Organizational leaders often speak fluently about mission, values and purpose. They post high-minded statements on their social pages and on the company website. But if your business is teeming with excessive rules, processes or bureaucracy, all that messaging is empty rhetoric. Nothing separates individuals from a sense that their work is worthwhile than the curse of complexity.
Complexity’s cousin is busywork, the meaningless, soul-sucking tasks that keep us occupied but add little value to the business: endless emails, unproductive meetings and reports for the sake of reporting. If complexity goes unchecked, it creeps into even the smallest, nimblest companies. It slows teams down, rendering them less creative, less innovative and less successful.
Complexity drains the life out of companies because it forces people to break a sweat while receiving nothing good in return. Any job worth having comes with a certain amount of pressure, but the stress arising from complexity is entirely different: it’s stress without reward. A recent study from Siegel + Gale found that employees in simplified work environments are 84% more likely to stay in their jobs. Why?