You don’t have to look hard to find several (hundred) articles about how to cram more work into your days.
Productivity gurus often pay homage to the hustle, encouraging entrepreneurs to work all hours of the day and night, forgoing sleep, family time, and anything else that doesn’t involve making your first million by age 30.
But is this really what’s best for business?
A quick analogy
Imagine you just bought yourself a new car. You did a lot of research until you found one with all of the right features. The process was time consuming and cost was expensive, but it’s just what you need, so you feel good about the investment. It runs great, it’s reliable, and you’re confident it will get you where you want to go.
So now that you have this awesome new piece of machinery at your disposal, you’re going to leave it running 24/7, right?
Of course not! That would be ridiculous. It’s bad for the engine, it’s a waste of fuel, and it will shorten your vehicle’s life span significantly. Plus, leaving your car running makes it way easier for someone to steal it out from under you.
Let’s be real. You don’t leave things running all the time because it just doesn’t make any sense.
And yet we do
Somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves that we need to be running all the time. That our company does. That our employees do.
But this doesn’t make sense either.
If you get a package delivered to your door at 10:30pm, are you really that excited? Are you even awake? And if you are, do you find yourself wondering why that driver is still working? How long they’ve been on the road? How safe it is for them to be out late at night? How safe it is for you to answer the door? When it comes right down to it, would you be just as happy to receive that box the next morning?
Companies, please take note: Many customers will actually choose to do business with a corporation that is known for being good to their employees over one that isn’t. Research also shows that customer service, retention, and overall profitable numbers are higher in organizations that take care of their people.
You know who else loves companies who take care of their people? Job seekers and employees.
If you want to recruit and retain top talent, you’d do well to build a company culture that touts the benefits of balance over the glory of the hustle. In doing so, you’ll not only benefit from reduced turnover and increased hiring capacity. You’ll also find that you have happier, more engaged people and a healthier, safer workplace.
Relax the hustle
Innovation doesn’t only happen at 3:00am, and it doesn’t come from working 80 hours per week. Employees who are well rested have more energy, more patience, and more capacity to think creatively. They also work safer and more collaboratively.
Who wouldn’t want to see those results?
Encourage your team (and yourself) to take time off when needed and create a PTO policy that makes it easy for them to do so.
Just like that sweet Tesla in your driveway, people can only go so long before they need to re-charge. If you don’t allow them to do it, you’re not going to get the performance you want. And yes, this includes you. Even if you’re the all-knowing leader, you need time off in order to be your best. And you shouldn’t be racked with guilt for taking it.
So, take a break, park your car, and give up the ridiculous notion that you and your employees need to be on and available at all times.
Or just keep everybody working… until all the lights burn out.
Tired of working with insurance salespeople who only think one year at a time? Wonder what it would be like to have a broker who looks beyond your annual policy? At Raffa Financial, we’ll provide a corporate employee benefits strategy to help you achieve your long-term your vision. Get in touch to find out how.
Photo by Kaspars Grinvalds