Four years ago, I began to train employees in organizations about how to succeed in their jobs. I consistently found managers and employers frustrated about their employees’ productivity. These were organizations that had updated reward strategies in place. They also invested in trainings and other capacity building programs. I was concerned! What would a Job Success Tutor do that all these strategies failed to deliver? The reason why they had called me in was because something about their approaches wasn’t working.
Most managers I met said they wanted their teams to be more creative, self-driven and should take initiative. Employees were doing only the bare minimum that qualified them for a pay cheque. Discomfort is one way to notice that something has changed. It was obvious to me that management was facing a mega evolution. The question was why?
Employment as an industry grew rapidly during the industrial era. Labor unions organized employees into boycotts to force employers to offer better renumerations. A management consultant designed solutions to help the employer manage employees better. Employment acts and laws were developed to guide the employer-employee relationship. All these were trying to regulate how manual work was being done and rewarded. Productivity was observable.
Manual work by nature produces uniform results using the same process. If an employee in a manual job isn’t motivated, you could quickly tell. The systems were designed in such a way that even if the employee wasn’t motivated, a good result would still be got. Managing a manual worker is easy.
When they are working, observe them or give them a sense that you are observing them. When they rest, remind them to keep working. When you see a lazy employee, sack them because you can find a replacement faster. Fast forward, it is mid-2020 and we should understand that at the moment, a salesperson succeeds not because they are speaking to thousands of people but because they profile their clients and make calculated attempts.
Saying a lot of words doesn’t make a Customer Care Representative successful. It is how they choose to answer a client’s questions. A lawyer succeeds because of the quality of their arguments and not the quantity of their words. Quality reports are becoming smaller. Quality reports therefore require more intellect than the ability to type 100 words per minute on a computer.
An employee’s desire to do a good job is paramount in many jobs today. Organizations are trying to boost employee desire by being friendly and appearing good to the employee. They motivate and train. Organizations I have visited are paying a price for acting friendly and seeking to cleanse their self-image before their employees. When the quality in one’s job depends on a person’s desire, attitude and initiative, you can’t manage them.
You partner with them. Let them have an equal interest in the result as the manager. They are no longer servants you throw things to so they throw back results. You are part of the process that delivers the result providing help when they are stuck because each of you has something to lose if results aren’t good. You allow them to be the brilliant one to advise you rather than reducing them to result processing machines that must simply execute orders.
The changes I am suggesting is unconventional and might take some time. But that is also the reason management is facing a crisis now.
Aug 02, 2016 Comments Off on Turn your enemies into friends
Jul 24, 2020 0Israeli forces on July 20 carried out an operation to retrieve a Byzantine-era baptismal font that they said was stolen from an archeological site 20 years ago. In response, a Palestinian authority called the act of...
Jul 24, 2020 0The fire that ripped through the Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes July 18 was reported around the world. But suspected arson attacks on French churches usually do not make international headlines....
Jul 21, 2020 0A Catholic cathedral that was repeatedly struck by missiles amid the Syrian civil war was due to reopen Monday following its restoration. The Maronite Cathedral of St. Elijah in Aleppo was bombarded with missiles...