In a recent interview, Robby Slaughter, principal of AccelaWork, discusses the Top 10 Ways to Kill Business Productivity and Workplace Culture.
In this two part series, we dive into Slaughter’s interview with Michael Reynolds on the Digital Exec in regards to the common ways people can unknowingly kill productivity and workplace culture. Today, we will cover the first of the productivity and culture killers that Slaughter feels can actively be fixed if 1.) we begin to recognize they exist and 2.) take responsibility for remedying them.
So, without further ado, below is a summary of the first five on the list of the Top 10 ways to kill business productivity and workplace culture. [To view the video interview in full, visit the link above].
1. Utilizing the Word Mandatory
The word mandatory is a fantastic way to make someone unproductive because if I require you to do something, if I say, “We’re having a mandatory meeting. We’re having a mandatory practice,” then what I’m saying is that whatever else you were doing, obviously wasn’t that important …
Really, it’s pretty demoralizing to use that word mandatory. I think that word ought to be banned from business environments because this is about creating value. It’s not about control.
2. The Veneer of Fun
So much of our organizations, we try to add a little bit of what we think is fun but really, it’s a false veneer, it’s like that nice Formica on top of that cheap table.
You can’t take an organization which is upsetting or demoralizing or one in which people feel like they don’t have opportunities to move forward and fix it instantly by adding some of these incentives. In fact, they tend to have the opposite effect.
The thing about interruptions is that we know from social psychology is the way people work is that they get into we often call the zone, what psychologists call flow. Flow is that state where you’re working at a high challenge, high skill task, you’re humming along, you feel great, you’re making great progress, you may even lose track of time but an interruption when you’re in the zone, when you’re in flow can knock you out completely, it can take you as long as literally 30 minutes to get back into that stage again.
4. Sense of False Urgency
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before that poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part. That expression comes from the fact that many times people will simply forget to tell you about what they need from you, and it’ll sit on their desks for weeks or months. They’ll come for you right before the deadline and give you the piece that you need to do, which you could have taken your time to do ages ago. That’s simply poor organization.
5. Abuse of Status
Sometimes people who are in a management position, or in a leadership role of some kind, feel like they can use that role to make demands of others that are unreasonable. They can reach out and say, “Hey, you need to handle this right away, even though I could have asked you weeks ago and because I’m the boss, I can ask you for that. I can use that urgency, that’s my right as your manager. I’m not really as unfair or inappropriate.” Not only leads to a negative work culture because those people feel upset but it reduced the quality of the work because you have to rush.
Ready for more? Check out the second part of this series where we cover productivity and workplace culture killers six through ten.
In the meantime, if the wait is unbearable and you need to seek some further advice immediately, reach out to us today!