Obligation, Compulsion or Honour?

 

In an article by Sydney Finkelstein he cites an example of a CEO who shared ideas and his vision and invited people to join him, saying to them “I would like you to be a part of it”. The members of his team felt honoured to be invited to be part of the vision of someone they respected.

A frustration of many business owners and managers is people having their bags on the table ready to go at 4.45pm and doing their job with as little effort as possible. In most organisations people feel obligated to do the bare minimum in line with ‘a fair days work for a fair days pay.’ 

Obligation is what you get when you don’t give praise or recognition, where there is no autonomy and where feedback is given as discipline, and that’s if you are lucky to have a worker with a conscience. This type of atmosphere in the work environment can quickly lead to disengagement followed by disruption. A Gallup organisation statistic suggested that 76% of workers were not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean that’s as good as it gets and that you should be complacent about accepting it.

When people feel compelled to do a good job and go beyond the basics it’s because they have been entrusted with a project or task that allows them to demonstrate their competence, this comes with a degree of autonomy and compels greater effort as it demonstrates trust in the individual. From the Gallup organisation’s research those people with the highest engagement levels were managers and executives – those people that had a level of trust and autonomy given to them in their work.

The key factors to compelling good performance are: trust, autonomy and competence.

These are the base ingredients needed to compel good contribution in anyone. As a manger when you hold onto control you are saying ‘I don’t trust you to be able to do this’ whether it’s true or not the message going to your direct report is ‘you are not up to this’ and a competence deficit will become their belief and be reflective of future efforts. This may sound like a discouraging picture of human nature but the fact is there are not many Richard Branson’s in the world- most people need a safety net of some sort before they will put themselves out there and a bosses trust is the vital link that develops confidence to contribute.

Imagine being a leader who others felt honoured to work beside. Do you consider these traits in your leadership style?

Shared vision and purpose: great leaders have the vision of a skilled strategist which is shared with the people around them. Staff are invited to be a part of the project with words that inspire excitement for the achieving the vision and acknowledgement and praise for having the skills to be part of the team that will achieve the desired outcome.

Courageous and confident enough to show uncertainty: people who are respected yet confident and courageous enough to admit to vulnerabilities and uncertainties thereby inspiring and encouraging greatness in others make the most successful leaders. Failure is an option as they know that’s where learning and growth occur. In many progressive organisations the attitude is, ‘you clean up your own mess- but its okay and expected to try’.
Time for mentoring: recognition, coaching and praise are regular features of a great leader’s interaction with others. Accountability is expected and outcomes are clear but due to the type of relationship with their direct reports, great leaders inspire greater confidence and contribution.
If you feel your team or business would benefit from improved leadership skills and understanding of how to bring out greater employee contribution please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Are your staff obligated, compelled or honoured?

If you were trying to motivate someone for greater contribution what would you consider to be the better outcome? If the individual you were speaking to felt obligated, compelled or honoured?

In an article by Sydney Finkelstein he cites an example of a CEO who shared ideas and his vision and invited people to join him, saying to them “I would like you to be a part of it”. The members of his team felt honoured to be invited to be part of the vision of someone they respected.

A frustration of many business owners and managers is people having their bags on the table ready to go at 4.45pm and doing their job with as little effort as possible. In most organisations people feel obligated to do the bare minimum in line with ‘a fair days work for a fair days pay.’

Obligation is what you get when you don’t give praise or recognition, where there is no autonomy and where feedback is given as discipline, and that’s if you are lucky to have a worker with a conscience. This type of atmosphere in the work environment can quickly lead to disengagement followed by disruption. A Gallup organisation statistic suggested that 76% of workers were not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean that’s as good as it gets and that you should be complacent about accepting it.

When people feel compelled to do a good job and go beyond the basics it’s because they have been entrusted with a project or task that allows them to demonstrate their competence, this comes with a degree of autonomy and compels greater effort as it demonstrates trust in the individual. From the Gallup organisation’s research those workers with the highest engagement levels were managers and executives – those people that had a level of trust and autonomy given to them in their work.

The key factors to compelling good performance are: trust, autonomy and an ability to demonstrate competence.

These are the base ingredients needed to compel good contribution in anyone. As a manager when you hold onto control you are saying ‘I don’t trust you to be able to do this’ whether it’s true or not the message going to your direct report is ‘you are not up to this’ and a competence deficit will become their belief and be reflective of future efforts. This may sound like a discouraging picture of human nature but the fact is there are not many Richard Branson’s in the world- most people need a safety net of some sort before they will put themselves out there and a bosses trust is the vital link that develops confidence to contribute.

Imagine being a leader who others felt honoured to work beside. Do you consider these traits in your leadership style?

Shared vision and purpose: great leaders have the vision of a skilled strategist which is shared with the people around them. Staff are invited to be a part of the project with words that inspire excitement for achieving the vision and acknowledgement and praise for having the skills to be part of the team that will achieve the desired outcome.

Courageous and confident enough to show uncertainty: managers who are respected, yet confident and courageous enough to admit to vulnerabilities and uncertainties inspire and encourage greatness in others and make the most successful leaders. Failure is an option as they know that’s where learning and growth occur. In many progressive organisations the attitude is, ‘you clean up your own mess if it doesn't work - but its okay and expected that you try’.

Time for mentoring: recognition, coaching and praise are regular features of a great leader’s interaction with others. Accountability and performance are expected and outcomes are clear but due to the type of relationship with their direct reports, great leaders inspire improved confidence and contribution.

The Gallup organisation estimates the cost of disengaged workers in the US to be 350 billion dollars in lost productivity each year. If you are concerned that low productivity and low staff engagement are an issue in your workplace please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To your business potential,