Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Achieving More with Less - Positively

From Steve Jandrell, Co-Founder CandidAdvisors

This post is a response to today's WSJ Article Employers Hold Off on Hiring - Doing More with Less - http://bit.ly/2A3Sbl

In many ways, the negatives of an economic down turn and the slow recovery from an employment and jobs perspective, dominate the debate. Economists seem to agree that even with a fair wind, getting unemployment back to 5% will take 8 or so years. As operating costs are cut, hiring freezes put in place, budgets trimmed, productivity requirements inevitably focus on doing more with less. The threat of unemployment makes workers more amenable to working fewer hours while still delivering; process efficiencies and changes in work flow add to the productivity gains. But so much is borne of fear.

There is a point however, that seems to be consistently missed. Business process efficiencies, people working harder, intelligent application of technology are all important, but what about employees raising their game based on the positive perspective of developing an individual and collective sense of high performance and mutual support, regardless of the prevailing economic environment?

Most people want to be part of a winning team. Very few wake in the morning thinking, “I want to sub-optimize my contribution today.” Yet it happens all the time. The solution is not a theoretical, “let’s all bond” but a measured and planned effort to leverage the fundamental human need to achieve and be successful. In so many cases it is at the team level where this can occur.

Internal business and work relationships in corporate America are typically superficial and polite. Stereotypes are formed (often quite wrong), and there is a prevailing attitude of leave decisions on how to improve things to the boss, or he and she will not want to delegate (or in their mind, abdicate) responsibility.

It doesn’t have to be like that. If companies organized to ride the wave of human creativity and people’s need to succeed, and thus created focused support networks, the term empowerment is taken to a different level. This economic climate may be the vehicle for this. Not just doing more with less, or even achieving more with less, but creating a work place of support, positive reinforcement and folks really playing to their strengths. Becoming the true winning team.

In the end, winning a Super Bowl is not about, for example, whether the Quarterback and the Wide Receivers like each other; it is about each player knowing their strengths and limitations, finding ways to work together for maximum impact and celebrating the fact that their individual and collective goals are clear and are given the space and encouragement to achieve them. In this scenario, performance is everyone’s responsibility. If a co-worker is not playing to their strengths, shouldn’t this be of concern to the rest of the team? In so many occasions, it is never really addressed – it is apparently safer not to.

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Read the original article at The Wall Street Journal

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