for you, you’re setting expectations, and “you should be able to trust them to manage their time.”