ROWE, ROWE, ROWE your boat



Did you know that on cognitive skill based tasks intrinsic motivation is the only thing that gets really good results?


Or that people – when solving or addressing problems, challenges or tasks, which  require them to think even the least bit outside the box, do better when they are not given external based rewards – like money or free stuff! 


It’s true. External rewards work well for mechanical tasks or when goals and the path to those goals are extremely clear-cut  such as:  build this and then you will get this. But when we have to think our way around how to do something, we do better when we are not offered an outside reward. We do better when the reward is internal – like the fun of mastering the task or the feeling that we are acting with a bigger purpose.

Turns out that intrinsic motivation rocks our worlds. 

Listen to Daniel H. Pink’s TED talk to find out more about how and why this works. The research on intrinsic motivation led some really creative and smart people (like me and you – we are doing it right now) to rethink how the world works and how it could work even better. Here’s what ROWE developers Cali Ressler and  Jody Thompson have to say: 

ROWE is the future of work.

Results-Only Work Environment is a management strategy where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. In a ROWE, people focus on results and only results – increasing the organization’s performance while creating the right climate for people to manage all the demands in their lives . . . including work.

With ROWE:

    • Teamwork, morale and engagement soar, which leads to less workers feeling overworked, stressed out or guilty.
    • People are where they need to be, when they need to be – there is no need for schedules.
    • There is no judgment on how people spend their time, so people at all levels stop wasting the company’s time and money.

ROWE for Employees

ROWE recognizes that life is an individual experience and that no two lives are identical — and leverages this to achieve better performance from each individual. ROWE is not Flextime. ROWE is not Telecommuting. ROWE is not Job‐Sharing. ROWE is not about allowing your people to work from home a couple of days per week.

In a Results-Only company or department, employees can do whatever they want whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. No more pointless meetings, racing to get in at 9:00 am, or begging for permission to watch your kid play soccer. No more cramming errands into the weekend, or waiting until retirement to take up your hobbies again. You make the decisions about what you do and where you do it, every minute of every day.

ROWE benefits:

    • You control the clock and results are your  responsibility.
    • Healthier lifestyle – not overworked, less stress
    • Autonomy & accountability
    • Environmentally friendly – save on the commute and work from home!

ROWE for Business

Successfully adopting a Results‐Only Work Environment will position your company to attract and retain talent that will show up energized, disciplined, flexible and focused—ready to deliver all results necessary to drive the business. A ROWE workforce is more efficient, productive and loyal to the organization while also feeling satisfied, fulfilled, and in control of their personal and professional lives.

A Results-Only Work Environment is all about productivity. But more importantly, your workforce will respond to the business as if it were their own. Innovate won’t be a buzzword, it will be what you do. With ROWE you can stop monitoring the hallways and focus your energy on the business.

ROWE business results:

    • Increase productivity & efficiency
    • Talent retention & attraction
    • Optimization of space
    • Elimination of wasteful processes

 Learn more about the results seen in a ROWE  (I really liked this video.)

Let me know if ROWE floats your boat. For me, ROWE is not just about how we work it also applies to how we roll – how we raise our kids, take care of our homes, structure our lives. Focusing on the result or goal – living a fun, fulfilling and flow-filled life, not a pre-ordained pattern of how the process should look – just might relieve a great deal of stress. Giving ourselves and others the gift of autonomy and time to master tasks, develop skills and define our purpose sounds good to me – I’m working on it!   

Will ROWEs work? I hope so. Companies have had great success using them in offices with project based assignments. Folks are trying to figure out how to adapt ROWEs to retail and other service environments. Maybe ROWEs will work best as an option, some people enjoy a set schedule and a place to go each day, and that’s great. The goal is to create options that produce the best results for employees and for businesses.

Would you be willing to jump aboard a ROWE?

Let us know what you are thinking . . .

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