Do more with less.....I'm cringing just hearing those four words.
Like most workers in industries battered by the recession, I hear the dreaded four words on a regular basis in my newsroom. Of course newsrooms are full of cynics and those words are met mostly with moans, sighs, and frowns. To most of us, doing more with less means putting in longer hours, with less resources and the same or lower pay. It means a big hit to our work/life balance.
So it was a bit inspiring to me today to learn on NPR this morning that in some workplaces, people are interpreting those four words much differently. One worker, Evan Wagner, told NPR he feels they signal opportunity: "People will be relying on me more. I'm going to show my worth,'' he said.
One workplace psychologist told NPR that good management will use those four words to motivate workers, presenting it as an opportunity to develop new skills and become more valued. "It's a way of saying 'we're counting on you. We want you to do more. We are making more of an investment in you,' '' he said.
Slacker Manager knocks "do more with less" as an ineffective business phrase. He wants to replace it with, “we need to do more ON less,” meaning more resources, more staffing, and more focus on fewer initiatives. He says anyone using the phrase should take the responsibility to step up as a leader, determine the top priorities, and realign resources at the right levels to ensure success.
I would tell managers to chose words wisely if you want the best performance out of your staff. Do more with less: My response is to cringe. Figure out your priorities and do them better: Now I'm motivated.