Falling Into A Rut
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Issued on October 27, 2010
wore shorts to work the other day. Yea, I know, Iím the guy that says
we should spruce up our image at work, but I did this to revolt against
the rut Iíve gotten into in the morning (plus it was a Friday and I
knew I wouldnít be running into anybody). Like a lot of guys, when I
get up, I have a light breakfast, scan the newspaper, shave, shower,
get dressed for the day, and drive to work. It is all very boring and
repetitive and frankly, I think I finally blew a fuse.
Itís easy to get into a rut regardless
if you are a man or a woman. Whether you call it a rut or ďwriterís
block,Ē the danger is that you become stale and complacent and donít
think clearly. This is when productivity in the office is threatened by
laziness and lack of concentration. I think this is why the vacation
was invented, so that a change of scenery will perhaps reinvigorate us.
It pays to try and ride a different horse now and then.
Office managers should also be wary of
workers falling into a rut. We may not be able to send them on an all
expense-paid trip to Aruba, but we can do other things, such as
reorganizing the furniture, adding a touch of paint here and there,
adjusting the lighting and sound, introducing some new office
equipment, etc. In other words, something for the workers to take note
of and react to.
In order to get your workers out of a
rut, you have to do something that stimulates their five senses and
intellect, perhaps a new type of assignment or job. If left unchecked,
the tedium of a monotonous working environment will eventually drive
away your employees, even the best of them.
I had an occasion to visit a Sony
factory in Japan years ago. While there I observed an assembly line
where the various workers built television sets. Each workstation had
its own set of responsibilities for adding components and checking the
work that preceded them on the line. However, on the hour, a whistle
would blow, whereby the workers would back away from the workstations
and perform some simple calisthenics to relieve the monotony. If that
wasnít enough, each worker then rotated to the next workstation in the
line where the work resumed. This made each worker cognizant of all of
the steps needed to assemble the television set, as well as to promote
the development of a quality product. I found this routine to be a
simple yet effective approach for combating tedium.
You also find managers who promote end
of week parties in the workplace or perhaps hold special training
sessions to develop skills. But I tend to believe the best solutions
are the simple ones, such as the Sony example. I donít normally
recommend wearing shorts to work as a way to combat repetition,
particularly if customers are going to be around. Instead, just pay a
little more attention to the five senses of your workers. It can work
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and
unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of
M. Bryce & Associates
(MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the
management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-11-12 00:48:41 in Employee Articles