Employees with a sense of purpose – How to get Inspired, engaged, committed and passionate teams.
The commitment, intensity, focus and persistency found in activists non-profit organisations like Green Peace, The Sea Shepard, Africa Wildlife foundation, The tea party movement and Occupy wall street to mention just a few, is the envy of many managers in most for-profit organisation. Why is such motivation displayed by people who are not paid anything, but yet none of that is displayed by people being paid to achieve organisational goals? Can activist initiative and energy be unleashed in employees? What can businesses do to get such imagination, commitment, intensity, focus, persistency and passion from employees?
The tremendous performance, motivation, energy and commitment of employees in non-profit organisation shows that there is something fundamental wrong with the way employees in most businesses are motivated. The mistaken expectation is that if people are paid to perform a certain task, they will do it better than if they were not pay to do the same task. The perception of payment is then associated with control, if an employee is paid to do the task, then they must do it according to the managers’ instruction at the manager’s time and at a place decided by the manager. The employee also equates the amount paid to the effort they put to the task.
- Many business managers are reluctant to relinquish the old style top-down command structure and are frustrated with a generation of employees that does not show any passion or loyalty and who are only prepared to do as much as they perceive they are paid for.
- In most organisations if employees were asked to come to work without being paid but because they love what they do, no one would turn up.
- Self-managing teams are neither encouraged nor tolerated as they are viewed as rendering management irrelevant.
- Millions are spent by organisations on management training, but results do not match the investment.
- Employees are frustrated by the never ending trial and error changes without seeing any positive results.
- Organisations fail to understand that implementing twentieth century theories to twenty first century employees will neither inspire nor motivate their staff.
- Most routine and mundane tasks are now done by automated machines, and the majority of employees in most businesses are involved in task that requires imagination and initiative. Intrinsic motivators are required to energise these employees yet it in not uncommon to find employees being offered extrinsic motivators like wage increase, bonuses and commissions to improve performance.
- Organisations have more managers than leaders and therefore lack people who can inspire, energise, listen and build leaders out of their subordinates.
Motivated for higher purpose - What motivates generation X and Y are a sense of belonging to a self-managed team, appreciation of what they do, the feeling of achieving a high purpose, the autonomy to own their work without micro management and the opportunity and freedom to grow and learn.
Inspiring Leaders - To unleash the passion in organisational teams, managers should stop managing and start leading. They need to be inspiring leaders and not commanding leaders. Inspiring leaders remove barriers so employees can realize their potential; they are open to new ideas and encourage creativity. They need to create, own and drive a vision that their teams can identify with and follow.
Self-managing Teams - The deliberate creation of autonomous teams and individuals who own their working space and are free to exercise innovative thinking, will in the future determine the difference between a struggling and a wining business. Innovation and thinking outside the square should not only be encouraged but be built into the culture of the organisation as part of business as usual.
Passionate teams - Organisational leaders will best serve their shareholders by tapping into the intensity and advocacy spirit of each individual to build highly performing and passionate teams, who are prepared to go the extra mile not because they are paid more, but because they believe in what they do. They believe in what they do as individuals first and collectively as a team.
Teams with a larger than life purpose - These kinds of teams will be created by transparently sharing knowledge and ideas, encouraging a culture of ownership and showing what a difference the team’s achievements make not only to the organisation’s bottom line, but also to the outside world in general and particularly to the communities they live in.
- Highly motivated and passionate individuals who have taken the work out of work.
- Highly engaged employees who view their contributions as fulfilling a meaningful purpose.
- Inspiring leaders and autonomous purpose driven teams.
- Organisations that are inspiring in which employees love what they do and can see the larger than life benefits to the global society.
- Globally competitive and highly profitable organisations.
- Build a culture of leaders as opposed to managers in the organisation
- Make encouraging innovation, imagination, initiative and autonomy business as usual.
- Offer and emphasise intrinsic motivator’s more than extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivator include showing appreciation and praise for good work done, offer clear paths for learning and growth and giving meaning and purpose to goals and objectives.
- Link organisational goals, values, production processes and finished products to good causes.
- Takes tangible steps to mitigate the effects on the bad causes caused by processes associated with the organisation, from raw material to product disposal.
- Educate current and prospective employees, customers, suppliers as well as the general public about the good causes the business’ product and processes are linked to. Be they environmental, people, animals and sea creatures.
- Build as part of the organisation’s culture that the business stands for these good causes while making a profit.
Dr. Bernie Frey.
Massey University Palmerstone North
MBA - Leadership and People