Success Is About Outputs Not Inputs

I used to work with a company where one of the sales people only worked two and a half days per week but he brought in more than double the business of the next best one and also at a higher contribution to sales ratio. Many of the other sales staff said “why is he allowed to only work 50% of the time?”. The answer from the company was simple. “We are interested in results not effort. If you achieve your object in one day a week or five then it’s the same for us.” They understood success is about outputs not inputs. That’s effective.

Wind forward ten years and here we are with the work from home problem. Bad managers are just interested in making sure that employees turn up. How much more effective would work be if people agreed objectives and then got on with achieving them rather than just wanting them in the office for a certain number of hours? There would then be a huge incentive to finish the job at the best time, in the best place and in the best time Bad managers are just interested in getting “the most” out of people whilst ensuring they are at work for 7.5 or 8 hours per day rather than effectively working to achieve the objective and taking whatever time is necessary.

Effective companies set and agree the objective, achieve the objective and move on.

By the way, my client didn’t do what so many poorly run companies would have done with their superstar salesman. The “logic” would be to double his target next year and make him work 5 days per week but no. They simply agreed a sensible increase and let him get on with it and he was still way ahead of any of the others. Happy employee, happy employer, and an attractive incentive for the others. If you want to successfully manage your time it’s about how you spend it and what result you get.

Outputs, not inputs.

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