It’s remarkable how much we can achieve in a short space of time when we are working on a project we have an interest in, and especially when we have chosen ourselves to pursue it. This has been proven at Atlassian, with their FedEx days, as well as at Google with their widely known 20% time.
Google’s 20% time is pretty flexible, but a potential problem with FedEx days is that some companies in certain industries just can’t afford to stop their operations for 24 hours to accommodate the creation and delivery of these overnight projects. The solution is a simple modification of the FedEx day practice – the Genius Hour.
The idea behind it is that an hour is set aside (yes, that means put in the calendar) for each employee every week to give them the opportunity to continuously develop skills and ideas of their choice. Having an ongoing process for this, as opposed to a single day only 3 or 4 times a year, may be a much more suitable and practical solution for your organization.
Of course, the fundamental idea behind all of these concepts and practices is the promotion of autonomy, which is a key factor in keeping your employees engaged.