“Work Smarter Not Harder”

Striving for utmost perfection has failed employees on multiple occasions. Today's agile solution is to promote collaboration, support, and partnership!

In the late 19th century, Frederick Taylor founded “Scientific Management.” Now - before this starts to sound like a junior high history report, there are several parallels between his philosophy and that which we applied to the evolution of Digno.

Taylor’s philosophy was designed to promote collaboration between the organization and the employees, with the goal of true and complete optimization that would lead to proper compensation for an employee’s effort, while operating within the best interest of everyone - organization and employee. By leading with this approach, employees could benefit from higher wages, shorter working hours, and better working conditions.

Ultimately, the response was not holistically positive, as many were against the heavy industrialization that – at the time – may have felt a lot like employees do now when faced with the reality of automation in the workplace. Two centuries later, we are still coping with major inefficiencies within our organizations that lead to decreased productivity and profit, disengaged employees, and overworked managers. 

Is it possible that the high level competition that exists within an industry or even an organization results in “hard” work that isn’t actually intuitive or “smart”? Many of us likely grew up with parents or mentors advising us to work hard –  but there wasn’t much discussion around what it means to work smarter, not harder. 

Much like Taylor enforced his scientific management philosophy, Digno was built with every member of the organization in mind - the advantages of efficient, productive, and focused work benefit the employee and the organization. We believe in the mentality - work smarter, not harder, and with or without an intuitive platform to pave the way, there are efforts and actions that can be taken to promote this throughout the organization.

  1. Be specific when outlining the scope of work for any given task or project. Set clear end dates for completion, and give an estimate of how long various tasks or steps may take within a project. Be there for your employees as a guide and accountability partner if certain tasks or projects are taking longer than necessary. When distractions set in, or there are counterproductive efforts being made, it has the potential to derail the entire team or assignment. It’s incredibly important to keep in mind the very thin line that separates coaching from micromanaging, or even stepping in and doing too much of the work for your team.
  2. Discourage perfection. Perfectionism has proven to be a key factor in burnout, or at the very least, a factor that often sabotages the potential for great work, and burnout continues to result in employees ultimately leaving a job or organization. As a leader, demonstrate vulnerability and be open about the journey towards success as it intertwines with striving for perfection. Encourage mistakes as they relate to taking courageous risks in the workplace, knowing that perfection is not an expectation of your team or employees. A helpful tip: teach your employees to set timers for small tasks to prevent anyone from getting caught up on drafting that perfect email.

Encourage your employees to ask for help and to collaborate with their teammates. This might mean asking the question for them and making necessary introductions within the organization when necessary. If there were easily accessible data to illustrate how much time is wasted trying to complete a task or find an answer independently when someone nearby likely had the answer – it would certainly highlight a consistent internal issue for various organizations. Reinforce that it is not the responsibility of an employee to complete a task entirely alone, and find every opportunity to demonstrate that together is often the way to smarter.

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