"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet" - Aristotle
Today and into the future, businesses must go farther to serve people’s increasingly complex lives. The stakes are being up’d in an ever-more connected and fast-paced world to consistently deliver breakthrough solutions that disrupt the marketplace. Technology may have rewired possibility for the better, but it’s also helped to create a new world of challenges in the modern workplace.
Professionals trying to navigate this new world are increasingly stressed out. According to Career Cast, the most common cause of stress = tighter deadlines .
Career Cast’s findings echo a national survey we conducted on limitations on performance in the workplace. As you can see below, when respondents were asked to rank the top 3 limiters on job performance, time-stress issues weren’t far off from the worst offenders. And given other learnings, I wouldn’t be surprised if time-stress issues contribute to poor work environment/culture and management styles.
With one in five Canadians experiencing a mental health problem or illness each year and workplace stress the primary cause of these issues , this is not being taken lightly by businesses. As of 2017, 53% of large businesses in the United States reported having a wellness program in place – introducing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation into their offices and corporate culture .
But can this issue truly be solved by reactionary wellness programs? I believe we need to have a major shift in our attitudes towards tight deadlines and the rat race culture of the modern workplace that causes the stress in the first place.
Unfortunately, most businesses won’t sign up for such an overhaul without a strong business case. The business case for me has always been to think about the negative impact the current culture has on growing a business.
In my realm of experience, I’ve seen:
- Good creative killed because we are reacting too fast to initial tracking data and not letting the media do its job to optimize recall in the new media reality. (And this is coming from a person who supplies the tracking data!)
- Pivoting from well-planned long-term brand strategy because we are relying on quick digital A/B testing results and using acquisition campaigns to assess brand impact?.
- Brands missing out on exceptional strategy or breakthrough creative because marketers are not providing agencies enough time to develop and deliver the work.
So where do we go from here?
Progress is a slow process; changing such attitudes will take time, commitment and acceptance of short-term risks for longer-terms gains. We need to start the process by challenging the highest levels of decision-makers in an organization to lead the way.
If that decision-maker is you, it’s time to take a serious look at deadlines and delivery within your organization. Ask yourself, what’s really driving the deadlines? Are they artificial or essential? How might you make “thinking time” a mandatory, rather than a luxury? Or, what tools can you implement to better understand employee capacity?
If you’re not that decision-maker, send this article them. Don’t worry, if you’d like to remain anonymous, let me know and I’ll send it to them myself!
(1) Career Cast