Organizations and agencies of all sizes hope to create a work environment where people perform at a high level, go above and beyond when needed, stay with and endorse the organization as a good place to work, and act as good organizational citizens. But are leaders in these organizations actively measuring employee perceptions and dealing with low scores as they are discovered?
In a new article for Chief Learning Officer researchers at The Ken Blanchard Companies recommend leaders measure employee work intentions in five key areas to focus their efforts: Discretionary Effort, Intent to Perform, Intent to Endorse, Intent to Remain, and Organizational Citizenship
Discretionary Effort: The Blanchard research shows that people are more apt to go the extra mile when they have autonomy and variety in their role. Peer relationships also influence discretionary effort. The more connected an individual is to his or her colleagues, the more likely he or she is to expend extra energy on behalf of the organization. People feel good about working extra hard when they believe the organization they are working for treats them fairly.
Intent to Perform: Blanchard data shows the more that people feel their jobs contain variety and include more than routine tasks, the greater their intention is to perform at a high level. Autonomy also plays a large role in performance intentions because people feel the need to have the freedom to decide how their tasks are performed and the authority to do their jobs.
Intent to Endorse: Blanchard research also identified that fairness in the work environment influences an individual’s willingness to endorse the organization as a good place to work and to recommend it to their family, friends, and potential customers. Most people also have a need to feel support for both their job and career growth. Autonomy also has influence on the intent to perform.
Intent to Remain: The Blanchard data indicated that the intent to stay with an organization is a statement of confidence in leadership as well as the organization. Lack of growth opportunities, fair benefits, and adequate pay cause intent to stay to diminish over time.
Organizational Citizenship: The Blanchard research also found that individuals who feel more highly connected to their colleagues and see their workplace as collaborative tend to focus more on the welfare of the organization. This connection is due to the concepts of sportsmanship, fair play, and taking care of others.
6 Recommendations for Leaders
Are you creating the type of environment that encourages your best people to stay and perform at high levels? The Blanchard researchers share six ways to get started drawing from their studies into 12 Employee Work Passion Factors.
Increase Task Variety. Scores on all five key intentions improve when employees have a variety in type and complexity of tasks
Provide Meaningful Work. Communicating vision, the value of an employee’s contribution to the organization, and the organization’s contribution to the community are important to people, and can influence intentions to Remain, Perform at a High Level, Endorse, and Engage in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
Promote Procedural Fairness. Apply policies and procedures fairly to all employees to improve intentions to Perform, Remain, and Apply Discretionary Effort
Increase Autonomy. Allow people flexibility in how they accomplish their work and approach their jobs to improve intentions to Apply Discretionary Effort, Perform at a High Level, and Engage in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
Encourage Employee Connections. Foster the development of personal and professional relationships among employees to influence the intention to Apply Discretionary Effort and Engage in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
Offer Job and Career Growth Opportunities and Exhibit Distributive Fairness. Make sure compensation and distribution of resources are fair to improve employees’ Intention to Remain