People who learn that AccelaWork offers productivity and workflow consulting often think we make people better at their jobs. That’s not only incorrect, it’s a dangerous way to think.
Here’s a typical interaction between someone on our team and a potential client:
Manager: So you’re in the productivity business? That’s good, I really want to make my employees more productive. How can you make them get more done?
SD: Actually, we can’t make them do anything. It might sound like splitting hairs, but there’s a world of difference between wanting your employees to be more productive and wanting to make your employees more productive.
Manager: Huh? What’s the difference?
SD: Productivity comes from improvements to workflow and tools, but also from individual empowerment. Trying to force someone to change only degrades their morale.
Manager: This is more complicated than I thought.
The words we use are crucial. If you tell a co-worker that “you’re doing it wrong” than you are also doing it wrong! Openly criticizing the way someone works doesn’t lead to any kind of meaningful or sustainable change. It only creates frustration and dissatisfaction.
It’s good to want employees to be more productive. Yet it’s also essential to acknowledge that we cannot achieve increased performance through mandate. Instead, we should give employees more authority and responsibility and empower them through additional education. That’s the only consistent way to help companies become more productive.
Are you forcing or empowering? business process improvement consultants to learn more.