You are Worth my Time

Much has been written about disengaged employees. Right now they could even make up the majority of your company’s workforce and they are impacting your productivity and your bottom line.

Some employers simply blame the employee.  They approach this problem by hiring slowly and firing fast. All well and good, and I support it.  But this seems to place all the responsibility for subsequent work behavior on the employee.  It is as though the work environment is seen as a non-reactive base into which the active ingredients are placed.

The fact of the matter is that most people start a job with good intentions and only sink into complacency when a few fundamental things are missing.  They interact with and are changed by the work environment.  They are not to blame for the preexisting culture, and that culture is not neutral.

In a recent short term assignment it was my job to check all Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable batches.  Being new to the district and being unfamiliar with their account codes, I checked those batches with unusually acute attention to detail.  When I found errors (which believe me are nearly always there), I sat with these employees and went over my concerns and listened to their input and their frustrations.  Together we found ways to streamline work and to prevent future errors.

When subsequent batches arrived on my desk more timely with fewer errors, I was quick with praise.

It is so simple. People are very grateful when someone values their work enough to pay close attention to it and when improvements are discussed in a no-blame way.  Employees brighten noticeably when their work is validated by our attention and we are grateful for their efforts.

Funny, we know this about children.  Why don’t we seem know this about our employees?  The desire to know they are worth your time does not change with age.


One comment on “You are Worth my Time

  1. olivierlehe
    June 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Interoperability is increasingly seen as critical for business success, but what is it? Simply put, it is the ability to work together.
    Interoperable organizations are those that can easily exchange information and subsequently make use of that information.
    Interoperability allows organizations to work without barriers and without extra effort with other systems or organizations.
    Individuals have already become highly interoperable, thanks to tools such as the social networks Facebook and Instagram, which both have hundreds of millions of users. These networks add value insofar as they promote communication and the exchange of information, making our lives feel more fulfilled. Without such tools, how would we keep in touch in a world where less time exists to socialize? Of course, connecting online shouldn’t be a substitute for face-to-face, but it does help us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves and to see other things happening around us more clearly.
    If you are interested, I have posted an article about Learning Innovation that you can read here:

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