Doing more for less
It’s now a common challenge for people at work to be asked to do more for less. Normally this is about being asked to complete more tasks in the same time. To help everyone along, there is a groundswell of interest in building individual resilience to cope with this demand to do more in the same time.
To do more tasks in the same time relies on improving intense concentration as it’s the diversion of concentration that causes tasks to be repeated, hesitated or deviated from the straight and narrow.
What seems to be happening is that managers demanding more for less are paying no attention to how to enable greater concentration by those they manage. The same old problems occur; interruptions, unnecessary meetings; more emails for more tasks; less breaks, less support, less interest.
This is, of course, the opposite of what excellent managers should be supporting. They should be identifying the important tasks to be performed, leaving aside the urgent and not important tasks; they should be encouraging their staff with loads of gratitude; they should be lining up the supporting skills to operate smoothly to ensure tasks can be completed first time and successfully; they should be encouraging breaks for ten minutes in every hour; they should be setting mutually agreed expectations.
The knock on effect of not being aware of the needs of staff is that individual self interest will erode the process of helping others to help oneself – the most successful way of achieving personal self interest. Secretaries, or as they are now called, business support services, will not provide support; managers will not supply supervision and support; colleagues will not help resolve problems that arise. There is a general shut down of mutual support and interaction whilst the tasks keep piling up and not being completed effectively.
This trend will be very difficult to reverse, if one generation of workers follows a generation that uses selfishness as their best method of interaction. It is a recipe for perpetual under performance, at a time when performance needs enhancing.
Resilience isn’t about doing more for less; it’s a process that produces an attitude towards events. If general attitude is to look after number one first, then that isn’t the most resilient way of performing effectively. Looking after others who then look after number one will produce much higher performance and psychological wellbeing, which is precisely what we so desperately require.