b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Five ways to kill productivity or Your employees are not trained monkeys

3/27/2007

 

Five ways to kill productivity or Your employees are not trained monkeys

Original article can be found at Saving Grace Virtual Assistants, LLC.

Some managers envision in their heads, the perfect rows of 3x6 cubicles. The grey walls, and blue grey fabric, with the metal railing tops, stacked side by side, aisle by aisle as far as the eye can see from the manager's office. The 15 inch monitor, occupying half the desk space, the Qwerty keyboard, and two button mouse, and phone, another third, leaving just enough room for a piece of paper and pen to jot notes on. No room for personal items, cups of coffee, glasses of water, not even work related files. The tower workstation sits on the floor, under the desk, it's blinking green and amber lights signaling that work is getting down, and there is not nearly enough room for legs and feet to fit comfortably under the desk besides it. The armless chairs protruding partially into the aisles, in which the trained worker monkeys sit; headset in position, fingers poised to type, the data entry screen flickering in anticipation, waiting for the ACD to route the next call in the phone system roulette. There is no extraneous thought, there is only work; take the call, type the information, save to the system, hang up, Repeat.

Some managers might envision this as the perfect world; maybe, but only if you work with trained monkeys. So read on for five surefire ways to kill morale and productivity:

Treat them like trained monkeys. – Behave as if they, the workers, have the brain capacity of a legume, and that you, the monkey trainer, are far superior to them.

Micro Manage. - This also is part of monkey trainer syndrome. If you want to micro manage, you must specify in agonizing minutia, what you want done and how you want it done. This may sound like a good idea, but miss one small detail and the whole thing will be a mess. If you need to micro manage, you should probably be doing it yourself, because it will never get done to your standards.

Always Criticize, Condemn, and Complain. - Trained monkeys will never really understand what you are saying, however, they will usually cower in some manner due to the tone of your voice. Things may change in their performance and behavior, but it is usually only temporarily, until you have to do it again, or they escape.

Don't Praise Anyone. - Trained monkeys don't need praise, they need treats, like bananas, so why waste the time on using praise, when it won't be appreciated anyway. You have more important things to do.

Let them know that monkeys are a dime a dozen. – Make it very clear to all your monkeys that they are very easily replaced. They should be grateful to you that you spend all your time: training, micro managing, criticizing, complaining, and condemning, and occasionally throwing bananas.

Employees are people. They have feelings, independent thought, and aspirations to be more than a trained monkey; as shocking as that may seem to some. Treat them like a trained monkey and you will ensure that you won't get anything more from them than performing the basic trained task. They won't contribute to the profitability or growth of the organization. They won't be empowered, feel appreciated, or make any effort to help in your advancement or the company's.

If you treat your employees like trained monkeys, they may just act like it, and they will treat your customer as if they were trained monkeys too.


Copyright © 2006, Saving Grace Virtual Assistants LLC.

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