Establishing Workplace Routines
Personal workplace routines help to keep the rhythm of the day and create predictable scenarios that keep schedules in line, even after unexpected interruptions. These benefits don’t have to be enjoyed on a solely individual basis, however.
Leadership is always working toward creating healthy workplace environments and can ease the burden for themselves by employing routines that can offer tangible solutions to typical workplace challenges. Once a goal is set for individual teams, each member has a baseline they can return to, even when the execution changes, and that confidence can boost overall company understanding, leading to strengthened morale and project pride.
When everyone knows what they are working towards and what the groundwork looks like to help them get there, burdens like being anxious of the future or lack of direction can be lifted to make room for teamwork and mutual understanding.
Time to Talk
Mary Czerwinski, research manager of the Human Understanding and Empathy group at Microsoft reports that “people have 250 percent more meetings every day than they did before the pandemic” leading to a decrease in actual work, like coding or email writing. This kind of constant communication can feel like an asset at the time, but have underlying consequences for productivity. When days are filled with more information than action, a disconnect between words and work can form a barrier to results.
Leadership can establish clear workplace routines that help ease these unfavorable outcomes by taking a look at practices that have unclear productivity results and establishing boundaries for them. For instance, what if meetings were held only on certain days of the week, or at specific goal markers? By giving employees a timeline to look forward to, deadlines can be created specifically for these meetings and conversations can be led with progress reports rather than tasks to establish not only where projects are going, but also where they have been. These kinds of reflections feel like successes as they show forward momentum and advancements have been made!
Setting aside certain hours of communication can also be a beneficial addition to any workplace routine. If there is a set time during the day that heavy communication can be expected, thought heavy work can be scheduled around these hours to support times of deep focus. Leadership can then feel confident that the tasks they have delineated have dedicated hours of completion, allowing them to focus on other things as well.
One for All
Team Leaders can also establish their own routines for task management and company growth within their management circles. Regular conversation about team building, project management and outcome expectation can keep everyone’s finger on the pulse of the company and prevent unexpected outcomes that need extra support. Deviations from a plan can often take time to unravel and demand more from upper management who are already spread thin overseeing a group of members or employees.
Asking questions pertaining to goals and outcomes is an effective “working backwards” technique to establishing healthy workplace routines. Questions like “What information are we missing at the end of the week?” or “What don’t we know about our projects at this time?”help gauge where the holes in management knowledge lie. Routines of acquiring information or establishing check ins can then be employed to fill those gaps and increase overall understanding. When management sets effective workplace routines that cater to a company’s intended outcomes and supports a healthy working style, employees feel seen and appreciated. These routines can be interpreted as management holding up their employees and putting systems in place that encourage growth and productivity as work is able to be done in a predictable and steady environment.
Even if a plan that has been established needs amendment, employers can fall back on routines they have set as a baseline for those changes, limiting the time that plans feel “up in the air” and grounding them in the work they have already done to bring that goal to fruition. Routines are all about creating predictable scenarios that we can form healthy habits around. When everyone is on the same page, understanding blossoms and thrives!
Ready, Set, Routine
Employers do their best to keep their organizations on track, and routines can be powerful tools to support them in those efforts. By taking a look at ways that predictable engagements and assignments can be employed company wide, management can enjoy the benefits of open communication and expected outcomes, even when something needs to be shifted. By minimizing the time that it takes to problem solve and get back on track, more time can be spent on product delivery and continued over all success!
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