It has been three years now. Three years ago we started this rethinking where we work, and how productivity is beyond a single shared space. We are still adapting, and many of us struggling with not seeing colleagues, missing ad hoc conversations that were both bonding and learning opportunities, and general feelings of loneliness in the remote working world. We also feel (and see) the rise in paranoia about productivity – how can “they” be productive at home? (notice it’s never us that has productivity challenges at home. Why is that?) Some of us installed productivity measuring software to track our people. That is a cultural statement about the level of trust your organization values, which is likely to form a retention challenge for your highest performers.
Maybe the issue is us. Leaders are challenged to have confidence in the productivity levels of their people when they aren’t visible. That paranoia leads to tracking activity rather than impact, which can be very distorted as it removes context. Keep in mind that your folks feel productive at the same moment you feel they aren’t. How can you boost your confidence in them instead of tracking them? Start by checking in with them on progress effort and progress milestones. Investing energy in your leadership instead of tracking their activity will have a positive impact on engagement, retention, and ideation in your organization.