Each of us in the workforce wants to believe that we are hard workers. It is recognized by leaders and coworkers everywhere. “Did you see Fred; he was here until 8:00pm?” Most leaders appreciate that type of dedication and it is true, sometimes, putting your “nose to the grind stone” and powering through a task is exactly what it takes to get the job done. But you shouldn’t overlook the necessity of working smart.
Working smart affects your job satisfaction and overall happiness. A study we came across found that 40% of American workers will leave paid vacation days unused simply because they dreaded returning to piles of work (40%) or because they believed that no one would step in and do their job while they were gone (35%). That means they are not working smart.
Think of working hard as a tactic (the how); it is focused on doing an activity. Working smart is the strategy (the what); it is the vehicle we will be using to get to the destination. It is what we are willing to put as a priority for the week that will make the biggest difference in 3 years. Stretching yourself by seeking new experiences, taking more powerful actions, in a more high impact vehicle involving other people, will take you further.
For example, improving the hiring process is a tactical activity. Building a retention system to hire only the people with the best matching values of our company and trying to keep them for life is a strategy. Which one will have the bigger effect? Many top teams we have worked with initially invested 5-8% of their time in strategy and did not think of it very often. After some training and discussions with our team, they found that they needed to invest 30% of their time reviewing strategy.
Every organization needs a clear destination, path and vehicle for the journey. This way, both short and long term goals are achieved by all employees making the best day to day choices when allocating time, energy and effort.
If your organization needs help developing more powerful strategies that help your team work harder and smarter, contact our expert guides at 800-786-4332 or email CClemmer@AppliedVisionWorks.com. It only takes 30 minutes to get started!