Friday, July 11, 2008

"Reasons Why Employees Freak Out"

Study Shows Why Workers Freak Out When the Boss Plays "Big Brother"

In my job interview with Mark way back in May, he asked me a question that had me stomped:

"Can you work with minimal supervision?" Wow, I thought, is he kidding me? I nearly jumped out of the chair to do an Irish jig. I was ecstatic.

You see, in my first job right out of college, I had a boss who liked looking over my shoulder all the time. I hardly got any work done. I was too busy being scared that I was doing something wrong.

It turns out I'm not the only one who gets the creeps when this happens.

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior reveals that closely monitoring employees will only slow down productivity. Thus, 134 office workers got distracted from their data correction tasks by prompts that popped up on their computer screens. The notifications revealed that they were being "monitored for quality, quantity, or both." Rather than drive them to work harder, the prompts caused the workers to second-guess their performance

Study co-authors by Jeffrey Stanton, Ph.D., an assistant professor of information studies at Syracuse University, and Amanda Julian of Somerville and Company Inc., a Denver-based consulting firm, add that employees also react the same way when they're subjected to video and other types of electronic surveillance.

Stanton pointed out that an "efficient supervisor won't resort to any of these tactics." He then went on to advise bosses to simply get their employees aligned with the goals of the organization.

Bottom line: Bosses should trust the people they hire to do their jobs. Otherwise, why hire them at all? Playing "Big Brother" might be a cool premise for a reality show, but it's not something people (especially those who do their jobs right) want to experience at the office.

No comments: