Tag Archives: busy

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workplace efficiencies

Workplace Efficiencies Are Different From Being Busy

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Efficient work is important work. Workplace efficiencies are not synonymous with being busy or productive.

Often when you ask someone, “How is business?”

They will respond with, “Busy.”

A similar response may be received for, “How was your day?”

Does Busy Matter?

People are busy. The workplace hustle keeps everyone on their toes. Whether you are WFH (Working from Home) or working in a more conventional setting, busy feels good.

There are variations of busy.

I’ve processed 100 email messages this morning.

It’s hard to get anything done with so many interruptions.

Today feels slow, but I’m staying busy.

None of these mean that you are working efficiently, or that you are productive.

Unknowingly, some organizations develop a culture of busy. In a culture of busy, work is often measured by motion. Who or what appears to be energized and active? When motion is observed, they’re busy.

This makes managing in remote or WFH settings even more interesting. What was once gauged as productive and efficient is now unknown. Although in reality, it may have never been known and certainly not efficient or productive.

Workplace Efficiencies

In service sectors, anything from Healthcare, to wedding planning, to pet sitting, efficiency matters. While you may be efficient, you may not be productive.

The dog walker may be efficient when taking your pet for a stroll, but productive may mean they can walk two or three dogs at a time.

Running a smooth operation means you need to be more than busy. It means that you should be efficient, but also highly productive.

Doing rework, work with a lot of motion but not going anywhere, or efficiencies that lack scale, are not necessarily productive.

Maybe we should change the answer.

How is business?

Productive.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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busy workplace dynamics

The Culture of Busy Workplace Dynamics

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You need to speak with your boss, but she is busy. You need to check on budget amounts with the Controller, but he is too busy with month end processing. How will you navigate busy workplace dynamics?

It is common, we’re working as a team and sometimes we need answers. The answer may require a phone call, an email, or a trip down the hall, but the person you need is unavailable.

Too Busy

Your boss, the Accounting Manager, or the H.R. Director, may inappropriately develop an avoidance mindset.

They’ve been interrupted every five minutes for years. The interruptions feel petty, slight, or that people just aren’t using their brains. So, avoidance ensues.

On the other hand, they may suggest, “I get it you need me, but…”, approach signals your need is less important than the need they are currently working on. In some cases, it feels disrespectful.

You’ve held your question for hours, days, or even weeks. You’ve been patient, sent a friendly email reminder, you’ve tried early and tried late. Still availability is not in season.

It is possible that employees lose hours of productive time waiting on a response. It may be a lack of empowerment or it may be a lack of knowledge, skills, or abilities. Sometimes it is a lack of accessible information.

Busy Workplace Dynamics

One way or another your culture of service develops internally and is then demonstrated with the external customer. Executives, bosses, or department leaders all have a hand in developing organizational culture.

They also have a responsibility for the productivity, response times, and service that their workplace teams provide.

Many label our economy as a Service Economy. In a service economy, every sector needs to illustrate exceptional service standards.

Service effectiveness is not just for retail or restaurants. It is true for manufacturing, healthcare, tech sectors, education, and yes, even government.

Showing that you care starts internally, it is a cultural attribute of your organization. Busy workplace dynamics are not an excuse.

If you believe enough in service excellence to say that you care. If you expect exceptional service for external customers. Then remember that caring is illustrated.

Show us.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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measure productivity

How To Measure Productivity Through Metrics

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Overwhelmed, too busy, and unsure of exactly how to save yourself? Join the crowd. People everywhere are concerned about improving personal efficiency. How you measure productivity is a good place to start.

Metrics

Most measurement begins with metrics. In our digital world personal productivity often includes metrics centered around email processing. Ask someone how busy they are and chances are good that their inbox will enter the conversation.

Doing whatever pops up and identifying that you are busy may be a fact. However, you shouldn’t confuse the fact that you are busy with productivity.

I had to process over one hundred new email messages.

My boss sent me six new to-do’s in the last half-hour.

I didn’t have time to answer your message, I had to process three days of backlogged email.

When helping businesses form strategy I often suggest that many individuals and businesses can get caught up in “firefighting.” This is a tactical approach to solving problems which can slowly erode strategy.

Metrics, such as the number of email messages processed may be valid, but don’t make the mistake of confusing metrics and measurements with productivity.

Keeping Busy

Proving that we have a lot of motion and that we are busy should never become a metric.

The digital relationship builder can amass new social media friends, connections, views, clicks, likes, and shares but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ve built a single new relationship. The numbers are there. Is the relationship?

We can make metrics improve which will cause busy work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve created progress or value.

Measure Productivity

Often the most confusing part about strategy is understanding the difference between tactics and goals. Seldom is there a need to make executing a tactic a goal. That is more about motivation rather than strategy.

There is a related concept to measuring productivity. Many people believe being busy is a measurement of accomplishment, thus being better at being busy means improved productivity. It could, but often it is just busier.

Do you really want to measure productivity? You can start by measuring the value of the outputs from all of the work that you do.

Keep in mind that metric improvement may be a fact, but did you create any real value?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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busy metric

Busy Metric, How Do You Stack Up?

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No one should be surprised that the origin of the word business developed from the word busy. Old English connected it with anxiety and the state of being busy. Do you have a busy metric?

Use of the word business really took off around 1900. It hit a peak around 1920. Then it took a decline only to start to increase again around 1980.

What are your days like, are you busy? What about your team, co-workers, and the person behind the counter at the hotel check-in?

All Business

Whenever I casually talk with people about the work they do, their place of employment, or what is new in their world, they’ll often say, “busy.”

Organizations are too busy to get to the small stuff, too busy to train employees, and too busy to even think about strategy. Is busy just a catch all word that serves as a socially acceptable excuse to skip performance improvement efforts?

In other words, “I’m busy, leave me alone.” or it could also be a one-word-way of saying, “I’m successful, how about you?”

The financial planner wants to help you prepare for the future. The attorney, they want to protect or support you through law. At the tire shop, someone wants to be sure your riding on something safe. Their busy-ness is helping you.

What if you are too busy?

Busy Metric

As a person with a professional services business, it is common for me to talk with people who are too busy. In between their expressions of busy-ness and attempts to persuade me of their success, I also listen for clues about problems. I learn a lot.

It seems to me the biggest problem that they have is that they are too busy. Too busy to enhance the customer experience, too busy to train their workforce, but still they express desperation about shortcomings, pitfalls, and a limited talent pool.

How is your busy metric, too busy?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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