Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Evolution of T.I.M.E. - Part 3

With the intent of rolling this out at the beginning of 2009, the committee put together what we called the "T.I.M.E. Declaration," which consisted of ten bullet points outlining the underlying mindset of T.I.M.E. It was hoped that this would help others better grasp, and eventually embrace, this new workstyle. We started with ROWE’s 13 Guideposts and adapted them to fit our unique culture.

1. Work isn’t a place you go – it’s something you do. Nobody should feel guilty, overworked, orstressed-out as a result of their job.

2. Associates can work wherever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done and both internal and external customers are always taken care of.

3. Associates have the freedom to work in the style that works best for them as long as they meet the objectives and performance criteria of their job and have no negative impact on other Associate’s productivity.

4. Associates make themselves available on a consistent basis to other Associates via their choice of Instant Message, Telephone or E-Mail and manage expectations and their availability appropriately, realizing that there may be periods of time when the Associate is just not available.

5. People have an unlimited amount of "paid time off" as long as the work gets done. There is no concept of vacation or personal time. However, any hourly Associate is paid the vacation and personal time as defined by the company.

6. The company will not incur any additional expense or un-reasonable IT requests to facilitate associates working outside the office. It is up to the Associate to make T.I.M.E. work for them not look to the company to provide the solution.

7. All meetings with the exception of mandatory and staff meetings are optional as long as the Associate contributes in advance if their input is needed, reviews the notes from the meeting and is responsible for any action items that apply to them.

8. All internal meetings are open and anyone can attend any meeting including requesting a forum at the Team Leader Meeting. You must announce yourself or be logged into the Live Meeting to attend. It is up to the meeting facilitator to manage the flow and content of the meeting.

9. It is the expectation that all Associates including Team Leaders think through their goals and objectives and plan ahead to avoid last minute scrambles taking into account that external customer expectations may be different than ours.

10. No one is measured on how many hours they work or how they spend their time, just the results that they produce. There are no defined work schedules, only schedules defined to meet the needs of our internal and external customers.

The Declaration was sent to the entire staff on Dec. 22, 2008 by Jmîchaeĺe, with a note saying to review and discuss with your Team Leader any additional concerns or questions, as it was to be approved in the next Team Leader meeting. On January 7, 2009, the finalized T.I.M.E. Declaration was delivered to all associates and we were off and running!

Snow storms? Bring ‘em on! School vacations? Sweet, the kids need a break now and then. Got tickets for opening day at Fenway? Lucky dog, see ya!

The shift to the new workstyle impacted different people in different ways, as one would expect. For some, it was hard to fathom that they could just stop working and leave if they wanted to. You were no longer required to go into the office, and sit at your desk for a set number of hours. Instead, you were able to manage your work on your own . . . as long as it got done. I likened this to transitioning from high school to college. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but when I went to college, they didn’t necessarily take attendance in each class. Instead, if you missed class, you were responsible for the content and any work that was assigned. Get your work done in an acceptable manner, and you were pretty much good to go.

We were being treated like grownups. How cool is that?

Until the next installment,

Karen Mathews
Product Manager

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