The attitudinal advantage
Attitudinal and behavioural changes can drive profitability and growth
Today’s workforce competes within itself, primarily because of its age mix. It’s common knowledge that age, position in the hierarchy, family commitments, financial comfort or lack of it all these issues and more, influence the level of involvement of an employee with their joborganisation. It is important to identify young adults and others who are more focused; result-oriented and in constant need of an adrenalin fix. Their immediate goal is to be successful at the job but they are more susceptible to being adversely affected by workplace issues; and morale and productivity take a beating. They may not be finicky but their enthusiasm can go awry if the required
Behaviour and attitude may not be the same thing, but are related in important ways. While attitude is an inner thought or belief you hold about the world around you, behaviour is the physical manifestation of your attitudes. Attitudes can be positive, negative, or neutral regarding people, places and things. Change in attitude is followed by behavioural changes, since one influences the other significantly. support doesn’t exist in their immediate environment. So, how do corporates channel this untapped energy and use it to infect the whole organisation?
Companies that nail employee engagement understand that motivating high performance and aligning talent with business strategy requires getting to the heart of what matters to employees. It can’t be only about cold hard figures; though that will be the result of such efforts. Dealing with all age groups in an organisation is a huge challenge. The urgency to introduce programmes that deal with individuals rather than groups of people is becoming a reality. The need for a cohesive work environment is now being understood. Disengaged employees can drag down others and impact everything from customer service to sales, quality, productivity, retention and other critical business areas.
At the top of the agenda is retaining good talent and companies are forthcoming in providing adequate support for career path development. Programmes can’t just monitor performance but must motivate progress at various stages.
Timely intervention to streamline roadblocks between line managers and employees helps to reduce attrition and fosters a healthy work environment. While line managers can better themselves with programmes that assist in raising the bar, the new generations are far more focused and result-oriented and need the same programme to recognise and motivate them at all times. The line manager is a nodal point in any organisation. As long as the thought process falls in line with what the line manager has in mind, there is less friction amongst employees. On the contrary, if the line manager sees no value in a specific programme, execution of that programme becomes cumbersome.
Managing a workforce that has different levels of productivity is a major concern. Most organisations would like to work towards achieving maximum productivity across the workforce, deploying productivity-measurement tools is the need of the hour. It will help them assess productivity and allocate resources appropriately to facilitate better understanding and work arrangement. It combats the need for better employee practices for transparency at work and drives a high-performance employee culture.
Successful change comes from a real understanding of people, their habits and their motivations. Companies are constantly researching the attitudes and needs of people and using tools and research to promote behavioural change.
Mentoring is a career development method whereby less experienced employees are matched with more experienced colleagues for guidance either through formal or informal programmes. A good mentoring programme facilitates commitment to the relationship, confidentiality and clear, open, two-way communication. Employees (mentees) pair with more experienced co-workers (mentors) in order to gain knowledge, skills, experience, information and advice.
Anyone at any job level may participate and benefit from a mentoring relationship. Given the generational gap and skills sets, it is beneficial to have a mentoring programme to develop independent thinking and also to get acclimatised to the work environment. The three critical elements for a good and effective engagement are respect, trust and listening skills.
When these elements fall into place, colleagues will be more receptive and open to making a change to drive business growth and profitability.