I was lucky enough to attend a session with Professor Beverley Alimo-Metcalfe and wanted to share some of my notes.
5 Drivers of Human Effort
1. Meaning – work life must have purpose, managers need to help their employees understand the why in what they do.
2. Autonomy – Managers need to allow their employees the discretion to make decisions without having to gain their managers permission.
3. Mastery – competence builds confidence and research has shown that confident employees will be more ambitious in what they can achieve. This should be nurtured by effect reviews and support from their managers.
4. Appreciation – how often do managers geniuinely thank their employees for the effort they put in?
5. Social Support – managers need to build a culture where it is ok to say ‘I am not coping…I have messed up’ this needs to be followed up with support e.g. Talking through the stages of a task to identify where things went wrong so it becomes a learning experienced.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
3 Factor – Employee Engagement
I recently attended a talk by Sir Harry Burns the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland around his study around early intervention with young people in order to empower them to turn their lives into something more positive. He is a fantastic presenter and the evidence he has collected around brain development and what can positively or negatively affect it is fascinating and made me think about how leaders could adopt this to enrich the life’s of their employees.
I love simplifying things and what I took away was 3 things that help empower people are
Control – having a real sense of control over their working lives, the how, what, when etc
Sense of Purpose – knowing that you are making a difference or heading towards a worthwhile goal
Community– seeing that you are part of the team, company,organisation etc
So how do you do this, well you can hold back on the fancy questionnaires and start having conversations with your staff around these 3 pillars and really listening to them and empowering them. As Sir Harry Burns talked about, this is not about doing things to people it’s about enabling them to do it for themselves.
Here’s a crazy idea, you could do it in 30 days. Here’s a Ted talk about just that
Let me know what you think about employee engagement in the comments section below and if you would like to read more about how to build the 3 factors into your working life.
We are all looking for ways to be more efficient in the workplace and unfortunately it seems to be about rationalising or cuts however what if you get an extra 23 % productivity with out cuts?
Well there was a study by Bath university around discretionary effort of 700 people and they realised through the study that 3 things would help this Ability, Motivation and opportunity. However I have recently noticed in organisations going through change that employees need more that these 3.
VAMOS the Spanish for to go
V= vision and I am not taking about the interchangeable, sometimes unmemorable cliches that I have seen, what I am talking about is what the manager sees as the future of the team,department etc. Talking about what they picture as a positive future, in turbulent working environment employee need to know that their boss is guiding them to a better place.
A = ability when asking employees to do more, due to changes in the workplace, have you as there manager talked to them about development or a skills gap and empowering them to get the development they need.
M= motivation… There are many theories on this and I have blogged about a few, however, the easiest way to find out what motivates them is ask them, many managers make assumptions about their employees, this can have the opposite of the desired effect.
O= opportunity; whether it is outdated processes, systems, IT or employees getting dragged into other duties that distract them from doing what they are employed to do. It’s your duty as a leader to cut through these distractions to allow the employee to do what they do best.
S= Specific outcomes. Setting expectations / targets whatever you want to call them mean that employee know exactly what they have to do to be a success. Sounds simple however you would be amazed the amount of employees I meet that find it difficult articulate what a good day looks like or their boss changes the goal posts so often that they don’t know what good looks like.
Hope you had a great weekend
Vampires attack on change – a leadership express halloween special
‘its not that people don’t like change they don’t like uncertainty’…. Vampires in your orgainisation will drain the life out of your change process using the fangs of uncertainty.
Below is some things to think about with your Stakeholders to beat the Vampires!
V- Vision, have a clear vision of what it will be like after the change and talk about this often
A- Acknowledge the past –What was right and what is wrong
M- Mediums of communication – Leaders and managers need to have many ways of communication e.g. face to face,in groups, regular 1:1’s, listening sessions. It has to be two way and actions must be taking on the back of this;then communicated. N.B. Vamps love change emails so use them sparingly
P- Process of change – ensure you communicate why it is happening, what will happen,when it will happen, how it will happen, who needs to do what, where it will happen
I- Increments of change – break down the change into small chunks then it won’t feel so scary
R- Recognition of the efforts of colleagues in the change process as you go along
E- Energy – leaders and managers should ensure that their energy and drive for the change is positive and help things to keep moving
Strengths based development is nothing new in sports coaching and development; you don’t train someone with a talent for sprinting, how to be a marathon runner. You identify what someone is good at then in the case of a sprinter you develop and coach them to get better in order to get quicker.
Yet as leaders in business, we have possibly all been managed by someone who will look at a development plan as an instrument to develop weaknesses! This flies in the face of research that shows that when you manage people who are using their strengths they will be up to 23% more productive, they are more likely to stay with the company and be true advocates for that company. If they are more productive and engaged they are less likely to be absent from work. All of these things have the potential to add to your bottom line.
If you don’t believe me, simply reflect on what percentage of your strengths you use at your work then think about what you could do at work if you used more of your strengths.
Ok, you say thats great in theory, but how do you do it?
Get to know your team
1. Use a Type indicator e.g. MBTI, DISC etc. They give an indication of how people like to communicate with the world, what energises them. They aren’t about skills you say, and you would be right, however, it will help you and your team enhance how you understand and communicate with each other, but also what gives them energy and energy at work is golddust!
2. Find out what their values are, not the companies. People are more and more looking at the purpose of their / their companies role over and above the ‘widgets’ they produce. This is especially true of Gen Y and they are if they are not already the future of your company. Help them link their values to working in your team.
3. Get everyone to do a SWOT analysis and do one for the team. Strengths, Weaknesses (what they are not good at but can do) Opportunities (strengths they haven’t as yet been able to utlise in the team) Threats (things they don’t like doing, arent that great at doing and developing these skills will be a waste of everybodies time)
4. Development plans – Concentrate on developing Strengths and Opportunities. Only develop anything under the other two headings if they are crucial to the role.
5. If you can allocate work according to strengths then do so in a fair way.
6. Review, reflect,give and receive feedback on a regular basis about how it is working.
It would be great to hear your thoughts on Strength based development, so feel free to comment.
Hope you have a fantastic weekend
Finally, as a tradition on my site I like to add a TED video.
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers
If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” (Simon Sinek)
I watched an interview with Martine Wright the paralympian who lost both her legs in the 7/7 bombings and I have to say it brought a lump to my throat and really inspired me.
After the tragic incident Martine had to re-evaluated her life “I keep asking myself, when does it become normal? Is this normal now?”.
Wright “fell in love” with the sport after turning up late for a “search for a sitting volleyball star” day at Tottenham’s football ground that was attended by just five hopefuls.
Six years on, the 39-year-old former marketing executive was diving and blocking at the net, in front of a noisy crowd which included the London mayor, Boris Johnson, actor Barbara Windsor and Wright’s three-year-old son, Oscar, clutching a banner saying “Go, mummy, go”.
“My motivation, one of my motivations, is I truly believe I was meant to do this journey,”
“I want to do my nation and my family proud.”
This is only one story in so many with the competitors and I wanted to blog about it because it truly inspired me and the paralympics is a shining beacon of what can be done with determination, inspiration and a massive amount of hardwork.
I truly hope that the legacy of the paralympics is inspiring people of all abilities and ages (the oldest competitor is 71) that they can achieve their dreams and that it breaks down the prejudices between people.
Hope you have a great weekend
Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images