All Work and No Play

As if the holidays didn’t impose sufficient stress upon normal human beings, those in management must also cope with the added burden of managing not only their own stress but also the stress of those who report to them. After all, that’s what good bosses do. They make every effort to reduce the stress of those who work for them.

New Year’s Day imposes even more stress with its tradition of  making promises that (1) most of us know we won’t fulfill and (2) simply aren’t realistic, thereby inviting failure. Don’t fall into that trap and don’t drag your employees into that quagmire with you.

Trickle-Down Theory

Corporate culture starts at the top and trickles down to front-line employees who follow their bosses’ actions. After all, the boss who claims no employee has more work than he or she can handle within a 40-hour work week and then proceeds to work 60 or more  hours a week gives lie to those words. Not only do employees infer that 40 hours of work a week as inadequate, but they immediately learn that the boss’ can’t be truthful and, therefore, can’t be trusted.

Therefore, the good boss models the behavior, attitude, and action that he or she wants employees to emulate, not only for their own good, but for the good of the business. Let’s face it, disgruntled, tired, cynical, exhausted employees–and bosses–can’t be productive. So, instead of declaring New Year’s resolutions that directly address the bottom line, perhaps focus on resolutions that cater to the wellbeing of the people who work there and let the bottom line improve as a result of a happier, more energetic, more productive staff.

So, after you’ve wiped the sweat and holiday glitter from your brow, how do you do this?

Just Say, ‘No.’

Not every request by a client or by a superior higher up on the corporate food chain needs immediate attention, immediate fulfillment, or even satisfaction. Fox News, Forbes, and Entrepreneur all offer similar advice to handle last-minute or unreasonable requests.

  • If a client (internal or external) requests a service or product that you do not provide, refer that person to another provider who you know will satisfy that demand.
  • If a client requests a service or product you do provide, but simply don’t have the time or capacity to accommodate, then explain that the schedule if booked and offer an alternative date for fulfillment.

Accept, Act & Focus

There’s a lot to be said for the Serenity Prayer, which advises learning the difference between what you can control and what you can’t. This simple wisdom serves as a launching pad for action, which asserts control.

The simple directive to act entails other choices and stress management strategies, such as taking a few deep breaths to restore composure and eliminating those infernal interruptions that distract you from your work. Managing interruptions may be as simple as telling your assistant to hold your calls or ignoring the constant barrage of email messages until you’ve completed the task at hand.

Both Business Insider and Psychology Today agree that not only is multitasking inefficient, but it also interferes with productivity and reduces capability. No one’s truly good at multitasking anyway. Although research has long since proven the fallacy of multitasking, most businesses still tow that party line from the 1990s.

You’d think business could find a new fad to follow. Or perhaps your business could start that new fad called “focus.”

Take Care

Everyone knows the importance of a proper diet and adequate rest. That doesn’t mean everyone acts in accordance with such knowledge. People who disconnect from the job, eat properly, get adequate sleep, exercise, and make time for personal priorities, enjoy better health, job engagement, and higher productivity. Take care of yourself and your family as a model for your employees to follow so they can take care of themselves and their families. The resulting benefits to them will culminate in a positive effect on the corporate bottom line.

Resolutions are not bad. Sustainable business growth depends upon goals and the processes to achieve them. Heggen Group will help you define the right goals for your business and then help you develop a feasible path to achieve them. Contact us to learn more.