How To Regenerate The Spirit In Your Organization
Are you and your clients experiencing downsizing, overwhelming changes in technology, low employee morale, and a “dog eat dog” atmosphere? If so, you join many other organizations in our world today. A recent Roper poll found employee morale and job satisfaction at the lowest point since Roper began the poll decades ago. Many organizations have concentrated so much on improving systems and processes that they have forgotten about the Human element in their places of work, and the result is employees who are burdened by fear, distrust, stress, feelings of powerlessness, and a lack of hope.
In order for our organizations to survive, we must regenerate in our workplaces a spirit of commitment, self-worth, and a new sense of meaning which will, in turn, impact productivity and profit. In today’s competitive marketplace, the truly successful organizations are those where employees work hard, smart, and, above all, enthusiastically.
In working with organizations all over the world in a variety of industries, I have found several elements which exist in a spirited organization:
C = CREATIVE COMMUNICATION
A recent study reported by the Chicago Tribune shows that the average worker spends over 50 hours a week communicating in some way. Since most of us are bombarded by piles of paper, hundreds of E-mail messages, and even full voice mail boxes, the only way to get our messages heard is to SURPRISE people. The more creatively a message is sent, the greater the chance that the message will be noticed and heeded.
It is important to remember that in any interaction there are two levels — the Business Level which is meeting the external objectives for the interaction (the purpose of the interaction or the business to be transacted) and the Human Level which is all about how the receiver feels about the interaction, whether it is face to face, electronic, or written.
Three questions to consider as you send any message are:
1. Will it get the information across clearly and accurately? (Business Level)
2. Will it make the receiver feel good about you and your organization? (Human Level)
3. Will it surprise the receiver? (Creative Communication)
When employees realize the importance of creative communication and the Human Level, a new dimension of innovation and fun is added to the workplace.
A = ATMOSPHERE AND APPRECIATION FOR ALL
Charles Garfield says, “In environments in which human needs are acknowledged and talent and creativity are allowed to flourish, employees give their all.” What kind of an atmosphere exists in your organization? What does your reception area look like? Your halls? Is spontaneity encouraged? Do people have fun at work?
In an annual study on what people want from their jobs, the number two answer since 1948 is “Full appreciation for work done.” Interestingly, “Good wages” is number five! Do you encourage daily affirmations in your organization, both through formal programs and individual personalized actions?
R = RESPECT AND REASON FOR BEING
Robert Greenleaf, Hyler Bracey, Peter Block, and John Scherer all talk about servant leadership and the importance of managing from the heart. James Autry says, “Good management is largely a matter of love. Or if you’re uncomfortable with that word, call it caring, because proper managment involves caring for people, not manipulating them.” What kind of leaders are you encouraging in your organization?
In each interaction we have with anyone, we have the CHOICE to create either a minus, a zero, or a plus experience for that person, depending on the way we treat them. (Minus = discounting the person, making him feel less important than us or our organization; Zero = just taking care of the Business Level only; Plus = making the person feel special on the Human Level, often surprising her). Creating a “plus” in every interaction we have can become a personal sense of mission for each employee. Peter Block says, “The choice we offer people is what creates accountability.”
E = EMPATHY AND ENTHUSIASM
As employees begin to understand the importance of the Human Level in all their interactions, they will begin to listen not only with their heads but also with their hearts. Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
Francis Likert said many years ago: “If a high level of performance is to be achieved, it appears to be necessary for a manager to have high performance goals and a contagious enthusiasm as to the importance of those goals.” Do your managers and employees have a contagious enthusiasm about the importance of their work and the difference they can make in their interactions?
Before any cultural change can take place in an organization, you must capture people’s hearts and spirits so that they feel a personal sense of responsibility and power to make a difference in every one-on-one interaction they have in their jobs. When they truly understand this awesome commitment, they can let go of the “victim mentality” as well as many of the other negative feelings which often overwhelm them. Instead they can concentrate in a spirited, creative way on what they CAN do. This new spirit of sending C.A.R.E. packages will impact productivity and profit throughout your organization and will give employees the hope for which they have been longing!
© Barbara Glanz Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Barbara Glanz Biography
A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.barbaraglanz.com.