SHRM All Things Work
The Art Jackson Solution for Workplace Productivity
The episode covers topics such as US productivity, the impact of remote work on employee expectations and work-life balance, effective staff meetings and their influence on work-life balance, and the role of computers in employee development.
US productivity has been declining for the past 15 years, with factors such as skilled labor shortages, high stress levels, disengagement among employees, hybrid and remote work, excessive meetings, and failure to embrace automation contributing to the decline.
Remote Work Considerations
Remote work has both positive and negative impacts on employee expectations and work-life balance. It should be treated as a privilege and not a one-size-fits-all approach. Building a team through remote work can be challenging, and companies should consider a gradual transition approach.
Effective Staff Meetings
Long staff meetings without clear agendas or action items are unproductive. Changing the format of staff meetings to more interactive and engaging activities can improve effectiveness. Using technology for informal conversations and team building activities can foster team bonding.
Computers and Employee Development
While computers can boost productivity through automation and AI, they are not effective for leadership and performance management. Human input is necessary for assessing abilities and potential. Employee engagement, retention, continuous recruitment, and creating new opportunities within the organization contribute to productivity.
00:00 - 06:59
- US productivity has fallen in each of the last four quarters, according to the BLS.
- Productivity has been sputtering for the last 15 years, McKinsey reports.
- Factors contributing to falling productivity include shortages of skilled labor, high stress levels, disengagement among employees, hybrid and remote work, excessive meetings, and failure to embrace automation.
- Art Jackson is a professional speaker and executive coach who specializes in leadership, performance improvement, and employee productivity.
- A productive workforce requires an environment where employees feel supported and respected while receiving opportunities for learning and career development.
- Leaders need to work with subordinates to define goals and measure performance on a regular basis.
- Employees want flexibility in where they work, including options for remote work.
- Many companies are not doing enough to provide clear career paths for employees.
- Professional development can be delivered through various mediums such as videos or webcasts.
- Certifications can play a role in helping employees learn and develop without full-fledged college programs.
06:42 - 13:02
- Remote work has impacted employee expectations and work-life balance.
- Some companies are reversing their remote work decisions due to negative impacts on connectedness and company culture.
- Building a team is difficult through remote work, as it hinders the forming, storming, norming, and performing stages.
- Remote work should be treated as a privilege and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- A suggested approach is to start with an experiment where new team members spend time in the workplace before transitioning to remote work for a set period of time.
- Meetings can be counterproductive as people often multitask instead of actively participating.
- Long staff meetings can hinder productivity and should be reconsidered.
Staff Meetings and Work-Life Balance
12:36 - 19:21
- Staff meetings that last four hours on Monday mornings are unproductive and lack agenda or action items.
- Changing the format of staff meetings to walking around the parking lot on Tuesday mornings can be more effective.
- Using technology like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams for informal conversations can foster team bonding.
- Team building activities like playing Family Feud can help employees learn about each other.
- Long commutes and extended work hours due to telework can lead to burnout and decreased work-life balance.
- Automation and AI can boost productivity, but they cannot replace human qualities like leadership and performance management.
Computers and Employee Development
18:57 - 23:44
- Computers are not effective for leadership and performance management.
- Computers can only check numbers and cannot assess someone's abilities or potential.
- Using computers as partners to boost productivity is beneficial, but human input is necessary for the spirit and readability of work.
- Employee engagement and retention contribute to productivity.
- Longer tenure allows employees to become more productive, like sharpening a knife over time.
- Employees should progress through stages of training and gain experience to increase their skills.
- Continuous recruitment ensures a full talent pipeline.
- Creating new opportunities within the organization helps employees grow in their careers.
- Position descriptions and resumes of higher-level positions provide guidance for career advancement.
- Asking for position descriptions and resumes from higher-level colleagues shows initiative and fosters positive relationships with superiors.