Why I’m a fervent believer of objectives driven working contracts instead of working hours one’s

Close-up of male’s hand with pen over document on background of working womanSince a bit moe than one year,  when I moved back to Belgium, my working contract is mentioning that I need to work 40 h a week from Monday to Friday between specific hours and from the office. So a pay per hour contract

This is for me even after one year, one of the most difficult habit I’ve to change as before during several years, I was paid for having my work done and meet objectives. No matter when, where and the time I have to spend to achieve those. So an objective driven/result contract.

Now every morning I’ve to badge in/ out, breaks,… There is a kind of flexibility but still my opinion as Senior Manager is that I’m mature enough to know when and how I’ve to work.

And even I would extend that most of the people are mature enough to know this. And it’s not because a minority would profit from this freedom that you need to punish all the others. This is normally a management task to avoid this.

My personal experience few years ago when I started in Paris, only managerial staff were on an objective driven contract (called day package in France) and employees where on a pay per working hour contract. After few months this changed to one type of contract and so employees changed contract as well to day packages type of contract. And with enough change management for the employees how to manage their working day and for the managers how to deal with the new situation, everything went very well.

One attention point is that not every job can be on objective driven contracts. Typically jobs where you work in shifts (Nurse, sales in shops, cashier, Help desk, …. ) are less eligible for such contracts.

So the advantages for me of objective driven contracts are

  • Flexibility
    • You work when you feel the most productive
    • Improvement of work life balance
    • You work when it’s needed. Some periods needs more efforts, others less.
    • Creates the prerequisite for home / remote working
  • Culture
    • You’re avoiding the 9 to 5 mentality
    • You Forster the Entrapreneur mindset in the company
    • Create an objective driven organization and not a physical presence one
    • Some employees could see over hours as part of variable salary and are just in the office without having work, this will be avoided.
  • Trust
    • Employees will feeling trusted and more valorized
  • People
    • Engagement as employees will have a better work life balance and will feel trusted.
    • New generation of employees would be only attracted and retained with this set up
  • Other
    • Positive Impact on traffic jam as peak hours will be more spread and more people would remote working (a future article I will write will be over remote working)

Nevertheless this could be a big change for the organization culture and for some people.  Therefore you need to ensure a right change management process and accompany your employees and managers. Don’t let them feeling alone against this change.

For all employees ensure that the new rules are well understood, the reason of this change and provide best practices or even train them on time management and how to disconnect from work.

For my point of view, the segment that will have the biggest challenge with this change are the managers.  This because, if it’s not yet the case, they will need to learn to

  • Delegate more effectively
  • Value people by the results not the hours they stay in the office
  • Manage people and lead/support them to achieve the objectives
  • Manage remotely
  • Set challenging but achievable objectives (SMART)
  • Deal with the feeling they can have of loss of control.
  • Manage by example and walk the talk. So showing that they follow the rules. This applies as well to disconnect, not answering or sending emails in the middle of the night, weekends … This to avoid the feeling and the pressure that you need to answer immediately on your bosses requests and that there is no disconnection possible.

Of course those are just my thoughts and experience sharing and I’m curious on your comments/feedback.

And if I can just transmit one thing with this article, just ask yourself, what’s the most important the day of today, the hours you’re present in the office or what you achieve no matter how much time it takes , how you did it and where you did it.

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Author: chrisfranskin