I wrote a blog recently on personal fatigue (here), which focuses on the individuals in the business, but this blog explores the concept of business fatigue.
Of course, the individuals in an organisation being fatigued will play a major part, but I’ll let that one pass as a gimme. There’s been a lot of science, research and development about burning out, and there’s a wealth of support to help individuals perform at their best. Daksha Patel and Colin Mobey are two excellent coaches who can do just this, and get your staff performing as they want to.
But how about beyond that? If your staff are OK and you have a look around the workplace and feel like the culture has dropped and it feels a bit stale? Here are a few examples:
#1 – A big client comes on board, everyone is all hands to the pump to get them over the line
#2 – A major system change happens, there’s a big build up to launch day and then the system is live
#3 – A big event is taking place, the venue is ready, the bar is well stocked and you’ve great entertainment lined up
The similarity with those is that there is a theme, a definitive goal to head towards, people pull together to find solutions to the issues and you all get to the crescendo at the end.
But it’s not as simple as just adding more of the same events, the key is the pulse of your organisation and the frequency of delivery.. I’ll come back to that after giving examples I’ve seen where this goes the opposite way.
#1 – Another big client has signed, but we haven’t made changes since the last client, we’re rushing straight to the next client without implementing changes we learned since the last client came on board and they’re not too happy. And it’s the 4th one this month, throw it to Glenda, she always gets it done, except Glenda just resigned.
#2 – Another system change is coming? Why didn’t we just buy a package that can do both jobs? They exist? And the ERP system that we need is still no closer to happening, and that ERP system would do this job, and that of the last two systems we implemented.
#3 – Another social? Where’s the money coming from when I’ve not had a decent performance review in the last 12 months? And I need to see my family? But Jim, Jane and John always get a promotion and they go to these events.
So how do you get a balance? Lauren Bacall is quoted as saying:
“Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world”
You do need to keep moving forwards, making progress. The first thing I’d recommend is getting the right team alongside you. Make sure they share your core values and are able to adapt when your business needs to change. Work with your team to create the vision of the future, what it looks like to work in your businesses in 3-10 years time.
That’s where I get back to pulsing and the frequency of delivery. Each business will cope with changes in a different way, and as a team you’ll learn how much is too much over time, but setting goals for each quarter is what I’d recommend.
You should also get your staff involved in setting what goes into the quarter, when you have a two way conversation about workload, you’ve created a vested interest. With that vested interest, seeing that they are a part of the future vision, that’s what will feed your culture and get your workplace feeling like a place where everyone wants to be.