Tired Boss: Busy Employees are Not Productive…

Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, most businesses owners we met were heavily troubled with the business uncertainty and lower revenues. It is possible that the majority were overwhelmed by the Covid impact and felt that they were too busy to pull back, reflect, to think and to plan. However, some also stated that due to the slowdown in business, they have finally found time to work on important pending projects, they had been procrastinating on for some time.

In our discussions, two recurrent themes emerged with these business owners:

  • There were too many issues in the business that required their input; and
  • If I do not do it myself, it will not get done or it will not be done in the correct way”.


Both themes seem to indicate that many of the business owners we met had challenges delegating work and eventually getting their delegates to deliver well. It is true that delegating certain tasks can be challenging, however, in parallel, it is also fact that sometimes, a cycle of bad habits gets created. One such bad habit is commonly known as the Perfectionist trap. This is one of the biggest challenges to productivity and it is the collective result of a tendency to:

  • Focus mainly on short-term goals,
  • Spend too much time and energy on the less important tasks; and
  • Micromanage people.


Frequently, the discussion with business owners, evolved into a discussion on the challenges of recruitment and of not finding the right type of employees for their business. The thinking is that with the right employees, delegation of work could be easier and much more could be achieved.

When analysing the above situations, we clearly see that in many instances there is a subtle link between busy-ness/lack of productivity and issues with recruitment. Could it be that for some businesses, the lack of time for reflecting, thinking and analysing are linked to how these businesses approach recruitment? Are these businesses involuntarily recruiting a certain type of “dependent”, less capable or less experienced employees? Is this just a coincidence?

Recruiting the right employees is a process of learning how to work smart not hard. It is process where, as a business leader you learn how to identify the right type of people your business requires then you grow into delegating work to them. It is important to employ productive people that can solve problems. Ideally you select employees who can grow capable of gaining some degree of decision-making autonomy (and you allow them to). Often this is one of the main differences between recruiting to fill an immediate gap and recruiting with role development in mind. It is one of the main differences between employees who feel they can grow within the business and others who just carry out their tasks and go home.

CMG Consulta assist many businesses in structuring themselves, planning their future and their resourcing needs. Please do reach out if you would like to deepen the discussion with us on any of these aspects.