Employee productivity and innovation are the fuel driving businesses forward. Involved and motivated employees generate ideas and plans, but they will stop if employees feel constrained by lock-step tasks. Managers face a constant struggle of keeping employees motivated and engaged while also staying within the parameters of a company’s policy.
A high motivation for original problem solving from employees is knowing their creative ideas won’t be shot down because they might not meet a checklist their company has in place. An efficient way to stimulate creativity is to minimize the feeling of micromanagement. A task that is easier said than done. But, one way to mitigate micromanagers and improve employee productivity is to make sure your company is focussed on the results of work and not on the procedural tasks employees take to get work done. Managers focusing on lists of tasks are a sure sign of micromanagement and micromanagers are killers of employee engagement and morale.
Task Based Cares About The “How” Of A Project
Task-based companies focus on the details they take to get to the end of a project. The problem with this approach is managers are more interested in making sure employees “check the boxes” on all the tasks they have to complete instead of focusing on the goal of a project.
Task-based companies make themselves fertile ground for micromanagement because people will be more interested in making sure they cover themselves if a problem arises. Since managers have to answer for their team’s work, they want to ensure their team completed every step possible, so nothing was left undone.
This type of mentality kills innovation and employee productivity because it stifles original thought. Employees will not feel comfortable changing anything because they don’t want to disappoint their boss. Bottom line, employees will be slaves to tasks and checklists, focusing on covering in order to avoid negative consequences rather than focusing on the actual goal of the project.
Result-Oriented Businesses Produce Results
Results-Oriented companies focus more on the “why” of a project. “Why” does the project exist and what is the result that’s needed to make it successful. This is a big shift from focusing on “how” the project is done. Employee productivity will be more efficient in companies focused on producing a quality product. When companies step away from unnecessary or mundane tasks, employees have more confidence to try innovative ideas. They look for more economical and efficient ways to solve problems because they aren’t tied to a checklist of steps, and this is the kind of work that saves companies time and money.
This doesn’t mean a results oriented business doesn’t have policies and procedures, they do, and they respect them. However, they are fluid in their implementation of the rules. If they see a certain task doesn’t need to be completed to get result, they won’t do it. They don’t burden employees with checklists, and they allow them to suggest ways to get to the results with minimal interference.
At Equal Parts Consulting we have seen task-based businesses stagnate because they didn’t allow employees to suggest or implement unconventional but effective ideas. Schedule a consultation with us if you would like to learn about new ways to conduct workflow and idea generation in your business.