Corporate productivity depends on employee productivity, right? But what happens when workers are “scared straight” by backwards company policies?
That’s the premise of a recent guest post by our own Robby Slaughter on the CultureRx blog. The piece is titled “I’ll be fired instantly”—company policies and results. He explains how a conversation at a business networking group about enjoying tunes at the office accidentally revealed a totally insane company policy:
“Why don’t we all do a weekly song share? We can each send out a piece of music we’re listening to at that moment. It
will be a great way to motivate and support each other. In fact, we can just email a link to a music video on YouTube!”
Everyone loved the idea…All except the banker. She muttered, “Don’t include me. I can’t click on YouTube at work. I’ll be fired, instantly.“
Slaughter notes that for this particular individual, there could be any number of possible explanations for this story. It might not be a written policy, but just part of the company culture. In any case, he summarizes the key message:
Ultimately, no one should work for a company that has either a written policy or an established culture that explains what you cannot do. Work should be about working. It shouldn’t be about trying to identify all of the possible ways in which someone could be at their desk and not be working.
Here at The Methodology Blog, we’ve been talking about the irony of corporate productivity for years. For example:
- Facebook is not a productivity killer – In fact, responsible people just use it to take breaks. Irresponsible people can waste time no matter what tools are available.
- The real corporate productivity thief is meetings. That’s right, if you want to destroy morale and create inefficiencies, demand people visit the conference room.
- Technology does not increase productivity. At least, not on it’s own. In fact, if you want corporate productivity to rise you need to focus on giving people more freedom.
What do you think? Would you lose your job if you decided to take a break and watch a video? Is this financial institution treating employees like children?