What steps can be done to break away from negative mentalities in the workplace and allow you to manage teams in the way that yields the best results?
Overworking and Busy-Bragging
There are two rather counterproductive workplace cultures on the rise within businesses across America: overworking and “busy-bragging”. New research shows both have a negative impact on productivity.
According to Jayson DeMers, contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, the Culture of Overwork directly harms worker productivity because performance starts to dramatically flag after working a certain number of hours a week. Drawing on a Stanford University Study, DeMers reflects on the fact that output begins to drop after 50 hours per week. The drop is so sharp that, past 55 hours per week, the work seems to yield no tangible results – working 70 hours per week yields the same output as a 55 hour week.
We’ve discussed the fact that worker output has dropped to the lowest it has been since the 1970s and ways in which businesses can improve that by being less wary of integrating new software, but the evidence suggests this isn’t helped by our culture of “busy-bragging”, boosting your sense of performance based on how busy you are rather than the results you get. Writing for UK paper The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman talks about how busyness is its own form of procrastination. “Anti-procrastination advice, if all it does is help you crank through busy-work faster, might be making things worse.”
How can we ensure that, when we protect our workers from procrastination, we’re not steering them towards the trap of feeling busy rather than being productive?
Through Clarity, Productivity
Burkeman comments “The little thrill you get from crossing an item off a list … is dangerous if the item shouldn’t be on the list in the begin with: it’s just luring you into pointless busyness.”
For the American worker engrained in the culture of being busy, having things to tick off becomes an objective to strive towards. The way to tackle the overworking culture in your employees, in this case, is to ensure that their checklists have clear goals and that your teams take work they can handle.
One of the best ways to do this is through smart use of delegation, ensuring that you’re outsourcing as many tasks as possible to team members that are skilled and capable. It’s also vital that your checklist has transparency, to fully monitor task progress and ensure that none of your workers are taking on too much.
Getting Back to Work – Smartly
This additional transparency also empowers you to eradicate any busy-bragging in your team. Instead, team members see and monitor each other’s progress. With these two steps, you can create a culture where busyness is unattractive and there’s no opportunity for bragging. It’s much the same as how Ann Latham put it in a Forbes article about clarity:
Objectives are clear and specific. Movements are anticipated, almost choreographed. Sequences are logical and well-understood. Flow is obvious. You can see it. And many proactive, often inconspicuous, actions support the flow and prevent delays and detours.
TeamworkIQ is one way to foster such a team culture. It does by this by allowing your teams to efficiently coordinate multiple-stage processes, automatically moving work forward through the tasks and steps required to get the work done.
With smart processes in place to match your desired team culture, bad habits and minimized while better results and more efficient uses of time emerge.
Questions? Comments? Talk to us.