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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Workers are Productive Workers

I find it interesting that there are so many managers / bosses who fail to realize that happy workers are productive workers. If one is happy in their job they do their job. If one is unhappy in their job their mental efforts go elsewhere.

There are LOTS of things that managers / bosses can do to provide low (or no) cost improvements to morale.

One of these things is enabled by the level of technology that we possess today: telecommuting. If you have an employee that works hard and above expectations whose work is not dependent on a physical presence why would you EVER prevent them from telecommuting? If there work is unsatisfactory in quality or timeliness that is one thing, but if their work is always excellent and on time why would you risk making them unhappy? Furthermore, why would you risk their health and safety by preventing them from telecommuting during a terrible storm?

Yes, this is a complaint post but it has a VERY important positive take-away message: treat your employees the way you want your boss to treat you. If you want to be allowed to "just get your work done" then make an environment that allows your employees to "get their work done." If you want an environment that allows you to work from home during terrible weather then let your employees do that. If you want an environment that prioritizes the quality, quantity and timeliness of your work over simply filling your seat for 8 hours a day: make that environment. Your employees will be happier with it and, because they are happier, will be loyal to you. Their loyalty to you will provide far more incentive to work than any other force can (except, perhaps, commission-able sales).

When someone is choosing to NOT risk their life driving in to work in terrible weather because they would rather provide 9.5 - 10 hours of work in their living room - LET THEM. You, as their boss win. You are trading 8 hours of their physical presence for 9.5 - 10 hours of work. Sure, you can't monitor their work and check their attendance, but can you always realistically do that when they are in the office?

Welcome to the 21st Century where physical presence does not equal ability to work.

Anyway, enough of a rant. The positive message of today boils down to the "Golden Rule" - treat others the way you want to be treated. That's how I manage my staff; it's how I want to be managed. Sadly, many managers still fail to see simple things as worthwhile INVESTMENTS in their staff.

1 comment:

  1. Note: it's important to realize that if a worker's work is not up to your standards then you need to tell them that. They won't know unless you tell them. Unless you tell them they have no reason to suspect that they are providing anything other than acceptable (or better) work.
    It's also important to note that one can allow those who do excellent work to telecommute and restrict those who tend to not do excellent work from doing so until they can prove they can handle the responsibility.