We’ve heard “slow and steady wins the race” but what does that mean in a work context? Many companies have adopted hustle as a core part of their cultures in which talking about hustling and appearing to hustle is more important than producing results. This ethos pressures employees to equate their busy-ness with personal value to the company. Employees are anxious, stressed, and strained mentally and physically. The hustle culture also discourages rest and rewards working the point of (and often beyond) burn out or illness. It’s not unusual for employees at hustle focused companies to bring their work laptops with them on vacations. We ask: Did the employee have proper downtime to mentally reset? Does the employee come back to work rejuvenated and mentally stronger?
Slowing down can be the difference between thriving and burning out. If you want your employees to succeed, then you need to be willing to allow what your employees need to maintain a healthy and productive mindset. When you show that you, as a leader, value your employees’ well-being their workplace production increases. By easing up on the throttle you allow your team to make more mindful decisions and reach deadlines while mitigating the risk of burn out.
We challenge you and your team to slow down.
1. Learn when to Hustle
Sometimes we need to encourage our employees to hustle. Maybe there’s a huge project with a tight deadline or a time sensitive document needs to go out—these are appropriate times to inspire a hustle type mentality with your team. This can’t be the situation 100% of the time. If your employees assume your expectation is for everything, we mean everything, to be done quickly, you have created a high stress environment that will quickly lead to burn out. Allow your team to appropriately assign their time and energy by properly communicating which projects are urgent.
2. Encourage Breaks
Did your team just surge to complete a project? Give them the day off. Humans are not machines—we need breaks to recharge. Imagine you are racing a car. If you don’t stop for gas and keep going fast, you will eventually run out of gas. You can keep the car going a bit longer if you regularly stop for gas, but what about the tires? If you keep racing without taking a longer break to replace your tires, you risk a blow out and a crash. Employees get a little bit of gas over the weekends, but if you are constantly racing them and don’t let them slow down long enough to swap tires then you are pushing them towards burn out.
3. Encourage Employees, and Yourself, to Slow Down
With the first two challenges in mind, learn to encourage employees to take a breath and slow down. This goes to you as well. By slowing down not only are your employees letting go of stress, but you are as well. With a hustle culture, it’s easy to make quick and rapid decisions, which can sometimes result in poor judgement. By taking a step back and communicating more with your team, it’s easier to make more mindful decisions.
We challenge you as a leader to Slow Down to Speed Up. Slowing down encourages a calmer environment that leads to a more confident, healthy, and productive workforce. Rested employees can think more clearly, focus on agreed priorities, and make better decisions, allowing work goals to be accomplished more effectively.
CEEK a Better Way!