Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 Strategies for Maintaining Commitment in Tough Times.....

There are many factors that will influence which organizations come out strong at the other end our current economic turmoil. One of the most important:

* Will the good people stick it out until and when things start to turn around? ("The good people" being those with the skills and the passion to help fulfill an organization's purpose.)

What Difference Do Passion and Purpose Make?

You've seen this: Two people standing side by side, doing essentially the same work, and yet they have extremely different perceptions of the meaning of what they do. A favorite example: One worker sees her job assembling neonatal respirators as "helping to save the lives of premature babies." A colleague at her shoulder considers himself a "tube hooker-upper." There was a time -- in the dark ages of command-and-control management -- when tube hooker-uppers were the ideal employees. They were replaceable, compliant cogs in the machinery. Not anymore. The evidence keeps mounting that employee engagement and commitment pay off.

Organizations need as many lifesavers as they can get, especially now.

None of us can flip the switch for others when it comes to feeling positive or negative about work. But here are some strategies we've found useful with our clients to help create an environment in which people want to contribute in good times and not-so-good times:

1. Constantly speak to the value of the work your organization does. Meaningful work is a powerful motivator.

2. Involve people early and often in changes that substantially affect their work. In this economy, those kinds of changes are happening daily in some organizations, if not more often.

3. When involving people in decisions and changes, be clear about the level and type of input and involvement you want. Are you brainstorming? Are you looking for feedback about specific plans? And be clear about who is making the final decision so you don't create false expectations.

4. Give people options whenever possible -- in matters big and small.

5. Keep people updated about how you are faring in relation to stated objectives. People want to know the score.

6. Give people control over as much of their own work as possible. Tell them what needs to be done, not how to do it.

7. Create the expectation that complaints should come with solutions. Encourage people to identify problems, but also to suggest how to deal with them.

8. Push as much decision making as close to the people responsible for the work as possible. We all own our personal decisions more than those imposed on us.

9. Delegate as much important work as possible. It helps people learn, grow and feel more a part of the process.

10. Ask for and act upon people's ideas and opinions. You don't have to implement every suggestion, but every suggestion deserves a response, even if it is a "no" and an explanation why.

Make a Difference,

Ref: Brian McDermott

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