The Productivity Paradox

The way we’re working, isn’t working — but we can fix it

It’s no secret that Radio and TV companies have drastically cut their staffing over the past 20 years.

In the US, it’s not uncommon for one person to be in charge of the programming and management of 5 or more radio stations. In fact, in some radio companies, programmers are responsible for stations in markets over 1,000 miles away, in addition to their home market.

This development didn’t happen because it optimized productivity; it happened to save money.

The result has been not only a decline in the quality of most content but an increasingly disengaged work force. It has become an endless loop.

Since it is highly unlikely these media companies will suddenly see the light and return staffing levels to pre-consolidation era levels, it is even more important now that executives and managers understand how to optimize performance from employees.

The proven fact is that “…human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal.”

Instead of trying to merely get more work out of fewer employees, companies should invest in systematically meeting their workers’ fundamental core needs, which are:

  • Physical health, achieved through nutrition, sleep, daytime renewal, and exercise;
  • Emotional well-being, which grows out of feeling appreciated and valued;
  • Mental clarity, the ability to focus intensely, prioritize, and think creatively;
  • Spiritual significance, which derives from serving a purpose beyond simply generating a profit so highly-paid CEOs get multi-million dollar bonuses.

As you can see, in almost every area, your company isn’t getting it done.

Obviously, there needs to be buy-in on this commitment from the very top levels of management if a company’s culture is to truly change, but even absent that at this point, there’s a lot you can do with your own mangement style to start this process at your station.

First, you can read the article and listen to an interview with the CEO of The Energy Project here. And, you can read his book, “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance.

There is something concrete you can do, at your level, to improve your own performance and that of those who report to you.