It’s widely thought that by going above and beyond at work will have positive outcomes for both the business and individual. The employees put in extra time takes on extra work or responsibility, they may feel more engaged with their work and more secure in their career progression prospects. They might get that promotion they’ve been wanting or a pay rise. And the business gets more committed, harder working staff with improved productivity. It does sound like a win-win, but at what cost?
The social health of the team is often not considered. Social health is the quality of team member behaviours or interactions and the extent to which team members bring out the best in each other. Task performance and social health are two sides of the same coin.
Here is the paradox – many organisations are meeting their targets, while a significant number of their people operating at between 55% and 74% of what they’re capable of. In other words, they are not reaching their ‘performance potential’. To have the team performing less than their full potential is a waste of the business’ time, money and resources as well as talent, energy and ideas.
When you have the team who are not working together in the right way, with the right resources or towards the right results, then they will have to work harder. The need to work harder has an impact on the social health and well-being of the team. Particularly those who are working to the point where they are exhausted emotionally and leaves less time for their family or social life. Job-related stress can have knock effects onto the overall health of employees; both mental and physical.
The team’s natural energy and creativity are being suppressed by poor alignment, dysfunctional teams, bureaucratic processes, and so on. They don’t just affect the task performance of your team but also their ability to make good decisions, to learn or to innovate.
We regularly see examples of organisations, business units and teams that are not fully maximising the talents, skills and abilities of their people. It’s so common that many of our clients are at a point where they’re willing to accept that this is the way things are, often blind to the social health of their team.
Using the Growth Pit Stop methodology allows people in teams to engage in a process known as ‘cognitive reframing’. It enables them to begin challenging that idea at both a personal and team level. It also has a way of analysing the potential savings to be realised by cutting unnecessary internal meetings and other forms of collaboration waste.
Going the extra mile can provide significant advantages to an organisation because it enhances performance, and for the employee, it can lead to promotions and higher rewards. Employees may be able to sustain this level of performance in the short term, but in the longer-term emotional exhaustion may take its toll.