Just Say No to Your Inner Control Freak

"Project management is God's gift to the control freak." -- Unknown. A forceful personality can provide certain advantages in a competitive workplace, helping you work your way up the ladder more quickly than you otherwise might. But fair warning: if your favorite management slogan is "my way or the highway," expect a few delays in your drive to the top. Granted, you can survive with this attitude, especially if you're a genius or use less-than-scrupulous tactics to advance. But nobody loves a control freak. Your subordinates will never you give you 100% if you disempower them, hover over their shoulders, or constantly disparage their abilities or judgment. They'll either resent you or will get so nervous they won't be able to do their jobs right. And if you're always in their business, … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: How to Handle a Micromanager

"Micromanagement is a personality aberration of insecure individuals." -- Susan K. O'Brien, organizational specialist "One micromanager can do more damage to an organization than termites in the foundation of a house." -- Eric Boehme, IT professional "Micromanagement doesn't just suck the life out of the workers, it sucks the life out of the manager, too." -- Wally Bock, leadership expert In recent months, I've received a flurry of responses to my articles about the evils of micromanaging. This doesn't surprise me: according to the latest statistics, a whopping 75-80% of American workers have suffered under micromanagers at some point. One- third of us have changed jobs because of them. My previous work on the subject has focused on the negative aspects of micromanaging, and why you, … [Read more...]

Business efficiency: The Importance of Productivity During Down Times

https://theproductivitypro.com/newsletters/num115Dec2008.htm visit for full newsletter Importance of Productivity during Down Times In the summer of 1900... • The average life expectancy in the United States was 47. • A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11, which was an incredible sum because the average American made .22 cents an hour, or about $400 per year. • Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo. • Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school. • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. • There were about 230 reported murders in the US annually. Amazing what a century will change. Amazing what a few months will change. Growth ends, recession sets in, the … [Read more...]

Increasing employee productivity: an interview with Dave Kutayiah

I recently interviewd Dave Kutayiah, SR. VP of HR at ING Clarion Partners about how to increase employee productivity during down times.  I specifically asked him,"How do you get more work out of fewer people?"  He gave me permission to share his reply, because I believe my readers will also benefit: Laura, I am currently going through the same scenario with my HR team and my business partners are experiencing the same due to a recent workforce reduction. In a case like that, as a manager, you have to do the following: - ensure everyone understands why the team is leaner and meaner, - make sure everyone understands the strategy or gameplan and how they fit into the refined organization, - reinforce the importance of each team member and the fact that the stakes are much higher than … [Read more...]

Results-Only Work Environment

I found an article at BNET.com very interesting.  Separating hours on the job from results has been a boost to productivity in many situations.  Outside of the service based or retail environments, should our productivity be based on hours spend on the job, or on what is accomplished?  Some companies, like Best Buy, have implemented the Results-Only Work Environment or “ROWE,” and finding success.  When I chat with audience members after giving a keynote speech, they tell me about coworkers who spend 10-12 hours a day in the office and get nothing done.  That's because being physically in the office has little to do with productivity.  Some people can be there ten hours a day and get virtually nothing done, while others can accomplish great amounts of work in just a few hours.   Part of … [Read more...]

Be a Productivity Role Model

Be a Productivity Role Model

Have you ever taken an honest look at how you are perceived around the office?  Your behavior, attitude, and reputation play a huge role in how you interact with coworkers and subordinates.  Others may listen to you because of your job title, but if that's the only reason, you have a serious problem on your hands. I’m not talking about superficial issues like dressing well or keeping a tidy office.  It goes deeper than that—to your attitude towards work and your attitude towards personal productivity. Do you have a reputation of exceptional organization, follow-up, and time management?  Or do people dread sending you an e-mail, because they know there’s a slim chance that they’ll ever hear back? Is your desk a black hole, where papers and requests go in, but never come … [Read more...]

Co-workers, meetings, and inefficiency: the big energy bandits in the workplace

The workplace is full of energy drains, even for people who work at home. You get caught up in the routine, and lo and behold, hours have passed -- and you've expended precious energy without much return. If this sounds like your work life, maybe you ought to try a few of these prescriptions. 1. Speak up when you have too much on your plate.  If you're overworked, you'll eventually hit a point where your personal energy falls to nil and nothing gets done. Do what you can to streamline your work processes, negotiate deadline extensions, simplify your tasks, and delegate in order to get things done. 2. Be unavailable. That's right. When someone says, "Do you have a minute?" it's okay to say, "Not right now." You don't have to be rude or impolite, but you do have to be honest. Get over … [Read more...]