Hey Gallup Management Journal: Good Job!

“People are our greatest asset”

Well after slamming the article in the GMJ about a tribal knowledge article a few weeks back I felt compelled to go back and read some more. I found an article on managing. I have to say I loved it. It started out with a rather biting satire of how senior managers just do not get what good management is about. That caught my attention as I recalled all the suits that parrot the right words, some even vaguely understanding what they are saying few connecting words to actions though.

“People are our greatest asset”

Many managers I have interacted with really do not understand this simple phrase. Oh sure they can recite it even do so with apparent conviction. Heck they may even believe that a middle of the road pay scale constitutes recognizing this asset base. I do not.

People need a decent paycheck yes. They even would like a larger one most of the time. However if you try to connect a paycheck to motivation directly it will rarely work. Motivation comes from the inside. It comes from an alignment of personal values and purpose with the same in the organization. When a person and the organization are aligned, that is power; that is a setting where motivation can really explode.

How can we as leaders or managers create an environment where motivation is possible?

We can understand the culture of our own organization. Discover the norms and assumptions that define your company. Learn about the stories that are told. Magnify the positive aspects of these within your sphere of influence. Become the storyteller.

We can seek to identify the sacred cows and have a barbeque with them. They have to go if they inhibit us or our team’s growth and success. Find the barriers and the frustrations that cause your team to under perform. Take a step further identify the policies and procedures that do the same. Work with other organizational leaders and see about changing the policies that inhibit your team.

Change the culture to one including appreciation. Find ways to recognize excellence. Find ways to encourage the right behavior and redirect the wrong ones. Give feedback often both affirming and corrective. As possible bias feedback toward the positive.

As a final thought study the work of Gallup on employee engagement. Gallup is well known for their research on engagement and how it is created. Their Q12 question set is a fundamental tool for any beginning manager. I believe you should not be promoted into a leadership or management role without having read and assimilated the lessons contained in First Break All the Rules.

Lead well

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