The Magic of Allowing Employees to Do What They Love

What would you do if you heard from your boss that you could do anything you wanted for two hours every week? The catch: as long as it was related to work?

Would you hug her?

That could mean designing a new logo, creating a company year book, writing a company theme song, or creating a customer appreciation program. Whatever would make you happy, you get to do it for two hours every week. I know that I would love to do something completely different to help my company.

I’ve had good ideas that I was afraid to pursue, but this would take some of the pressure off because it wouldn’t be under your job description. It would allow you to be creative and probably come up with something valuable.

Company benefits:

–        Boosts employee morale

–        Improves employee retention

–        Co-workers collaborate

–        Shows the employees strengths to the employer, so the manager will be encouraged to change the employee’s job description if an idea is successful

Bla, bla, bla. All of you know that doing extra work for the good of the company helps them, but how does it help you?

Employee benefits:

–        Looks good on the resume (In this high turnover age we have to expect that employees want jobs that benefit their careers.)

–        Allows for complete creativity

–        Employee will enjoy work more

–        No pressure to be perfect

For any company worried about wasted hours, I’ve read several articles indicating that most employees only work between 4 – 6 hours a day. They are just putting in their time until they get home, but if a company would empower them to create something new then they would work harder than they had ever worked before. Both the company and employee wins. Workers become happier and the company becomes more successful.

So my question to you is, why don’t more companies utilize this type of program? Would you like this or would it only add to your workload?

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Image courtesy of John Calnan

Comments

  1. Great post Karl…Regarding allowing employees to do what they love, what do you think about employers allowing employees to choose one day where they could work from home (where applicable of course)?

  2. Very nice post! Some fantastic insight! Thanks!

    m’s last blog post..The Benefits of Breastfeeding

  3. I think this makes a lot of sense because instead of having a few heads at the top making all of the decisions as to what should be done, you allow everyone in the company to contribute. This approach should definitely lead to increased creativity and therefore, increased productivity.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..14 Tips to Stay Young

  4. Well that is a tricky question for the person working at a place they are dying to get out of. However, I do agree, if employers gave their employees more room for creativity and looked were able to let go of old school of thought and think outside of the box, you would see increased productivity and happier employees. That is if the creativity was recognized and valued. For the person who is dying to get out of their work place, I’m not sure the two hours would mean anything to them. (of course I love my day job 🙂

  5. Karl,

    You on spot on with the estimate that team members work on average between 4 and 6 hours per day!

    Studies I have seen estimate that employees work about 2/3 of the day. This makes employee disengagement the largest discretionary cost of being in business today.

    I would encourage everyone with P&L responsibility to take the fully loaded cost of your team members with benefits and payroll taxes and multiply this by 1/3. Then take this figure and reduce your labor cost and account for the cost of employee disengagement on its own line item on your income statement. Now, see how that fits into the rest of your variable, controllable expenses.

    I hope this exercise will motivate managers to take your suggestion.

    Thanks for the post Karl,

    Howard

    Howard Cox’s last blog post..Do NOT Try to be the Best!

  6. “For any company worried about wasted hours, I’ve read several articles indicating that most employees only work between 4 – 6 hours a day.” It’s true. I read that too. I think your idea is absolutely brilliant. I don’t see it ever happening in big companies, but possibly in smaller ones.

    Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Women Who Say No To Photoshopping

  7. Hi Janelle, I love the idea of letting employees to choose one day to work from home.

    Hi Mark, thanks,

    Hi Marelisa, I think allowing everyone to contribute is a key component to a successful company.

    Hi Kristy, good point. Two hours of freedom at a job you hate won’t help much, but it’s really up to them to go and find a new job that will make them happy.

    Hi Howard, I hope that this post motivates mangers to try this idea too.

    Hi Vered, smaller companies are more likely to try this technique, but never discount big companies. They might surprise you.

  8. Assuming the company actually cares about employee satisfaction, that would be a good way to survey if employees actually like their jobs or not. Like I wouldn’t want to do anything else at my current job because I like what I am doing. It seems like most companies would want their employees to really like what they are doing, because those would be the ones that would be the most productive, and would generate good spirits around the rest of the office.

    ~ Kristi

    Kikolani – Poetry | Photography | Blogging Tips’s last blog post..Moon Photography

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Magic of Allowing Employees to Do What They Love- What a cool post by Karl Staib at Work Happy Now! Great idea for employee empowerment and the evoking of employee creativity. I believe that 3M currently provides such time for its employees. No suprise the company comes up with so many ingenious products. […]