Wise Energy Usage Yields Results

To empower others, you must take their measurements regularly…

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 Sasha was a successful manager of a large team that handled similar customer calls during regular shifts. She found she needed to expand her leadership style when she was promoted to manage a small group where each member was responsible for the delivery of unique project results. Though they had similar strategic goals, their dependence on each other was minimal.

Sasha was very organized and enjoyed structured processes, but she found the needs of her team to be unlike her own preferences. When her strict adherence to work schedules caused serious conflict with the team’s best producer, a tenured peer asked her a critical question, “Sasha, it looks like you can have the great results this person has given consistently for the last year or you can have them come in at 8:00 every day – until they find another job. Which of these options will be best for the business – and for your career?”

After sharing her own work preferences with the team, Sasha found the key was to ask each individual to help her evaluate their resources, productivity and energy realities. Their resources and productivity assessments let them create reporting consistencies that kept Sasha aware of results and issues. Individual energy needs were a new consideration for most of the team. But examining energy strategies together allowed everyone on the team to offer the respect and flexibility that drove that critical balance of creativity, employee satisfaction and performance success.

Reality: The real issue is not the number of hours we work, but instead it is the energy we bring to the work and the value we generate as a result.  This priority is a new measure for those of us outside the millennial generation; but it is critical as they become the core of our workforce! 

 Tips:

  • Mental and emotional energy can be even more critical to productivity than our typical consideration of physical energy.
  • People are most productive when they alternate between periods of high focus and rest/renewal; energy capacity diminishes from overuse and under use.
  • When business structure allows it, prioritizing individual energy-generation sources can enhance top performance.
  • These are typical examples of individual energy draining & generating considerations: time of day productivity, human interaction tolerance, physical stimuli, confidence that personal responsibilities are secured, degree of project challenge, etc.
  • We can build energy capacity by systematically pushing beyond our normal limits, like athletes building muscle capacity.
  • The best way to analyze changes in employee energy levels is through honest two-way conversation; some psychological assessments can help individuals better understand their basic energy drivers.

Discussion tool to help employees express their current energy perspective:energyC.jpg