There is an interesting dynamic happening at the moment in the workplace.
With hybrid working still in place for most companies, there is a debate around whether companies should put "tracking" in place to measure "people productivity".
This has given rise to a whole genre of tracking software. All of them making similar claims, such as "your employees will be held accountable for their output each day. This ensures that they’re motivated enough to produce results regularly." (this came from a quick google!)
In my opinion - this is a massive step backward. It's treating people like machines, rather than individuals. It's saying "I don't trust you." After the effort that people have shown during COVID, I think this will see people leaving those companies.
Ironically, there is a greater need that is not being addressed but is related to hybrid working: for employees to feel seen.
Hybrid working means there is less "osmosis" - or the informal chat, information sharing and relationship building that happens by bumping into people physically. I've heard younger people concerned that senior leaders don't know who they are - as they don't bump into each other in the hallway. You can also go for months without connecting with colleagues across other teams. It's easier to feel disconnected, as you physically are less connected.
So I say - let's help people be seen, not tracked.
Being seen is:
- Having others know who you are
- Celebrating your efforts and contribution
- Making time for personal conversation
- Having people who care - whether it's to laugh with, cry with or anything in between
Being tracked is:
- Having your actions captured as a data file
- Being analysed as a number
- Being reported on - without context or insight
- Being treated like a robot, not a person.
People are not robots. As our world becomes more supported by AI, then we need people to be more human. People have a choice where they work, and what effort they give. We need to balance what is possible, with what is empowering for people.
How are you connecting with your people? Do you want to be tracked, or seen?