The Busy Syndrome is one of the greatest enemies of organisational success.

By: Newturn Wikirefu | Posted On: 2020-04-16 15:00:00 || Views: 164

There is no credible denial that one of the most notorious  bug in the corporate world is the busy bee. If I may ask, “Is your company not a victim of The so-called busy syndrome which is our go-to response to the question of ‘how are you doing?’- I am sorry I am  so busy. If you are the CEO of any organisation  you have to think twise before taking any step further and ask yourself, ‘Are we focusing on value adding activities or merely doing routine work which is of no value?

Let me make it very clear and loud that being busy does not necessarily mean productive work. More never than not some employees add mundane, everyday tasks to their list of tasks and create the false impression to the outside world that there are busy. If  your employees are intending to add more value to their work there need to disabuse themselves of that notion. Some employees are masquerading as being busy yet there are basically doing nothing of value besides keeping themselves occupied. Surely if such employees are all that  busy it must be reflected in their results.

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Yet another question that  begs to be answered is when employees are very busy, are multi-tasking, take fewer breaks and work longer hours, does it mean an improvement in   organisational performance. Then if not such employees who purport to be busy should be subjected to rigorous scrutinization and should be nailed on the cross for failing to prove the value of their busyness.



It is a supreme paradox that the best poor performers always claim to be busy. To add insult to injury there claim to be indispensable  and suffer from the superiority complex. Surely if you are all that marketable and superior, why cannot you do the honourable thing and go where you think you are adding value and being recognised. Such employees who purport   to be busy always their excellent   performance should be reflected by their results. It never ceases to amaze me why when performance assessments are done there will be shocking results about their performance.



The advocates of the  busy syndrome are such notorious cultural carriers that there contaminate the whole organisation with a very toxic culture detrimental to the organisation.  What I would advise is to get rid of such rogue  cultural carriers who do nothing other than convert their workplaces into rumour mills via the social media platforms. In an organisation where the busy syndrome has taken root employees tend to  abusing the social media. There spend the greater part of their day making other people their strong meat instead of investing their time and effort into productive work.



There are quite a number of measures for your organisation  not to fall victim to  the cancerous organisational disease called  busy syndrome. Therefore in the light of such false glorification, it is imperative to draw the line between being busy and adding value to the organisation so that all the employees are aligned on the same page. Unfortunately many organisations do not have objective performance measurement systems that  differentiate  average performers from  best performers.  In cases where performance measurement systems are in place there are just gathering dust in the shelves without being implemented and where there are implemented there have been partially implemented. On the same note many organisations are  misdirected and misinformed to the extent that there claim to have a performance management system when there use the subjective performance appraisal system. If you do not have a properly designed and objective performance management  its high time you should go back to the drawing board and come up with one.


Yet another measure that can be taken to prevent  the  busy syndrome is to subject  all your new employees to scientifically proven assessment tests like cognitive ability tests and personality tests. Psychometric tests assess the capacity of someone’s mental horse power. In that way you avoid a situation whereby your organisation becomes a refugee camp for employees who are not capacitated and who turn out to be the vectors of the busy syndrome because there spend most of their time lying idle.

Personality tests help  your organisation in identifying one’s personality derailers and enablers. So if your organisation uses personality tests prior to hiring any employee, it can detect people with personality defects. Employees with some  detrimental  personality defects are more vulnerable to the busy syndrome. In this way your organisation will not be a hibernating sanctuary of celebrated organisational fools who besides being extremely  brilliant there don’t add any meaningful value whatsoever to your organisation.


If you implement some of the few measures highlighted in this article your organisation will never go wrong and it ceases to be a breeding ground for laziness and complacency.


Newturn Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +0784 597343 or email: or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants


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