As I was swimming I thought to myself I would not be able to do this in my previous life as a healthcare manager. I would have to be at the desk. That is what was expected by my bosses and the system I worked in.
As I swam I had one of those ‘Eureka’ moments realising that the best way to be judged about our effectiveness as a manager should be based on OUTCOME rather than any of the following;
- The number of hours we work per day.
- The time of the day we work.
- The number of days we work per week.
I now realise now how crazy those measurement of our effectiveness are.
After 27 months of self employment the penny has suddenly dropped for me. My clients (customers) are only interested in OUTCOMES for their investment in me. They quite rightly have no interest in how many hours I work or when I work those hours. All they are concerned about is that I deliver what I have said I will do for the price we have agreed. It seems they trust me to do the number of hours it takes to do the job on time.
Many managers might suggest what I am saying is only possible because I am independent, freelance and self employed and I work mostly single-handed. I can hear many of my former colleagues muttering, ‘That sort of flexibility is just not possible in a big organisation – we cannot simply allow people to have that freedom of choice about when they work. That is anarchy.’
My answer to that type of statement is simple – Why can we not allow people to be trusted in big organisations because it is simply about trust?
We have to ask the leaders in our organisations WHY they will not allow managers and staff freedom of choice about the hours they work and why we cannot develop payment systems based solely on OUTCOMES.
A few years ago I would probably have thought it was pie in the sky that we can allow people to determine their own hours and allow them to be judged solely on outcomes. Now I would recommend it fully for ANY job with ‘Manager’ in the title.
The only thing that hours per week prove is that the person is at the desk for those hours – it has nothing whatsoever to do with effectiveness of the person.
I am probably in a minority among managers in the UK but who knows – maybe I will be surprised.