An hour for yourself at work? Fort Wayne Habitat employees (and productivity) say yes

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Imagine one hour of your workday spent on personal development: no phone calls, emails or work interruptions.

Andrew Gritzmaker, the CEO at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne, insists he made the move to have better, healthier workers – not to increase productivity.

But it has.

“We rely heavily on weekly metrics,” Gritzmaker said. ” We didn’t have anything on that scorecard that was an indicator of how healthy our culture was (or) how healthy our people were.”

Gritzmaker added a new metric for his salaried office workers: one hour of daily personal development to keep people from burning out.

He gives the employees wide latitude: “Whatever you need to do to make sure that you’re in the right state of mind [and] you’re taking great care of yourself. No one can run hard forever. Creating space and allowing people to take that time to make sure that they’re really healthy, produces way more.”

As a result, all the other metrics on the weekly scorecard are up: homes built, families helped and money raised.

Gritzmaker was inspired by the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport which explains the process that allows employees to shut down distractions and better complete complex projects, like building homes with volunteer labor for low-to moderate-income residents.

“Sometimes you need to go away from the office or you need to look a little bit deeper inside and figure out what you need to do to become the person that you’re trying to be and to show up every day with your best,” Gritzmaker explained.

Gritzmaker says employees on construction sites or at the ReStore on Lima Road could one day be included in the personal development program.

“I have seen it dramatically improve moral and effectiveness on the development team,” he said.

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