As the demands of the workplace continue to increase, managing time and energy have become crucial to achieving success. While many organizations focus on time management, managing energy is equally important. Energy management involves systematically expanding and renewing energy levels in the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In this article, we will explore the importance of focusing on energy management instead of time management and the ways in which leaders can support the adoption of energy management programs.
The Difference Between Managing Your Time and Managing Your Energy
I am often asked by executives and managers about how to improve productivity and achieve better results from their employees. One of the most common answers to this question is to manage time better. However, while time management is important, it is only part of the equation. The real key to success lies in managing your energy, not your time.
In today's fast-paced work environment, it is easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours to meet demands. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to burnout, which is not only detrimental to the employee's health and wellbeing but also to the organization's bottom line. To avoid this, it is crucial to focus on the source of your energy.
Energy is not a finite resource like time. It can be expanded and renewed systematically in four wellsprings: body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each of these dimensions, energy can be enhanced to increase productivity and achieve better results.
For example, taking intermittent breaks and aligning work with the body's ultradian rhythms can help restore physical energy. Avoiding negative emotions and looking at events through three hopeful lenses can defuse energy-draining situations. Avoiding constant distractions introduced by technology can help increase mental energy. And participating in activities that give a sense of meaning and purpose can boost the energy of the spirit.
But it is not enough to create individual rituals to build energy in these dimensions. Leaders must support their adoption to ensure success. When companies invest in all dimensions of their employees' lives, individuals bring their energy wholeheartedly to work, leading to increased productivity and better results.
A prime example of this is a group of Wachovia Bank employees who went through an energy management program and outperformed a control group in generating loans. The employees also reported substantially improved customer relationships, productivity, and personal satisfaction. Similar results have been observed at other companies, including Ernst & Young, Sony, and Deutsche Bank.
Investing in employees' energy levels is a win-win situation for both the company and the individual. When employees feel valued and supported, they bring their best energy to work, leading to better results. In turn, the company benefits from increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and lower costs due to reduced burnout and turnover.
How Leaders Can Support the Adoption of Energy Management Programs
Leaders can support the adoption of energy management programs in several ways.
Model Behavior: Leaders can model the behavior they want to see from their employees by prioritizing their own energy management. This will set an example and encourage employees to do the same.
Encourage Employees: Leaders can encourage employees to take breaks and recharge their energy levels. This can be done by promoting the use of break rooms or scheduling short, frequent breaks during the workday. Leaders can also encourage employees to take time off when needed to prevent burnout.
Provide Resources: Leaders can provide resources and training to support energy management. This can include wellness programs, exercise classes, or training on stress management techniques. Providing these resources can show employees that the company values their wellbeing and is committed to helping them manage their energy levels.
Emphasize Company Culture: Leaders can incorporate energy management into the company culture and reward employees who prioritize their wellbeing. This can be done through recognition programs or other incentives that encourage employees to focus on their energy levels.
By supporting the adoption of energy management programs, leaders can help create a positive and productive work environment where employees feel valued and supported. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction, and reduced turnover.
Common Challenges When Implementing Energy Management Programs
I have observed that leaders face several common challenges when implementing energy management programs.
Employee Resistance: Leaders may encounter resistance from employees who are used to working long hours and do not see the value in taking breaks or prioritizing their wellbeing. This can be addressed by providing education on the benefits of energy management and creating a culture that values employee wellbeing.
Balancing Needs: Leaders may find it challenging to balance the needs of the organization with the needs of employees. Energy management programs may require employees to take time off or work shorter hours, which can impact productivity and revenue. Leaders can address this challenge by working with employees to create schedules that meet both the needs of the organization and the needs of employees.
Measuring Effectiveness: Leaders may face challenges in measuring the effectiveness of energy management programs. It can be difficult to quantify the impact of these programs on productivity and revenue. Leaders can address this challenge by setting clear goals and metrics for energy management programs and tracking progress regularly.
Implementing energy management programs can be challenging for leaders, but the benefits for both employees and the organization are significant. By addressing common challenges and providing resources and support, leaders can create a positive and productive work environment where employees feel valued and supported, leading to improved productivity, employee satisfaction, and reduced burnout.
Effective Ways to Measure the Impact of Energy Management Programs
I suggest that measuring the impact of energy management programs is crucial to determining their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some effective ways to measure the impact of energy management programs:
Employee surveys: Conducting surveys can help measure changes in employee energy levels, productivity, and satisfaction before and after implementing energy management programs. This can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the programs and identify areas for improvement.
Performance metrics: Analyzing performance metrics such as sales, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover rates can help determine if energy management programs are positively impacting the bottom line. If there is an improvement in performance metrics after implementing the program, it can be concluded that the program is effective.
Health and wellness data: Tracking employee health and wellness data, such as absenteeism and healthcare costs, can help determine if energy management programs are reducing employee burnout and improving overall health and wellbeing.
Focus groups: Conducting focus groups with employees can help identify the impact of energy management programs on their work and personal lives. This can provide valuable feedback on the effectiveness of the program and areas for improvement.
Observation and feedback: Leaders can observe employees and provide feedback on their energy levels and productivity. This can help identify areas where employees may need additional support or training to better manage their energy levels.
Measuring the impact of energy management programs is essential to determining their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. By using a combination of surveys, performance metrics, health and wellness data, focus groups, and observation and feedback, leaders can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of the program and make necessary adjustments to ensure its success.
Managing energy levels is critical to achieving success in today's fast-paced work environment. Leaders can support the adoption of energy management programs by modeling the behavior they want to see, providing resources and training, and creating a culture that values employee wellbeing. Measuring the impact of energy management programs is also crucial to determining their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. By prioritizing employee wellbeing and investing in energy management programs, leaders can create a positive and productive work environment where employees feel valued and supported, leading to increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and improved bottom lines.