A company client recently achieved its five year goal to reach revenues of a billion pesos. The past years have been focused on productivity with all the possible interventions to achieve the greatest efficiency and achieve targeted profitability. The drive has not just left people with a sense of accomplishment but also tired and exhausted. The challenge of the next stage of growth is “how to go to the next achievement level” and at the same time” humanize the environment”. Now, it wants to zero in on developing an environment and culture that is inspiring, purpose and passion driven while putting the person at the center of the enterprise. Brainstorming as a team of consultants, we arrived at a framework for Inspiring Achievement. It had to appeal to the mind but best of all to the heart. We arrived at three components.
Right people with right competencies
First is to emphasize on competence, knowing that behind achievement is having the “right person for the right task.” It also meant developing competencies in a rubric to show knowledge, skills, traits and attitudes in “progressive complexity.” We understood that one of the obstacles to achievement is “boredom.” Boredom comes in when a person’s job becomes routine and everything is as one employee said “same, same.”
This draws us to enable supervisors and managers to effectively coach their people and teams to continuously learn and develop. The trend today with enabling technology is to make the individual responsible for his/her own development. If one has a question or concern that is learning related, one can simply “Google it”, go for coaching or apply for company enabled training programs.
Empowerment at work
Secondly, is empowerment at work. Empowerment in the business sense is “based on the idea that giving people skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions will contribute to their satisfaction and competence”.
The art of fostering empowerment as shared by Ron Friedman in his book “the Best Place to Work” encompasses the following actions. First,macro manages at work by providing a meaningful rationale to tasks. Second, encourage people to define the outcome and approach that allow them to feel a sense of control, experience ownership and take pride in the work. Third, invite employees to explore solutions together and demonstrate that you valued their input growing their sense of choice. Fourth is to acknowledge negative feelings, legitimizing negative experiences actually help people sustain autonomy. And lastly, is to remove barriers to motivation by minimizing the focus on rewards. Long term interest is better sustained by keeping focus on the task itself.
Third component is inspiration – inspiring the heart. Inspiration is leadership action that creates a sense of direction and purpose, providing required resources and allowing people to take responsibility. It can either be passive or proactive. Some people are content with getting inspired by the ideas or success of others through a video or magazine article. However, for true achievement, a leader has to get into action, creating and applying new ideas, learning from mistakes and putting an idea to life.
Building relationships through pearls
Again from Friedman, it is about building relationships through gathering PEARLS.
The acronym means: P-artnership focusing on working together, E-mpathy feeling for the other, A-cknowledgement, recognizing work and time investment, R-espect showing trust and esteem, L-egitimation recognizing obstacles and difficulties and S-upport showing openness to be of help.
The workshops on inspiring achievement hope to drive the company to the next level of achievement as well as putting the inspired person at the center of the enterprise. The ingredients are competence, empowerment and inspiration.
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