Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Do You Get the Best From Your People?

Do you know people in the workplace who are physically present but mentally checked out?  Can you imagine the costs alone associated with such a situation, especially given that payroll cost is one of the single biggest line item expenses in majority of businesses?

Most of my work is in the area of people development and helping people build strong workplace relationships.  This includes relationships not just with peers but also customers, for in the end people give their best when they work and do business with people they know, like and trust.

Building lasting relationships and helping people succeed in getting what they want is something I really enjoy.  Plus I have learned from experience that not only do strong relationships bring great joy and make work more enjoyable, they also lead to strong results.  And the opposite is true as well, where poor relationships lead to poor performance.

So as I move about my days, I am constantly asking what is it that gets in the way of strong workplace relationships, and getting the best from people--and then how to make all that better.  So far, I have come up with the following list as to what gets in the way, for once the causes are surfaced, then solutions can be developed. 
  • Poor role fit, where individuals are in roles that don't play to their natural strengths and don't satisfy their intrinsic motivations.
  • Not having clearly defined roles and responsibilities so team members know what's expected of them.
  • Not receiving timely and effective feedback so they know where they stand and how they are performing.  I find that no one likes to second guess in this area and they really do want honest and direct feedback.
  • People not seeing a clear connection between the what they do and their personal long-term life goals, as well as organizational goals. 
  • People feeling unappreciated, unheard, and uncertain.  
  • People not feeling safe, due to often poor (or lack of) communication and lack of trust.
  • People feeling misunderstood, as well as misunderstanding others.
I would welcome your thoughts on the above, based on what you have experienced and observed.  Thank you in advance.

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