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AkankashaDewan_Feb2014_WorkHardWeights

How hard are your staff really working?

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As a leader, you often have to judge your subordinates’ progress, decide if they’re due a promotion, or even find out how invested they are in the company.

Things like “annual performance review” and “monthly appraisals” might seem relevant here, but it can’t be forgotten that these meetings are often a reflection of things done right or wrong.

Most of the time, it is too late to direct your team on how to achieve their goals, or inspire them to work harder, if they are already on the right track.

The key question then is how can you determine how hard your staff is working on a daily basis?

Looking at the number of hours spent in the office remains ineffective, as it often leads to unproductive, tired employees who do more harm than good to your company (assuming they are actually working productively in those hours in the first place).

A similar flaw exists in reviewing attendance rates; a physical presence doesn’t necessarily translate to a strong mental presence at work, and the chances of your company wasting your resources instead of effectively utilising them are churned up.

Here’s where healthy communication and dialogue between your colleagues kicks in.

Getting the opinion of your subordinates’ team members on their style and quality of work will get you a perspective that formal reviews and objectives might not.

Ask for the various techniques your staff member adopts while working – what time were emails sent, if the worker relies too much on team members’ help to meet objectives, or if they had volunteered to do anything extra.

These things will aid in helping you understand whether your subordinate carried out their responsibilities, as well as how well they were done.

Subsequently, you need to spend more time with your employees yourself. Listen to them closely when discussing projects and focus on the depth of knowledge they have on the assignment in question. Knowing more about the project shows a commitment and dedication to the task, which effectively validates the employees’ contribution to their company.

These things may require you to invest more time and effort, but working hard on how hard your staff is working may improve your own management skills. Happy working!



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