09/03/2014 02:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Nagging Is Actually Great for Business


Here at Funding Gates, we take a bit of a novel approach to tackling to-do lists and productivity -- our team embraces nagging! Now before you judge, consider that nagging could actually be a misunderstood, and often misused persuasive technique! You can harness the power of nagging for good -- it can actually increase team bonding and team wide productivity! I'll let you in on the secret of how we use nagging to rapidly accomplish our goals and to keep our whole team up to speed on all the exciting, ongoing projects happening across multiple divisions of our company.

The Nature of A Nag
First off, "nagging" is actually defined as "repetitious behavior, continuously urging an individual to complete previously discussed requests or act on advice. A form of persistent persuasion that is more repetitive, rather than aggressive." We particularly love the definition of nag, as a noun, which is simply the act of "continuous urging!" As you can see, at its core, nagging is really just a repeated reminder, follow up or check in.

Why not just stick to reminders? Well reminders are inherently singular, and are only partially helpful in a workplace setting. They actually depend quite a lot on luck! It's up to total chance that your reminder reaches its target at an ideal time, when action can be taken. In today's busy workplace such an "ideal time" is becoming less and less likely of an outcome.

On the other hand, consistently reminding and urging a team member (or nagging) is more likely to result in success -- the task being completed! By repeatedly following up with a team member, which in practice amounts to inquiring as to their latest progress, you open the door to a productive conversation about the task at hand. Increasing opportunities for discussions like this is particularly valuable in the event your co worker is running into trouble, or is unsure about what the next step in the process might be.

By periodically broaching the subject, or nagging, you will identify a potential problem or roadblock much earlier than if you wait until the due date to inquire as to the progress. The Funding Gates team's approach to successful "nagging" has two key components: public to-do lists and team-wide participation.

How To Implement Nagging
The first step is to ensure all your team's objectives and to-dos are public facing. This way, everyone is aware of what the rest of the team is hoping to accomplish this week.

You can either dedicate a large white board to listing out the week's goals or create a shared document using Google Drive or OneDrive, or even DropBox. If monthly goals work better for your business, focus on those instead. The key to creating nag-able to-dos and objectives is to ensure they are specific, action-oriented and detailed enough so other team members can understand them (no codes or overly vague goals).

Team Wide Nagging
From here, our team encourages all members to inquire as to how various projects are going throughout the week. Even interns can nag the co-founders! Team wide nagging will help increase your team's communication all around, which is always a plus when it comes to fostering a creative and innovative work environment. As an added plus, your team members will likely feel a bit more pressure to complete their tasks when they know they're being held accountable for it

Remember, good workplace "nagging" is friendly, calm and serves more as a check-in than an order for another member to complete their task. All members of the team can "nag" one another, so the conversation is always an equal one, not a power struggle. The ultimate key to successfully implementing nagging with your team is to make sure that you emphasize the friendly and "continuous urging" components of this philosophy. So get out there and take things to the next level -- with nagging!

More From The Funding Gates Blog