Experimenting at Work Increases Employee Performance

Marc and Al came up with a cool new textured wallpaper, but sadly, it was a total flop – nobody wanted it. They even tried using it as housing insulation, and that also didn’t work out. But then they had an idea: using it to wrap a newly launched computer during transport. Today, most people don’t even know that bubble wrap started as a big failure. If they had given up, we wouldn’t enjoy the satisfying sound of popping bubble wrap.

New research shows that allowing experiments at work boosts performance and productivity. More than 20,000 workers were studied, revealing that leaders should encourage their team members not just to focus on tasks but also on problem-solving.

A study from Harvard Business School found that employees forced to work from home were the least motivated. Lack of choice greatly affects morale, so leaders should ensure that weekly schedules include an emphasis on experimentation, especially for those working from home.

The biggest motivator for performance is play. Bureaucratic tasks make decision-making difficult, and working from home hinders collaborative problem-solving and reduces the sense of purpose. Worker potential decreases when they can’t access colleagues for creativity, adaptability, and quality improvement.

Making your team’s work engaging involves allowing them to experiment. People want to solve meaningful problems. If improvements aren’t obvious, leaders can ask questions like: Where can we provide excellent help to our customers? What’s broken that our team can fix? What will drive growth even in uncertain times?

Teams thrive when everyone feels they have a challenge to solve. Leaders should dedicate part of their team’s week to problem-solving instead of just tactical work. Weekly meetings can include questions about the previous week’s impact, commitments for the upcoming week, and areas for experimentation.

Embracing failure is crucial for an experimental culture. Not every idea will succeed, and failure is a part of the process. Leaders should share their failures with the team to create a culture where failing is expected. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, emphasizes the importance of scaling the size of failed experiments as a company grows. Failure can lead to unexpected success.

In conclusion, productive employees are essential for competitive companies. Nurturing a positive culture involves encouraging experimentation, which leads to higher motivation and productivity. Motivating employees doesn’t require a big budget; it requires a different approach to business challenges. Experimentation sparks curiosity and innovation among workers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *