According to a new memo from Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are asking Seattle-based employees to do more with less. What does this mean for the rest of the country?
To date, employees have worked within an environment where the feedback they received was more of a job requirement than a driver of employee performance. In other words, there were staff who knew how much they were supposed to be doing, and where they should be doing it. In this environment, people felt they had to prove their worth, and so they didn’t do anything they weren’t really happy with.
Now, there is no longer an employer’s part of this equation. Employees have a say in how and what they are doing, because they are the ones making the decisions. They are also in control of how they spend their time.
Employees have always had the choice between different activities. In the past, they might choose to work on projects that they enjoyed doing, or they might choose to work on tasks that they found boring. When people work in teams, they can share the workload. This all began to change with the introduction of projects and task boards at Amazon and Google.
In general, you and your employees would get together to share ideas, start building lists of tasks to be completed, and go through what’s going on at the company in general. You could add tasks to this list and then make decisions as to what to work on next.
Now, you can simply work on projects as a team, since you are all on project boards. However, in order to do this, you need to think about how and where you should be spending your time. There is no longer a mandate to use resources in the most efficient manner possible.
Now, the hierarchy will ask you what is your priority at this point in time. It may also ask you to increase or decrease your commitments. It will determine whether you’re going to be on a task board, or where you should be spending your time working.
As an employee, you will choose which direction you want to take. You can be an active participant in your department’s performance review process and decide which tasks are important. And, you can also be actively involved in determining what projects to work on.
Once you have chosen what time is most important for you, you have the opportunity to keep working in whichever way you want to. For example, you could choose to do a project at lunch. Or, you could choose to work on a project late at night, so that you get the most out of the task.
If you’re not happy with the current projects that are assigned to you, you can stop working on them, and you can choose which tasks you want to work on instead. There is no longer a mandate to do the job you’re assigned to, but rather a choice for the time you have.
It’s not as if the employees are just droning on in customer service all day long. You might actually find yourself getting creative and having fun, as you work on the projects you choose. Instead of sitting around and watching others do something that they are told to do, you could choose to do the project that interests you, and does not necessarily have to do with customer service.
There is another side to the rise of employee performance management. that is being implemented and will change the way employees work and think.