Measuring Productivity: Or Why A Role Is More Than Just A Task

Impact Coaches Inc. – Articles
By Sandra Oliver and Antoine Laganiere

Impact’s Founder, Sandra Oliver, and Impact coach, Antoine Laganiere, are from two different generations – and they always find lots to talk about and learn from each other.

Recently, Sandra and Antoine looked at the employer/employee relationship, the shifting length of the workday, and the role honesty plays in today’s work environment. What’s a “fair work day” and are multiple jobs during the same day ok?

Sandra: I was in a grocery store recently and a man said to the cashier, “My wife has a remote job where she works less, makes more and can do a side job at the same time during her work day.” I couldn’t help wondering if the employer knew and if they were ok with it?  When did that become an acceptable norm and something we brag about? Is it right? Is it fair?

Antoine: Having two jobs or a portfolio career is something we began seeing more of during the pandemic. As well as people working fewer hours per day. It’s likely because working remotely offers more flexibility. But technology also comes into play because it provides greater efficiencies. We can do more in less time. And younger generations tend to be more enthusiastic about experimenting with and using new tech. But just because you can complete your work in fewer hours during the day, doesn’t mean you’ve done all you were hired to do.

We also have to consider the other elements that go into most roles, like contributing to the culture, mentoring others, helping to build a strong team.

In addition to the tasks you’ve been hired to do, these intangibles contribute to your full-time job. So just completing tasks is a reductionist way of looking at work. And I’m not sure it’s fair.

Sandra: Absolutely. As an employer, you’re also paying for innovation and creativity, passion and drive. You’re investing in the future when you hire someone. You’re paying for them to learn the role, be trained and mentored. Which means the employee is going to be less productive for a period of time. The employer invests time and money in employees, promoting them into new positions, giving them resources, like training courses and coaches. Employers are hoping employees will “give back” by developing colleagues, contributing to the team and the company. Flexibility has to work both ways. If you leave early to deal with personal issues, you should also be prepared to give personal time to help out at work, when needed. And I’m not sure the younger generations see that part.

Antoine: I think this gap among the generations is partly because of the pendulum swing from the collective to the individual. The older generations were much more focused on serving the collective, both at work and with family, with less attention on the individual needs. Whereas for the younger generations, everything is more on the individual front and ‘what works for me’. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just shifted. But we can aim for greater balance between the individual and the collective – for people from both generations.

Sandra: Right – it just requires more dialogue. If you’re an employee and your individual needs are important, you need to have the conversation with your employer about them. Look for ways you can meet your individual needs, while also serving the organization’s needs. Work, like any relationship, is a two-way street.

Antoine: It’s important to recognize that for both sides there are unwritten rules. And just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Making sure both sides communicate, are aware of and acknowledge these intangibles will help everyone get what they need to succeed.

Sandra: Yes.

Dialogue is really important. And so is being honest. Tell your employer the arrangement you’d like to have and get their buy-in.

Trust is critical and it’s important to operate in a way that recognizes your job is bigger than mailing it in or just completing tasks. It’s also contributing to a team, building an environment, and growing an organization. So, in fact, the employer is paying for your time and attention as much as they’re paying for the tasks you do. It’s a rare employer who will want to pay you while you manage two jobs during the same 9 to 5 day.

Impact Coaches Inc. – Articles

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