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Are My People Actually Working? (#148)

TCL Illustration 148

The Confident Leader


In my conversations with leaders, I’ve heard them seriously considering their team members’ productivity. “I’m not sure what their working on. I wonder if they are fully committed.” Are the leaders right? Let’s explore.

“The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.” – Zig Ziglar (American author, public speaker and salesman)

This Week’s Edition

How should leaders spend their summer with their team especially if they are starting to question their productivity or commitment?

Clarify Your Thinking

WFH and the hybrid environment have created a lack of visibility to the workload of the team. This is leaving some leaders doubtful about their team’s productivity. 

  • Employee surveillance software demand is up 58% 
  • 60% of companies with remote employees use monitoring software
  • An additional 17% are considering adding surveillance software.

I’m not sure that monitoring employees via surveillance software is the best route to building the relationship with your team that engenders a healthy culture or high performance. 

Old Thinking: What the heck is my team doing? It seems like they are not fully committed at a time we need high productivity to compete. I think I’ll “spy” on them to see what’s really going on.

New Thinking: If I’m concerned about the team’s commitment and productivity, I should just ask them. Maybe we can collaborate on some interesting projects and build my relationship with them.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

The summer brings a slight slow down in the work world for most organizations. Some analysts point to the vacation ripple

While not everyone is “OOO” at the same time, “[t]he normal rhythm of business, [], changes, You can’t have the same workflow in the summer as in September or October,” says Laura Stack at

That slow down brings opportunities to engage your team, leading to increased productivity and more importantly a strengthened relationship

Consider these ideas:

  1. Improve resiliency. Invite your team members to take time off. While slightly counterintuitive to the goal of increasing productivity, that time off will decrease burnout over the long haul. Plus, they will appreciate the “permission” to take the PTO they’ve already earned. (89% of employees have experienced burnout in the past year).
  2. Improve the team’s skills. Initiate a lunch series to skill up. Invest in the continuing education of your team.
  3. Improve your processes. Undertake a project to seek feedback from your customers and use that information to collectively improve your client experience process. A better client experience increases satisfaction and bodes well for retention.

Working shoulder-to-shoulder this summer with your team on special projects now (that you may not have time for during the “school year”) may just be the solution to the doubt you have about your team’s productivity and commitment.

Boost Your Performance

Tune into this week’s video to learn a few other ideas you may be able to employ to keep your team “busy” this summer as you seek to gauge their productivity and overall commitment to the mission of the organization.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is a good “project” you are undertaking this summer with your team? Share it with me at

If you are going to be a leader, you might as well be a good one. Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

We live to make bad leadership extinct so forward this newsletter to others who strive to be confident leaders. 


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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.