Ensuring Employee Engagment: A Leadership Series
Number One of Seven
Approximate reading time: 1 minute
Benefits: practical how-to on getting buy-in from your people
In This issue:
- The Process of Mind Set Change
- Upcoming Public Workshops
- More Original Content from FSTD : Current Blog Posts
- Featured Product: Team Effectiveness Questionnairre
Envision this: It’s Friday and you are going to handing out this week’s pay checks. You get everyone together in the lunch room and say, “Times are tough gang. Starting next week, you’all are gonna get a 15% cut in pay. Have a nice weekend.”
Come again? If you do the above, what do you think will happen to next week’s productivity? Will it: 1) go up? 2) stay the same? 3) go down? 4) be non-existent?
If your answer is 1, you’ve obviously watched Marry Poppins too many times. If your answer is 2, you probably think OJ is innocent and was framed in Las Vegas. If your answer is 3, you’re just a run-of-the-mill, every day optimist. If your answer is 4, you obviously wouldn’t lay a 15% pay cut on people and expect them to accept it just ‘cause you’re a “nice guy”!
Here’s a truth: “People don’t resist change as much as they resist the way change is implemented.” In today’s work environment, chances are you and your organization are going to implement changes that won’t be wildly popular. If you implement the changes by “laying them on” people, you will virtually guarantee chaos.
New topic: Do you believe that Mindset drives Behavior? Think about it. If there is a good, solid reason for a 15% pay cut, and if each and every employee knows and understands why it is essential, then when it is implemented you won’t get condition #4 above. Does that mean people will like it? Not at all. They won’t like it, not even a little bit. But…they will accept it.
Another truth: “For people to commit to a course of action they do not need to like it. They need to understand it and accept it.”
Let’s tie it all together. Mindset drives Behavior. The process of Mindset change is:
For people to accept a necessary, legitimate, “unpleasant” change they need to Think about the change and Talk about the change BEFORE you can expect them to commit to Doing things differently. That is, implementing the change.
So, before you implement the next unpleasant change, remember Mindset drives Behavior. If we go back to the first paragraph where “you get everyone together in the lunch room”, this time say, “As you know, times are tough. To maintain a positive cash flow, we need to cut costs by 15%. One way is a pay cut for us all. To me this is the least attractive way to go. What other ways can you all think of?” Who knows - they may have a better way! At the very least, they will have been involved to the degree that they can accept the change when it comes.
The tip of the day: “Involve your people in the tough choices!” Be aware that Mindset drives Behavior. Don’t short cut the Thinking, Talking, Doing process.
There is a clear, unequivocal answer for the various economic crises we've seen unfold over the last few months. It cannot be simpler: either raise taxes or cut services. I’m not an economist, but my vote for long-term sustainability is “cut services.” Either way, in order to avoid a situation similar to Greece, we’re going to have to pull together as a nation. As communities. As companies. Within your company.
We can come out of this. We need leaders. The type of leader who, like Winston Churchill offering his nation “blood, toil, tears and sweat,” can speak the hard truths and have people collectively embrace what in the moment must seem to be the lesser of two very bad evils.
This week, we’re starting a seven-part series on Employee Engagement, with the simple goal to answer the question “how does a leader involve his or her people so that they willingly step up and do what he or she needs them to do?”
Even though the worst of the economic downturn may be past, the challenges with which we are left -- to work harder, do more with less, to innovate at an ever increasing rate – call for teamwork between line and management like never before. And that requires leadership. We'll be sharing some tips and strategies to help you as a leader be more successful in stepping up.
The principles that we are sharing owe a large debt to the seminal research of Vic Vroom and Phillip Yetton from the University of Pittsburgh in the late 60s and early 70s (the great ideas, that is, those that explain what actually works, aren’t necessarily contained in books on the latest NYT best seller list). We cover those principles in detail in our workshop Mastering Involvement. Sign up for an upcoming public workshop here.
Let’s step up. It’s time.
- Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Openers, Initiatives and Low Elements - May 27-28, 2010, Utica, MS
- Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Trust, Low Ropes, High Ropes and AlpineTower - May 31-June 1, 2010, Utica, MS
- Trouble Shooting Logic
- August 24-26, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- September 20-22, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- October 25-27, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- The Sales CODE, September 14-15, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Performance Coaching, September 23-24, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Mastering Involvement, October 28, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Trouble Shooting Logic Train-the-Trainer (T3), November 8-19, 2010, Atlanta, GA