Synchronising organisational values with employee values to create self-leadership and competitive advantage.
Key areas identified for successful synchronisation between organisational values and employee’s values. Self-leadership - motivating and nurturing human capital resource into a managing without managers learning cycle. Leader-reinforcement, peer-reinforcement and self-reinforcement whilst creating a safe environment for open dialogue. Resulting decision making speed through employee empowerment achieves competitive advantage.
- How does an organisation achieve that competitive advantage and deliver results on time every time, exceeding expectations?
- Are employees confident and empowered to deliver and go the extra mile?
- What were the results last time? Do they want to do it again and get that result? The answer is yes if the result was good, but no if the result was bad, do they learn?
- How do you create enthusiastic and results driven feedback that sustains employee engagement?
- Bureaucratic and hierarchical organisations get tied up with the policies, politics and the small print, this leads to uninspired workers, dissatisfied customers.
- With so much information where does an organisation begin to make changes?
Solution-Managing without managers-Self-Leadership
The future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)
Introducing the LEVEL ‘self-management’ learning cycle.
There are five stages to providing the solution, known as LEVEL self-management; all management is on one level, with the leader pointing the way. These five stages are:
Leader = pointing the right direction, reinforcement
Environment = providing the workers with support and a safe space for open dialogue, effective meetings
Verification = appreciation and self/peer feedback, team work
Empowerment = execution and reinforcement = Self-management & leadership
Learning = and training leads to leverage and the ultimate competitive advantage and results provide reinforcement
Leaders point workers in the right direction, workers will follow an inspired leader; a good leader will follow inspired workers. The leader is in a position to constantly reinforce workers behaviour, listen and provide encouragement resulting in team work.
Inspired leaders explore every opportunity, are prepared for radical changes with globalisation and new technologies, whilst retaining focus on the organisations goals. Be what your customers need you to be, if sustainability is an important issue for your customers, then develop your goals to meet their needs.
Ensure your organisation is socially responsible and is strategically aligned to know where it’s going and whom with.
Focus point: Leaders inspire, encourage, listen and point the way
Ditch the hard stuff, concentrate on soft management, provide a safe nurturing environment for your employees, this in turn provides a positive situation that avoids cognitive dissonance and a safe environment that creates dialogue and supports constructive conflict.
Effective meetings and creating the right environment
The meeting format
- Always apply the rule: Keep it Simple
- Meeting structures should be designed to meet all levels of skills and competence
- Every participant needs to be relevant to the meeting
- Agendas have key discussion points, plus open forum, deal with the tough issues at the beginning
- Have clear start and finish times
- Items that require in-depth discussion, but not with all parties to the meeting should be parked.
- Leaders oversee the meeting, and be ready to participate
- A facilitator is always appointed-everyone takes a turn
- Relaxed, vibrant and social atmosphere
- What goes on tour stays on tour attitude (conflicts are not carried on outside the meeting environment)
- Participants are encouraged to think off the wall and outside the box, this will inspire them and others to be innovative, this is why employees are known as human resource capital they benefit the organisation
- Walking meetings, internal - the walkstation (www.store.steelcase.com and external (www.livingstreets.org.uk)
- Questions can be submitted anonymously, powernoodle software facilitates this (www.powernoodle.com)
Meetings can be informal, for example spend a day with your employee driving to visit customers.
Adaptability is the key to effective meetings find what fits your organisations environment.
Focus point: Create camaraderie and belonging within the organisation
Constructive feedback, especially from peers can feel threatening; people feel uncomfortable and insecure being in this situation. The safe team work environment created within the organisation is critical to achieving the most benefit from the verification cycle.
Employees receive self feedback when they see the benefits that the changes contribute to the organisation and see the impact on the resulting competitive advantage.
The application of the Johari Window method for employees creates a model of self-awareness and mutual understanding and encourages disclosure and feedback. (McShane, Olekalns, & Travaglione, 2010, p. 100).
Focus point: Providing employees with the right training and tools to understand the psychological processes and feelings involved assists constructive feedback and leads to positive self feedback and sustained employee engagement.
Leaders must get the right people in the first place, motivate them, give them absolute autonomy, empower them, trust them and respect them, involve them in the organisations goals and inspire their passion about those goals.
Employees are empowered to respond and sense customer needs, whilst meeting the goals of the organisation, they understand the scope of their role within the organisation and the organisational goals, empowering them to make the right decision, based on the big picture with all the facts to hand.
Focus point: Your employees no matter how confident they are will need a leader and peer reinforcement messages of encouragement. Encourage them to question: What if? and Why not? There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Understanding the needs and wants of the customer ensure the employee learns, all they need is leadership guidance, they also learn by their own mistakes, this is the most powerful learning tool. Teach them to be sensitive to the organisations goals and needs and understand their part in the big picture of the organisation. Humility amongst team members is encouraged.
Focus point: Invest in your human capital; they are the most adaptable resource a company can have.
- Cooperation across job functions
- Decisions are timely and made with all organisational and operational facts to hand
- Increased trust amongst peers
- Organisation is driven from the bottom up, with an aligned strategy
- Employee values and organisational values are aligned
- Employees are encouraged to be role models, speak up, innovate and take initiative
- Moral is high
- Humility is present in the workplace
- Full employee engagement is the beginning, then using this human resource:
- Find out what they see as the organisational priorities to achieve ‘buy in’
- Discuss meeting guidelines ensures everyone commits
- Verify and review regularly for continuous learning
- Determine levels of empowerment within roles to establish clarity for all
- Set the learning criteria and establish any training needs to enable future growth
Finally, don’t run, learn to walk, of the 1435 Fortune 500 companies analysed by researchers for the book ‘Good to great’ by (Collins, 2001, pp. 168-169) none of the ‘good-to-great’ companies were able to pinpoint any moment in time their transformation took place, and agreed it was a transitional process that took place over a period of time.
Dr Bernie Frey
Massey University MBA NZ4 Palmerston North Cohort (for giving me the confidence to put this out there!)
My team for putting up with my experiments