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How we solved the problem of loss of employee motivation due to overwork

Refining creates an overload on employees who are more likely to be disappointed with their work, lose their motivation and, at best, leave, and at worst, drag the whole department along. This is especially painful in small teams, where one person performs many functions – a drop in his performance has a huge impact on the business. The article talks about how to overcome this problem.

The problem with modern offices is that irregular working hours are slowly starting to be considered the norm. Studies say that one in five working Russians lingers on a daily basis in the workplace. And rarely does anyone pay him for it. As a result, endless work drives employees into a state of stress and nervous exhaustion, which leads to a drop in productivity and company income.

Tasks that our team faced

Our company had to constantly look for new personnel, to engage in training, which created an additional burden on HR and ordinary managers. As a result, this was expected to lead to a drop in overall labor productivity and income.

Moreover, it was simply impossible to remove the processing:
Firstly, the scope of customer service implies that the main burden falls on the evenings of weekdays and weekends. It is at this time that people return from work and are ready to make purchases.
Secondly, limiting the working day to a conditional “from 9 to 18”, productivity fell even more, and there was a risk of losing customers. It would be possible to hire additional employees and transfer them to a shift 12-hour working day, but the team opposed this. In addition, this increased the burden on the budget due to additional costs for people and the office.
We did not consider the option of transferring people to a remote site (even partial), because:
Already had a negative experience with such decisions.
During working hours, you need the physical presence of people in the office.
It is clear that the ideal solution to this problem is to give employees a certain degree of freedom and flexibility, while maintaining their productivity and not forgetting about control. It’s important to save money – a small company does not have a bloated budget for complex project management systems, even if in the long run they would bring results.

What have we done

1. Abandoned the policy of time management, in favor of the policy of task accounting

Although this has long been a well-known scheme for increasing employee productivity, it is still extremely reluctant to use it. Often, it generally gives the opposite effect, especially when employees are removed the salary and put on interest, which depend on the implementation of the plan. Perhaps this works in small retail sales (which are insensitive to staff qualifications), but in the project management sphere this certainly does not work.

For each employee, we set a minimum amount of daily tasks. On new projects, people were appointed by the project manager at weekly meetings. At the same meetings, they compiled a matrix of responsibility distribution for each manager.

2. We switched to a cloud service to work on the Agile methodology

Agile boards are good because in addition to self-control, the tasks of subordinates are controlled by the project manager.

Cloud services are doubly good: there is no need to rebuild the existing corporate system, send employees to training and so on. In addition, for small companies such solutions cost a penny. For example, for a team of up to 10 people, they are generally free.

3. For each employee set a personal “time of silence” after the end of his working day

At this time, a person has the right not to answer the phones and not answer mail, except in really emergency cases. This is 1-2 hours daily, depending on the personal workload of the employee. Each employee chose his own time. We distributed schedules so that the two managers responsible for one project did not overlap.

4. Revised KPI policy and awards

We did not remove salaries, set bonuses depending on the degree of participation in the project. Those who performed more tasks and worked on one project longer receive a larger percentage from its implementation. This increased the motivation of employees to contribute to the development of a specific project, and not to “travel” at the expense of colleagues.

5. Added responsibility for outstanding tasks

In addition to motivation, we also added depremy for systematic failure to complete tasks. Focusing on the same agile board, for a month we received data on the most inefficient employees. We looked not at the absolute number of tasks, but at the number of tasks assigned to a person, but overdue or unfulfilled.

What we got

Although decisions to optimize work processes took about two months, and required the joint work of HR, project managers, heads of areas, and directors, in the end we got the following:
The staff turnover has decreased, which removed the burden on project managers.
The number of processed applications has increased.
The involvement of employees in projects increased (that is, more people began to work on one project, and the project, accordingly, became faster…

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