aturated markets and economic instability are driving organisations to adapt or perish under the weight of financial pressures. During times of fiscal stress, forward thinking companies often look to invest in sales and promotions to get the cash flowing. Whilst effective, following traditional tactics is no longer enough to survive modern markets and novel approaches are needed.
Contrary to popular belief, competition is neither sustainable nor financially beneficial and companies who strive for a more humanistic approach to employment are seeing benefits beyond measure. We are not robots who can be plugged into a coffee machine in the morning and be expected to work optimally all day. Humans are collaborative, emotional and complex biological creatures, whose needs are only just starting to be addressed in the workplace.
Paid to Perform
Antiquated systems for motivating employees, using financial incentives and demanding compliance, supported industrialised workers and assembly line production. However, they are far from ideal, when you need innovative solutions, customer centric service and loyalty from your workforce.
Economic, environmentally sound and sustainable solutions are needed, in order to rejuvenate the economy and adapt to more conscious consumers who want more from their products, whilst having less tolerance for brands who are environmentally destructive and ethically questionable. To escape the quagmire of today’s problems, tomorrow’s solutions need to move away from competition with its inherent profit based flaws and come from a different mindset. That mindset is collaboration – and with the correct adaption, the benefits are remarkable.
Motivation Beyond Measure
Imagine a workforce who wanted to work, enjoyed the challenge, strived for perfection and were motivated by new opportunities instead of money. Visualise employees who knew how to get the best out of each other and themselves, were excited to exceed objectives and focused on the growth of the organisation. But the best part is the “unintended” consequences. Picture the profits when you deliver higher quality, innovative solutions and services at no extra cost!
The carrot and stick model, whilst effective for donkeys, does very little for modern day motivation. Whilst you can “force” people to work and sit at their desks for the prescribed eight hours per day, you can’t make them perform at their best. You cannot force “intrinsic” motivation – it comes from within and is immensely more powerful than external motivators, such as money.
Companies who have looked within to determine the most effective strategies for maximising their most precious resource, their employees, have found amazing results. By simply giving people more responsibility and self-direction, there is a natural increase in innovation, creativity and collaboration. Giving people the freedom to focus on strengths and find passion in their work, whilst following a path of personal development, creates a massive cultural paradigm shift.
Leading the Vision
The catalyst that is needed for this potentially monumental transformation is an inspirational leader. The power of effective and transformational leadership is dramatically underestimated – mainly by those who are currently in leadership roles! The new breed of visionary leadership is empowering a young generation of highly successful entrepreneurs and capitalists, who are adopting advanced and socially sustainable models to employee empowerment and seeing tremendous results.
Way back in 2004, Google introduced 20% time as a new approach to employee motivation and empowerment.
“We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner”. (Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin).
Whilst Google’s “free for all” approach has now been reigned in a little, with more strategic alignment they are still leading the way when it comes to innovative working practices that genuinely benefit employees , supporting work life balance and critically achieving the “sweet spot” of intrinsic motivation. Employees are proud to work for an innovative and futurespective organisation, so they give more than expected – and it shows.
Once you install or train a visionary leader with the skills and knowledge to create a cohesive community of empowered employees, the natural transformation will begin. From disgruntled staff who give the minimum effort required to get the job done, you can grow a high performance team, who excel in all directions. Problems become opportunities, challenges become solutions and motivation will reach unprecedented levels.
We all want to feel inspired and tap into our natural passions and strengths, whilst existing in harmony with those we spend most of our day with. We naturally want to grow and be stretched in a supportive community that is looking out for our best interests. This is not a utopian dream, this can genuinely be created in any workplace that is willing to evolve and adapt to new methods.
The biggest – and probably least quantifiable – asset to any organisation is the people that contribute their time and energy to its success. When companies learn how to lead with vision and intrinsically motivate their workforce to operate as a high performance team, the benefits quickly add up.
Cultural adaptions and organisational change take time, but the results can be immediate and quantifiable. With employee engagement worldwide as low as 13%, it is no wonder the dramatic benefits are so easily seen. Simply rearranging the office environment to increase opportunities for interaction can increase productivity by 10%, whilst engaged employees deliver on average 27% greater profits and 50% more satisfied customers. With metrics like that, can you afford to ignore your biggest asset?
Learn to Lead and Transform
The New Skills Academy “Teamwork and Leadership” course will rapidly empower you and your organisation to more effectively utilise the skills and energy of the only people with the power to transform. Early adaptors of this transformational leadership approach can deliver the high performance teams and motivated workforce needed to survive the difficult times ahead and thrive using new models of collaboration and rejuvenation. Leaders are not born, they are trained and a workforce is not a team, until you proactively learn how to create one.