- As expectations for employees increase, enforcing a culture of high-performance is becoming more and more difficult for employers to manage, according to an article at the New York Times.
- The old strategy of increasing hours on the job is no longer viable because most salaried employees have hit that wall, at the expense of an acceptable work-life balance, says author Tony Schwartz, chief executive of The Energy Project.
- Unfortunately, Schwartz writes, most employers invest in building employee skills but few "systematically invest in building people’s capacity to perform at their best." The result can be burnout and lower performance.
So what is the answer? Schwartz, author of "The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working," writes that the first step for employees is learning to "recognize how we’re feeling at any given time, and then how to shift from the self that undermines our performance to the one that enhances it. This capacity is essential to all great performers, whether they’re athletes, musicians, surgeons or managers and leaders."
Schwartz writes that employees feel and perform better when the following "four core energy needs" are met: sufficient rest (including the opportunity for intermittent renewal during the work day); feeling valued and appreciated; having the freedom to focus in an absorbed way on the highest priorities; and feeling connected to a mission or a cause greater than ourselves.
In short, Schwartz says that a "huge reservoir of untapped capacity, loyalty, focus, engagement and higher performance is there for the taking." If employers can try to meet those basic needs, employees will "bring vastly more of their potential and productivity to the job every day."