Work better, not simply longer

I came across this post in LifeHacker about working more hours.

“We Need to Work Longer” – Why This is Not What You Want to Say | Manuel Kiessling

It’s a great reminder that working more hours is not the key to success. Working the right number of hours, focusing your efforts and your team’s efforts during those hours on what will move the organization forward, is far more important.

Yesterday’s model of logging endless hours at your desk to impress the boss no longer works. The boss may be in Frankfort, Kentucky or Frankfurt, Germany. And if you’re the boss, cracking the whip way past five is not the key to success. In fact, more often than not, as Mr. Kiessling puts it, it comes across as punishment.

Get people focused on what’s important to the business and get them to put their efforts in that direction. Get them to want to put in that effort. Find out what your employees care about. Find ways to help them see the importance of the company’s mission and help them to care about that. Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what needs to be done and let them surprise you with their ingenuity, to paraphrase George S. Patton. This is how you motivate people and how you get them to put in the extra effort. Maybe it will result in more hours being worked. But at least you’ll know that they are really working and not just going through the motions until they think it’s safe to leave.

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