I like the way this is phrased because it is the opposite of what effective leadership should be:
Looking at how work is done — even down to the granular details — can be valuable, and collecting employee data can be an essential piece of that. But a “squeeze ‘em” approach that focuses on individual productivity is incomplete, lacks nuance, cannot scale, and does not reveal the full truth of how people get their work done and what ails them.
Instead, companies need to turn the question around and ask whether their work environment supports their people in being productive. And the key, to doing this is empathy.
I am convinced that the best managers are the ones who help remove obstacles to doing good work. Every organization has them. It’s a question of how effectively they can be navigated. In toxic environments, it’s not possible. In healthy ones overcoming obstacles is possible, and that is where managers focus their efforts. Monitoring every action of an individual employee does nothing to help them navigate the obstacles and does nothing to support them. It’s all a top-down case of the “gotchas.”
That sounds toxic to me, and toxic places never bring out the best work in their people.
Go read more about how damaging this practice can be.
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