Several days ago I had a chat with my wife about squeezing employees. You have significant delay in project and what the boss do? This way or another he’s trying to get more from his team. Personally I don’t know any boss who hasn’t done that, maybe except of those promoted this month.
1. Money. There’s always that old simple method. Financial incentive. Stay longer, I’ll pay you more. A bunch of dollars for every hour. Personally I think it sucks when not mixed with other methods. As far as boss’ goal isn’t to have people sitting in the workplace longer but to have the job done. Of course there are jobs and people which response very well for the scenario, but on general it doesn’t work very well.
2. Simple squeeze. Get them in a room, shout at them, tell them to work more. I’m always surprised how often it actually works. How often people response positively for aggression on the other side. Sometimes it doesn’t even ruin atmosphere as team has collectively the same enemy – the boss.
3. Accountability. Let people feel accountable for the job they do. That’s not an easy path. First not everyone will respond as there are people who don’t really care. Second, it requires quite an effort and empathy from a boss. Especially the latter isn’t seen very often. Ah, it’s worth to add some financial prize after all (not before). Bonuses are typically great budget to exploit here.
4. Ask. You’d be surprised how often people have positive attitude when you just go and ask them if they could do something for you. Sure, no one would jump into the fire after you, but sometimes fixing a couple of bugs more or staying late for a couple of days aren’t unreachable. Don’t forget to say thank you.
And one more thing. When you squeeze your team, no matter if you’re on the dark or light side, always try to imagine how your people actually will feel. And while you’re doing that remember they’re usually in drastically different position than you. After all they aren’t bosses.