Have you ever stopped and asked your employees what a productive use of their time means to them? Doing so might actually broaden your perspective on what your organization can accomplish outside of the usual goals and quotas.
It's easy for business leaders to get caught in the trap of treating productivity like a routine or a list of tasks to complete. These goals may help keep organizations operationally sound, but they can also be disengaging to your workforce. Simply setting forth goals and enforcing them may have less to offer than understanding the personal goals of both managers and their employees.
The Workforce Institute at Kronos recently asked employees around the world about how they view their time as being spent at work and what their ideal use of time would be. The summary of these responses was released as a report called "What Would You Do With More Time?" While it's worth a direct glance, here are a few key themes that may reveal hidden opportunities for leaders like you to engage and further develop your workforce for greater successes.
If Given More Time At Work...
The most common employee goal, by far, is the development of new skills — a goal that increases in popularity the younger you look ("Hello" to the ambitious Gen-Z workforce). This ambition speaks to the importance of employers of offering a clear path for career development, focusing not only on performance but also supporting each individual's growth within the organization. The best workers are the ones that will stick with you.
Employee's secondary goals would also work toward a company's benefit. Those in manager roles would prefer to spend more time connecting and supporting their employees instead of being taskmasters, while employees hoped to spend more time helping customers directly.
How might your success look differently if these goals were better shared as an organization? Of course, global trends might differ from those on a local level, so take an opportunity to ask your employees what they would like to accomplish with their time. Even the act of asking questions like this will go a long way to showing your organization's focus on employee engagement and big picture success, not just quotas.