Work Ethic: Can it be contagious?

We all know those people who are labelled the weaker links in the chain, or the stragglers of the proverbial ‘herd’. These people are often times disregarded or not involved in decision making-processes or even the basic delegations of the day to day operation. By doing this are we actually enforcing that they’re kind of irrelevant to our business? Yes, and that’s not all. It’s exactly like pulling the crayon out of your child’s hand if they drew on the wall, instead of giving them paper and encouraging what could become a talent. You are teaching that member of your team that they couldn’t do it if they wanted to. Give them something to be excited about — you never know what could happen.

I recently did a Memory Techniques training course which, funnily enough, used a list of 8 factors of an excellent organisation as a practice task. (Which I remember quite well.) The first one was a “Bias for Action”. Which does just sound like one of those terms that people love to throw around at board meetings, but it’s absolutely correct. You want an organisation that has a whole lot of ‘Get-Up-and-Go’ about it. Multiply that attitude by enough people in your organisation and just like a vicious yawn, the work ethic will go viral. When your people are engaged — productivity will go in the direction you want it to…

But you already knew that didn’t you? We all do, right?

So then why is it that you walk into so many businesses and through the fake welcome, you can always see that distinct glimmer of disinterest and indifference in the person greeting you? Because they aren’t the only ones who feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone is capable of being totally in love with what they do, I mean we don’t all work on what used to be Top Gear. I will, however, say this: If, as a manager, you can sit someone down every so often and try to engage with them in a way that makes them feel needed, dare I say wanted, by the business — one special little cog could turn the whole machine and set the world into motion.

Just think about it the next time Dave comes in late… Maybe he wasn’t so keen on getting to work because you weren’t either.

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