“Come to Hawaii with me in five hours?”
A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine suggested asking employees if they could wrap up work and get on a plane in five hours as means of gauging effectiveness on the job.
The Hawaii Question encourages employees to see their productivity for themselves. As many organizations move away from the annual review to adopt more continuous feedback cycles, questions like this one could prompt the inner monologue that drives improvement.
You’ve piqued interest, so now what? Help them do something with their newfound self-awareness.
Start activity journals
Encourage your employees to document their goals, time for tasks (including interruptions), and what was completed at day’s end. Sit down with them at the end of two weeks and identify the opportunities to improve.
Create SOPs for their jobs
Have employees create manuals and instructions for their role. It’s a great exercise to help them identify critical tasks and standards, and maybe even how to do things more efficiently. The buy-in that comes from feeling heard may also yield performance improvements, too. You also get the benefit of ensuring that employees are aware of their responsibilities and that work can be picked up by someone else when there is a sick day, vacation, or promotion.
Once you’ve got people thinking about their jobs and how to do them better, make sure there’s a way to capture all the great ideas. Some companies have implemented process helplines to streamline the idea flow. Reward your top suggestion of the week with a reward.
-How do you encourage employees to take an honest look at their work?
-What do you plan to do to drive productivity in the coming year?
-What is your system for collecting employee suggestions? Do you review them and implement the good ones?