We all know a few “do-nothing” employees, don’t we? Those lovely people who somehow slither around within their organizations and somehow retain employment… despite never really doing anything. But, in this new decade, surely this is the time they get found out, with all this AI available to out the scoundrels? Or maybe they can continue to hone their do-nothing craft in the cyber age to keep that do-thing ship sailing nowhere in particular…
Here are a few master ‘do-nothing’ tactics:
1. Insist on attending every meeting. If only to deflect actions on to people who didn’t attend.
2. Insist you ‘have some thoughts’ about other people’s projects. Make sure the thoughts never materialize, but you get credit for participating in the project.
3. ALWAYS insist your inbox is ‘hectic’ and you were ‘just about to get to it’ when called out for ignoring an urgent issue for two weeks.
4. If you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to, insist you do know the answer but they’ll need to go through the proper channels to get to it. If you’re the proper channel, send them to marketing for ‘approval’ first.
5. Use the phrase ‘at capacity’, ‘snowed under’, ‘bandwidth-constrained’ and ‘keeping my head above water’ as often as possible. It’ll add credibility for when you want to shirk off work later. Pay it forward.
6. Occasionally drop in the ‘drinking from a fire hose’ line, but don’t overdo that one. Save it for an avoidance emergency.
7. Say thought-leadership. A lot.
8. Use the phrase ‘let’s not boil the ocean’ when scary workload is threatening to land on your plate.
9. Pay very close attention to what your job description is. Ambiguity is good – if it doesn’t explicitly say something, don’t do it.
10. If in doubt, cite ‘hostility’, ‘toxicity’ or whatever else Oleg on LinkedIn says. After all, the fact that you’d rather pretend to be on the phone than actually speak to someone isn’t your fault, it’s the lack of inspiring leadership.
11. Don’t be afraid to book extra meetings if it’s a quiet day and you might have to do some work. Pre-meeting meetings are a must. And don’t be afraid to schedule a wrap-up meeting after the initial meeting.
12. Oh, and don’t forget to pop a few fake meetings in there for good measure (mark some as ‘private’ to make you seem important).
13. Above all, find genuinely busy people to hang around. It’ll make it seem like you’re also a go-getter, when actually you’ve been trying to get passed stage 10 of angry birds since February.
14. Have your Out of Office on as much as possible citing ‘business travel’ and slap a load of names down to contact.
15. Only ever respond to any request to do ‘anything’ from your boss, or your boss’ boss. Otherwise, just ignore it. This is why you need your OOO on…
16. When you actually get cornered into DOING something, make sure the whole world knows you just split the atom.
So there you have it, can you help us get to twenty for 2020?
Happy New Year =)