Time Theft Problem or Lack of Outcome Problem?


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I saw this article this week on how much time is wasted at work. According to this article, almost 50% of employees waste between one and five hours a day on non-work websites and 64% visit non-work websites every day. I have seen articles like this before, especially when college basketball tourney is going on and how much time is wasted, blah, blah, blah. The article states, “Yet time is precious, and every hour spent on non-work related activities impacts the bottom line.” Really, is it really impacting the bottom line? How do you know, are they not getting their job done, THAT is the question that needs to be asked.

My question to all of this is, “Who cares?” If organizations are giving their employees specific objectives to accomplish, and then ensuring those tasks are accomplished and if not, working to determine what changes need to happen to ensure the tasks get done, who cares how much time is spent on non-work related websites. This is the entire problem I have written about before on caring too much about the hours worked and caring too little about what actually gets accomplished. I have a buddy of mine who was just told to really stay at the organization, he needed to work 60 hours a week. What about telling him the specific things they needed him to accomplish in the next 90 days and then let him figure out how long that will take. Yeah, he left and found a better job.

However, I do like the last page of the article where it mentions the problem being employees aren’t challenged enough. That I would agree with. And I really like this “[t]here are those who are fully engaged in their work, who are given incentives to do better, who are satisfied with their career, are not bored — these are all reasons why people work hard, and the converse is true. If they’re bored or unsatisfied or feel like they’re working too many hours or are not motivated enough, that’s management’s role to try to fix that.” Although the employee has a role in this too, they can’t just sit back and expect their boss to notice they are bored. They need to be proactive and determine their career path and then take steps to move along that path.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Woolard
Chris is responsible for the sale, design, implementation, account management, and consulting for his clients' employee and customer assessment programs. As the manager of program-related activities, his involvement focuses on study design, exploratory research, questionnaire development, client reports and presentations, finalization of all program deliverables, and meeting other unique client needs and requirements. He is currently focusing his skills primarily on employee loyalty consulting and is considered Walker's employee loyalty expert.


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