Why your laziest worker may be your most valuable one
Whenever there is a hard job to be done I assign it to a lazy man; he is sure to find an easy way of doing it.
You’d think that your hardest working employees would be the best.
Science may disagree though.
In an article published in “Popular Science Monthly” in 1920 Frank B. Gilbreth Sr. looked the motions of workmen to determine the most efficient techniques to perform tasks.
Here’s what he found.
Gilbreth studied the methods of various bricklayers—the poor workmen and the best ones, and he stumbled upon an astonishing fact of great importance and significance. He found that he could learn most from the lazy man!
Most of the chance improvements in human motions that eliminate unnecessary movement and reduce fatigue have been hit upon, Gilbreth thinks, by men who were lazy—so lazy that every needless step counted.
Another important thing Gilbreth noted was that the so-called expert factory workers are often the most wasteful of their motions and strength. Because of their energy and ability to work at high speed, such men may be able to produce a large quantity of good work, and thus qualify as experts, but they tire themselves out of all proportion to the amount of work done.
So the secret to sorting out a hard job might be to give it to your laziest person.
John manages a wide portfolio of owner managed businesses and oversees the smooth operation of the firm’s payroll department.
After obtaining his degree in mathematics from the University of Liverpool, John joined Jonathan Ford & Co in 2004 and qualified as a chartered accountant four years later.
John likes to keep abreast of developments in tax and accounting and is responsible for the mentoring of junior staff.
Outside of work, John enjoys keeping fit and is a Liverpool FC season ticket holder.
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