Success is defined by the choices we make!
If we think about what differentiates great companies from average ones, it comes down to one critical process: decision making. Each day we are faced with challenges:
- To do the right thing
- To go above and beyond the call of duty
- To admit our shortcomings
In essence, the ability to do more when no one is looking makes individual effort a collective contribution. When an organization can naturally hardwire the willingness to do more into its workforce, a company becomes a culture.
Do you have a reason to do more? Has your company encouraged your effort to the point that doing more has become the norm?
Ideally, a company would like an established identity that guides their hiring practices and affects the decision-making capabilities of their workforce. Often, we hope our company’s core values will serve this purpose. Beyond that, we want to ensure our departmental objectives are in line with our core values. The combination of the aforementioned factors helps establish a corporate identity that is in sync with the individual personalities of our employees.
So how can we inspire our employees to make the right decision?
Promote core values
I would bet 50% of employees in any given company cannot recite the company’s core values. This is because most company core values are written on the lobby wall gathering dust. A method is needed for communicating our core values:
- Highlight one core value each month
- Develop a nomination program that is driven by core value-influenced behavior
- Provide interpretation of each core value that is relevant to departmental goals
- Use repetition to reinforce the importance of organizational alignment with core values
Incentivize “above and beyond” behavior
It’s Friday afternoon. I am faced with the dilemma of going home to see my kids or staying late to finish month-end reporting. If I know that this effort will be recognized in some way, shape or form….I will be far more likely to go above and beyond if:
- My manager is willing to share stories of extra effort with their team
- The entire organization has a platform to share stories of extra effort
- A non-cash reward for such behavior adds trophy value to my tasks
With these resources, I can be more readily motivated to go above and beyond, and encourage others in my organization to do the same.
Decisions are driven by trust
“Trust” is not a core value promoted by every company… but it should be. Nothing is more important to employee motivation than trust. People do great things and are more likely to continue that trend if their effort is recognized. Likewise, if people know they can admit their screw ups without having their overall viability questioned, they will be more likely to admit they are wrong and seek guidance to avoid repeating a mistake.
Trust works to motivate outstanding behavior and to dispel mistakes.
- If you think your company’s core values are lame… take a closer look.
- If you are unwilling to stay late to complete a task… ask yourself what would incentivize you to do so.
- If you are afraid to admit you are wrong… investigate the degree of trust that your organization promotes.
Fact: In the history of employment not a single person has loved their job every day! We are human; our personal lives spill into our work, we begrudge others for getting ahead unethically, and we get caught up in details. More often than not, we fail to recognize the common purpose that brings us together and that we are all on the same team!
Examine your organizational purpose and find your place in it. Set higher expectations than those of your employer. Recognize extra effort and its benefit to the common cause.
Thank you for reading –
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