Victory is not an end state
The sweet taste of victory — who does not like it? Whether it is a race or an examination, wouldn’t we love to be the first to breast the tape/ to notch the highest score? When we pose the same question to an organisation as a whole — it raises some key thoughts: how would winning be defined in the context of the workplace? Is winning a goalpost or a journey?
Interestingly, experts say that, in the organisational context, victory is not an end state– it is a journey. It is about achieving a satisfactory state in a host of small and big areas and paddle hard to keep it that way.
Victory is creating an excellent organisational climate. And, sustaining it. When an organisation has a healthy climate, there is good employee engagement. The kind of thoughts that should be floating around in their heads should be:
“I am important in this place. They pay attention to what I get to the table. I am making a difference”.
Across employee surveys, organisations have reported that if the score on this survey item: “I get to use my talents and strengths every day at work” is high, they are in a good place as far as climate is concerned.
While there are advanced tools and methods to identify employee talents and strengths, and there is constant innovation in this area, what is most important is sticking to the basics. A mature, caring manager who is present for his team, transparent and seen as fair is the best tool.
In addition to that, you might want to consider this 3-point rule:
Rule 1: Build a common language to talk about skills and talents
Get people talking about skills and talents. Get those conversations going. It is simply not enough to have sophisticated tools to enable them. It’s the shared vocabulary and commitment to it that is crucial.
Rule 2: Talk about strengths
How can you tweak the internal and external conversations to focus on strengths and promise? Why not have a program to capture and recognise praising the strengths of each other!
Encourage your managers to talk about people’s strengths. Getting the work done is important — stuff has to get done! However, we often miss praising people. It just gets taken for granted. Cultivate it!
Every conversation should include appreciation! Help people shine — place them where they will succeed. Don’t keep forcing fish to fly.
Align your performance systems around strengths. The promise should be simple: “We will put you in a place where you can use your strengths and talents. If you do so in alignment with our corporate mission, you will be promoted and rewarded, and in so doing you will fulfill your desire to contribute, belong, and to make a difference.”
Simply put, it’s more fun to work in a place where employees are engaged around their strengths and thus committed and loyal to the organisational mission.
Rule 3: Focus on results, building accountability
At the crux of everything is whether your business’ strategic agenda is being met. There needs to be a sense of firm fairness. It begins with business goals being determined and being cascaded to all managers. Then every manager needs to be held accountable for delivering. Weekly and monthly reviews bring out results clearly and provide for an open discussion on problem areas.