- Coaching & Consulting
By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com
Todd is a clock watcher. He arrives early to work and takes careful note of the time that his people arrive at the office. A typical business owner, he is frequently the last to leave at the end of the day. Thus, it is easy for him to notice when people pack it in and head for home. Todd values time. So much so that he gauges productivity by it. In other words, in Todd’s mind Joe in marketing, who works ten hours a day, is busting his hump. Todd values his hourly team members in the same fashion. As such, he could care less that he consistently pays Wanda seven hours of overtime per week. She is always there, which must mean that she is hard working, serious about her job, and committed to the company. Todd possesses what I refer to as a retail mindset – basing productivity solely on the basis of hours worked. In turn, he over-values their time and under-values their productive impact. Todd’s viewpoint is not unique. Far from it, his measure of productivity is all too common. Why do so many leaders embrace a retail mindset? The answer is twofold: ease of measurement and social morays – it is an engrained measurement in our national culture.
How should Todd be measuring productivity? By results, of course! Now, do not underestimate my affection for dedication or work ethic – they are invaluable qualities. In fact, the two hard workers referenced above may be superstars for Todd’s company. The problem is Todd has been using a simplistic productivity measure for so long that many people in his company pull the wool over his eyes. Sure, they work a ton of hours, but many have become masters at the art of retail surprise. The surprise in this case is team members getting half of the work done in double the amount of time.
So what should Todd do? Well, there are at least four avenues for him to consider. Conveniently, they are outlined below.
As an aside, Todd actually put these measures to work and affirmed that Joe in marketing is indeed a gifted and loyal team member. In addition, he discovered that Wanda has been robbing him blind – effectively producing about 20 hours per week, yet being paid for 47.
The end game: Todd is opening his mind to other areas in which his team can improve such as performance coaching and time management workshops. Joe is in possession of a nice raise. Wanda is, well, toast.
Think strategically leaders. Identify your superstars and understand very clearly just why you value them as such. Then, communicate with them frequently so that they embrace their role in the company and feel a part of its success.
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