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Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
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The Energy Project: Getting More Out of People by Demanding Less

A company called The Energy Project, are experts in the field of work performance and the problem of employee disengagement. They believed that burnout is one of its leading causes, and focused almost exclusively on helping individuals avoid burnouts by managing their energy, as opposed to their time. Time, after all, is finite. By contrast, you can expand your personal energy and also regularly renew it.

They believe that enduring organizational change is possible only if individuals alter their attitudes and behaviors first. But they’ve come to understand that it’s not possible to generate lasting cultural change without deeply involving the whole organization and its senior leadership.

To achieve better Productivity, they encouraged organizations to make two fundamental shifts in the way it manages employees:

  1. Stop expecting people to operate like computers—at high speeds, continuously, running multiple programs at the same time—and to recognize that human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal.
  2. Move from trying to get more out of employees and instead to invest in systematically meeting their four core needs, so they’re fueled and inspired to bring more of themselves to work every day.

Four core needs are:

  1. Physical health: achieved through nutrition, sleep, daytime renewal, and exercise
  2. Emotional well-being: which grows out of feeling appreciated and valued
  3. Mental clarity: the ability to focus intensely, prioritize, and think creatively and
  4. Spiritual significance : which comes from the feeling of serving a mission beyond generating a profit.

Several companywide initiatives can help employees boost their energy in the four core areas. For example companies can subsidize healthy meals and a salad bar at their on-site restaurant that’s open to all employees. Hire a dietician on staff and employees can get free consultations. Build new, fully equipped gym and created a large open, grassy commons area where people can hang out and relax. To help employees recharge themselves on a spiritual level, companies can offers its employees paid time off each month to volunteer their services to nonprofits and organizes specific volunteer opportunities for them.

Original Article: The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less

  • As I expected, it’s the people behind “The Power of Full Engagement”, which I highly recommend to absolutely everyone who does any thinking/creative work for a living.

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