4 Reasons to Manage Your Team’s Outcomes Not Their Hours

Monday morning manager series #10

Wendy Scott
4 min readMar 13, 2022


Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Traditionally, part of a manager or leader’s role is managing their team’s hours.

Monitoring what time their team started work in the morning, how long they spent at breaks or lunch, and when they went home in the evening was part of the manager’s job.

Outcomes were managed too, of course, but the main focus was on hours spent at the desk. Even being away from your desk to talk to colleagues or visit the bathroom was viewed poorly.

Thankfully, those days are gone unless you work in a service industry such as hospitality, retail, or transport.

Outcomes, not hours, are the new approach to productivity. If the work is completed to the required standards, does it matter if each employee works precisely 8 hours per day?

With many people working remotely, the old way of measuring productivity by monitoring hours at a desk is less prevalent. A trust-based outcomes model is taking its place.

Here is why you should move to an outcome-based culture rather than counting work hours:

1. Monitoring hours doesn’t work

Just because a team member is sitting and looking at the screen, it doesn’t mean they’re working. They could be daydreaming, looking at their phone, or on a go slow.

Unless you are monitoring keystrokes, you have no idea what your team is doing. A team member who doesn’t want to work will avoid their work whether they are at their desk or not: This is a performance management issue, not a time-keeping issue.

If you have strict rules about the start, finish, and lunchtimes, all you will do is annoy your productive team members.

2. Measure what you want

Your team is tasked with outcomes therefore you should measure results.
Excellent team outcomes produced on time means your team is doing OK, and you don’t need to micromanage how they do it.

Ensure you are setting SMART goals with your team and monitoring progress regularly.



Wendy Scott

Brit in Auckland, L&D professional and leader. I can show you how to train people and help you be the sort of leader people want to follow.

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