Home Concepts Employee Engagement & Motivation A Call for the High Performance Human Workplace

A Call for the High Performance Human Workplace

16 min read

100 percent responsibility for CARING and COMMUNITY:  Creating a community of people that are for each other

Whilst competition is an important driver of performance, it is not an attractive motivation to the majority of the workforce. Senior leaders that love the thrill of competition often lack awareness that competition threatens a lot of people who care more about doing a job well  than competing. The fear of losing leads to “freezing” on the job. The secret to engagement is to create community within the corporation and a competitive edge with the outside world. Community is a deep need for most people. Without trusting that others care for them and for what they do and have to say, people don’t feel appreciated and withdraw one way or another. Leaders that care ask people what they are passionate about and what troubles them. They appreciate people in public – including and beyond their value to the business. Leaders that drive this value of “caring for each other” create a culture and community of high energy and engagement.

When caring is a genuine part of the culture, employees will themselves take ownership for a higher level of personal accountability. Where companies, divisions or plants fail, I look for where there is a lack of care in the first place. Imagine a factory where compliance is low, standard procedures have not been followed and a high quality mindset is missing. Talk to the employees and ask them how management cares for them. You will find a big part of the solution right here. In order to fix those issues typical management response looks for better processes and protocols, training for the workers and better role descriptions. This helps. But if there had been care in the first place, employees would probably have fixed things proactively because they cared. Where things are broken, employees know it, know how to fix it, and it’s usually the management who is surprised.

Another example comes from the CEO of a third party manufacturer I spoke to recently. He explained their company vision to me and explained how caring was a value. He explained how this relates to health and safety. It is a priority for the factory leadership team because they want the workers, the family fathers and mothers to come home safe. They deeply care for the employees and their families. Everyone feels responsible for this. He pointed out that he didn’t do it for the FDA nor for the local health authority but for the people. They would never have health and safety issues with the authorities because they deeply care in the first place.

It sounds natural to care for people. But it often isn’t for many senior executives whose attention is elsewhere. The challenge for all of us is simple, but difficult. I know it’s possible. I’ve seen it happen in my own company.

We just need a wakeup call.

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