Person-Centred Productivity is about
- Being kind to yourself throughout the day. Focus on one thing at a time and recognise the progress you have made.
- Knowing the help available to you and feeling free to ask for that help when you need it without risk of it ‘counting against you’.
- Regularly getting to be involved with jobs you find engaging and that you feel you can contribute to.
- Extending principles 1-3 to everyone you can at work.
I believe that people work best when they are treated well, and I don’t mean that you bring in a box of doughnuts every morning. People are complex, but at the end of the day they want to be doing something they find fun and interesting where they feel free to ask questions, challenge accepted norms and feel valued. But it’s most important to start with yourself.
But this will make me a selfish boss! I hear you cry.
No, this will make you a mindful boss who is becoming self-aware and who will understand the challenges your colleagues face. It is easy to tell people to take a break, or focus on one thing or another, but it is a lot harder to do this for yourself. Added to which you become a role model. I had a boss once who walked out of meetings he found pointless to him. Initially this looked really rude (and there are probably politer ways of going about it) but when he explained that he didn’t expect anyone to waste their time doing something that didn’t really involve them the meaning became clear. And we all felt free(ish) to follow his example.
Bosses also have a bit of a responsibility to leave the office on time (in my humble opinion). There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that there is often the common unspoken office culture that people don’t leave a long time before the boss in case they are needed for something. The second is that quite frankly if the work you need to complete and the hours you have to complete it don’t match up then something has to change. When you start thinking creatively about what work you should be doing and how you open up your working routines to change then you will start to see the work your staff do in a new light.
To sum up, person-centred productivity is about developing the culture where you and your staff are able ask ‘what if..’ and then try out new ideas in order to find out ‘what if…’