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Micromanagement can Distract From Proper Procedures

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Being productive as an employee isn’t just about getting work done. It’s about performing assigned tasks thoroughly, efficiently and in a quality manner—whether people are watching or not.

Constantly monitoring employees at work is hardly empowering or improving worker productivity. In fact, it’s micromanagement at its worst. And while the tendency is to create systems of surveillance in order to increase employee productivity, it is truly a counterproductive solution. After all, when stakeholders begin to detect a sense of distrust, their motivation for quality and measure for success decreases as does their overall satisfaction.

Yet, what happens when employees become misguided in their definition of productivity? A surveillance video of a FedEx delivery man became a viewing sensation on YouTube. Unfortunately for FedEx, and for the flat screen monitor that probably ended up in pieces, the clip was a damaging display of employee carelessness and lack in quality control. See the video below [direct link here]:

We may never be certain what motivated this FedEx employee to toss the package over the fence rather than treat it with the precision and care outlined in his training. Perhaps he was rushed and concerned about finishing deliveries or, as is popular opinion, he was acting out of laziness or frustration. Regardless, his actions were a far cry from the values written in FedEx’s mission statement:

FedEx Corporation will produce superior financial returns for its shareowners by providing high value-added logistics, transportation and related information services through focused operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx Corporation will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Sadly, while the video above is disturbing, it’s not the only one of its kind on YouTube. And the problem isn’t just limited to Federal Express—in fact, UPS may take the cake with all the the bad deliveries caught on video. Below is just one example of the many express deliveries that have gone awry. [direct link here]

Unlike the FedEx delivery video, this UPS delivery attendant clearly appeared motivated by time. Perhaps tossing the boxes was a way to save seconds or minutes, but truly, was it really effective? Once getting off the truck, the attendant still had to pick-up, re-stack, and organize the boxes before distributing. So, in the end, tossing the packages saved zero time. It may have even added a few more  minutes to the delivery!


© Flickr user Alan Levine

Despite the ridiculous display of carelessness in these videos, they bring up an interesting point of view on the causes for misguided employee productivity. Because let’s be honest, such actions may not always be a result of laziness or incompetence. Rather, our business improvement process consultants advise they could be a manifestation of micromanagement in the office. So, if procedures in your company are lagging in quality, take a moment to decipher whether processes are created and performed in a collaborative environment where documentation and procedures are clear. If not, perhaps it’s time for your company to take a different approach. Either it’s time to trust your employees don’t need to be micromanaged, or it’s time to get some new employees who can be trusted. Either way, it’s the culture and standards you set forth that will determine the ultimate success of those you’re working with.

Empower employees to become masters of their own work by increasing their level of responsibility and accountability! Reach out to the most knowledgeable consultants Indianapolis has today to learn more about how we can help.

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