Posts Tagged work environment
Have you seen Simon Sinek’s 2014 TED talk, Why good leaders make you feel safe? He said, “In the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain.” He is pointing out the best and worst of these two work environments. The culture in the military expects and rewards those who look out for others. Yet, we seem to reward just the opposite in business.
I have seen this sacrifice of others in government workplaces first hand but the most visible example I can think of is the impact of delaying the annual budget each year. Congress and the President are responsible for the budget but in recent years they have put it off too long, or been unable to agree on what programs get funded. As a result the people are unexpectedly denied services and government employees are faced with unplanned, indefinite furloughs. Workers have to live without a paycheck. And though they will eventually get their job back, and are likely to get back pay, they are living on savings. Not a safe place to be. It is easy to understand workers feeling betrayed.
Every day people perform extraordinary acts of selflessness. Sinek tells the stories in his TED talk of a Medal of Honor winner and a manufacturing company with a furlough program that saved every employee’s job and improved moral during very hard times. The people we would choose to follow are those who inspire our loyalty by giving of themselves. They are leaders because they go to great lengths to do what is best for the safety and the lives of their people.
When people know they will be taken care of, they can focus on making great things happen. Just imagine if business and government leaders focused on creating environments that foster cooperation and make people feel safe. The possibilities are endless.
What do you do to make your people feel safe and cared for?
Budget cuts government-wide have forced leaders to “do more with less” and focus on innovation within their agency. As a result of this, many senior executives are struggling to provide a work environment that incorporates high-performing teams, a work/life balance, and employee interest to stay with and support the agency long-term. A new report to the President and Congress by the United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) may be just the answer agency leaders have been looking for to address these concerns.
Research on workplace flexibility has found that not only does teleworking benefit employees, it also benefits the organization. The snow storm that hit DC in 2009 left many federal employees unable to get to their place of employment. The result of the forced shutdown was estimated at costing the government $100 million per day in lost productivity and opportunity costs. If agencies had a telework policy in place, employees would have had the opportunity to work from home or another easily accessible location to get their work done, despite the snow storm. In addition, agencies that allow their workers the option to telework are more apt to recruit and secure high quality employees due to the attractiveness of the work/life balance mobile working offers.
If the government is requiring agencies to be innovative in light of the recent budget cuts, managers and supervisors need to provide incentives that will keep these high performing employees working for them. Teleworking is a benefit that would have a direct impact for employees by reducing commute times, freeing up more personal time after work, and empowering employees to work when they are at their most optimal. All of these factors have been found to empower and motivate employees and, in turn, increase performance and results.
The Ken Blanchard Companies along with Training magazine conducted a survey to further explore how to create employee work passion. One question asked what influenced employees to remain with their organization the most. The survey conveyed several factors that impacted employees differently based on their work experiences. The factors that were ranked include:
Job Factors – Autonomy, Meaningful Work, Feedback, Workload Balance, and Task Variety
Organizational Factors – Collaboration, Performance, Expectations, Growth, Procedural Justice (process fairness), and Distributive Justice (rewards, pay, and benefits)
Relationship Factors – Connectedness with Colleagues and Connectedness with Leader
The research that was conducted reveals that employees are constantly making appraisals of their work experiences and these appraisals result in intentions to stay, to use discretionary effort, to perform at a higher than average level, and to endorse the organization and its leadership.
Want to learn about more ways to create an environment where people want to come to work and give their best? Log on to the live webinar at 9:00am PST/12:00pm EST today about cultivating employee work passion.