Ever felt like you need to just run away to a tropical island and throw your iPhone or iPad in the sea so you can get rid of the constant noise?
As leaders in business we want results, and measuring output is critical to business success. We all know this, right?
The challenge for many businesses as we become increasingly digital and digitally connected is supporting our people in managing the overwhelming amount of information that is coming at them 24/7. Maintaining a healthy and balanced approach is crucial to their work and personal lives, which are now so tightly intertwined.
For some Kiwi businesses this is becoming a key focus, and they are adapting and creating environments that enable and understand the importance of recognising this. For others, navigating this new landscape and supporting employees with this is perhaps piecemeal at best.
So, how do we get the best out of individuals? How do we encourage a healthy work/life balance, whilst minimising the risk of them becoming overwhelmed and moving on to the next business, or making a different choice about their working environment, as a result?
- Create a culture that embraces flexibility and works for both individuals and the business.
- Manage on outcomes vs employee time.
- Lead by example and share ideas to manage information. For example, set times to check emails and respond, switch off times/down time, switching off alerts, notifications and support in managing general ‘noise’.
- Encourage focused face-to-face time together and team activities that are about relaxation and fun.
- Be selective about groups and digital forums to ensure you and your employees are adding and receiving value by being involved
- Encourage a blend of face-to-face and digital engagement, with internal and external customers/stakeholders
- Listen to what your people are telling you. Seek understanding of how they like to work and the challenges they are having in navigating this landscape.
- Find an expert to assist you and the business in sourcing effective ways to manage the ‘noise’.
It is important to recognise that we may be leading teams with people at many different stages in the journey, and that each person will be able to tolerate a different level of ‘noise’ at any given time. This will greatly assist us as leaders to offer support and guidance, or to enlist strategies to assist our people.
Our comfort zones will be different according to our exposure, experiences and level of connectivity in roles. Understanding where our people are on this spectrum is key to keeping engaged and productive individuals in our businesses. Similarly, understanding our own position and having coping strategies to manage our access and balance is vital.