Though the global economy is improving, we’re all not out of the woods quite yet.
Organizations are being very conservative with expenses. In addition, they’re trying to be more efficient, delivering the same or even greater volume and quality of products and services with fewer staff to do the work.
They’re trying to do more with less.
How can leaders get more quality work out of their team members? What’s the “secret”? I believe this is the wrong question. The right question is, “How can leaders create a safe, inspiring workplace that enables people’s best work, every day?”
Our research and experience demonstrates that the quality of an organization’s culture directly impacts their employees’ willingness to produce. If the organization’s culture builds trust and respect across it’s leaders, employees, and customers, those employees bring passion to their work. They find ways of streamlining production without sacrificing quality. They find ways to exceed what they have promised, rather than under-delivering what’s been promised.
If the organizational culture treats employees like “cogs in a wheel,” no more important than the mail cart, employees’ passion is quashed. They go through the motions, lifeless and uninspired.
A safe, inspiring organizational culture leads to more engaged employees who WOW their customers consistently. Those customers LOVE your company, seek out your products and services, and create a powerful word-of-mouth marketing campaign about your great organization. That leads to increased profits. Every time.
Telling employees to do more with less doesn’t lead to consistently higher productivity or better efficiency. That approach is called “managing by announcements.”
Asking – or begging – employees to do more with less doesn’t lead to consistently higher productivity or better efficiency. That approach is an abdication of proactive leadership.
Demanding employees to do more with less is another version of “managing by announcements.”
Punishing employees if they don’t meet ever-growing productivity expectations does not inspire employees – it quashes their inspiration and erodes their discretionary energy.
So, what’s the secret? You must create a different relationship with employees. You must create an organizational culture that holds employees in the highest regard. Your work environment must treat employees as your most coveted, primary customer – because they are.
Create a work environment – call it an organizational culture – that trusts and respects employees, and employees “show up” differently. They love coming to work. They want the organization to thrive – and their efforts enable it to thrive.
Like most secrets, there is a lot of hard work involved in refining your organizational culture. The primary foundational piece is creating behaviorally-defined values that guide everyone’s plans, decisions, and actions. Values standards, defined in observable and measurable terms, help leaders and employees understand how the work is to be done . . . how to treat each other and customers . . . and what a great corporate citizen looks, acts, and sounds like.
Unless the relationship with your employees changes, doing more with less results in less quality, less revenue, and less fun at work.
Join in the conversation about this post/podcast in the comments section below. To what extent are your team members being asked to do more with less? How well does your organizational culture create a safe, inspiring work environment?
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