By William Seidman We’re often told to “work smarter, not harder!” I’ve been thinking about this adage lately because it applies so perfectly to three companies I’ve been working with. Two provide customer service and the third, sales. All three were behind in their numbers; the executive teams were rightfully worried. Two of the three went to a strategy of working harder: less pay and deferred bonuses. These companies had a short burst of improvement but then performance quickly dropped below the previous levels as people burned out. The third company worked with us to “work smarter.” We helped them develop some best practices from their positive deviants and take the time to get everyone up to speed on the new practices. The ramp-up time took about an hour a week of focused work for four months, during which the metrics improved. There was NO downside in terms of short-term productivity to focusing on getting better. The working smarter group is just chugging along with good morale and good metrics. The first reflex of almost all transaction managers is to work harder, not smarter, which doesn’t actually get them much. Taking the time to work smarter is much better in every way. Your team AND your numbers will show improvement.]]>

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