For several reasons this passage on JP Raganswami’s blog resonates with me strongly. Especially today as I wish had it at hand during a particular conversation last night.
Why is it that so many firms buy this argument, that staff should somehow be blocked from doing anything but work at work? The only explanation I can find is that even in the 21st century, people spend more time trying to measure and control inputs rather than outputs. More fodder for Fossilfools, I guess.
I thought that people get paid for results rather than effort. Analogous to JM Keynes’ engine of healthy enterprise being profit rather than thrift, controlling and monitoring inputs alone is not just dangerous but ultimately counterproductive. You might as well get knowledge workers to punch cards on their way in and their way out.
Which is fine, but then firms have to bear the consequences. Clockwatching. Work to rule. Unionisation. Contractual commitments to pay overtime. Jobsworth attitudes. Tunnel vision. You treat people like machines, you should expect mechanical results.
Thanks JP! I appears that PC (political correctness, not the machine that brings excitement and unpredictability to our work lives!) was brewed in the same pot. What goes round, comes round. To point out the absurdity of the pin-pushers and bean-counters, he turns the table on them:
If things go this way, I guess I can foresee a time where spouses and children start class actions against firms for providing their partner/parent with a BlackBerry. Stealing personal and family time….. I won’t laugh, it could happen yet. Oh frabjous day calloo callay.
And the correct fossilised response would be? To continue issuing the Blackberries, but telling staff they are banned from using them at home or outside office hours.
I have a feeling that even pointing this out would not get companies to realise why it is so important that individual employees are treated as assets and not just units in a system.
Thanks to Jackie for the pointer.