We deal with two kinds of people. One kind is the person/employee that asks what you, others, or the company is doing for them. The other kind of person/employee thinks about what they can do for others.
Imagine operating a shift for an organization and your employees consume themselves with what the company or others are doing for them? They are not thinking about how to make the business better. They are thinking about how and when they are going to get treated compared to the employee next to them. To them unfairness takes the form of amount of work, amount of hours, or how a manager speak to them. In this environment the culture becomes toxic.
An organization full of selfish employees will not think about the work that needs to happen, they’re thinking about their feelings. So less work happens, conflicts start, and the organization is unable to deliver the brand while the managers tries to manage the issues.
In the other, scenario you may have a group of employees who view life and work with the attitude of “what can I do for you”. In this environment you see employees helping each other. You see employees having fun and having healthy dialogue and camaraderie while the work is getting done. This environment fosters and nurtures morel work. Another benefit of having an environment like this is that employees like it so much, they want to develop their careers with this organization. This lowers turnover, lowers costs, and increases tenure – productivity.
How can a manager prevent one toxic environment and enable one healthy environment? The answer is sometimes leadership but the real answer is better planning and organizing. It means better hiring skills and the ability to read the nature of an individual during an interview. Hire team players and givers and you will get a healthy productive environment. Hire emotional selfish needy people and you will get a toxic environment.
Remember that the next time you are sitting across from an employee candidate!
How does a manager or leader accomplish results? Can they flippantly say they want something and it magically happens? No manager or leader or boss that I know has ever had this type of power. There are different types of power (see “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” in this blog) and a manager can achieve a degree of results by using the types of power but good managers use this element to add to the most effective type of power – Referent Power. The element I’m talking about is DRIVE. Referent Power is respect power and DRIVE enhances Referent Power. Managers need and use drive which means they are action-oriented and have a high desire for achievement.
One aspect of Drive is to be action oriented. Action-orientation means having and using a sense of urgency to complete a task. Managers are the first ones to communicate a goal, start working on a goal, and have a public, systematic way to follow up with others and how the staff is contributing to the goal. Action-oriented managers lead from the front and want the staff to follow their example. The attention and efforts of the action-oriented manager are noticed by the staff. In this way the staff sees what the action-oriented manager is doing for the company which earns respect…..and contributes to Referent Power.
Another element of Drive is to have a high desire for achievement. Having a high desire for achievement means managers want significant accomplishment and have high standards. Having a high desire for achievement means managers want the result to meet a goal perfectly, not halfway and not partially. Managers also want the work recognized as high quality and want bosses, peers, and subordinates to know how difficult the path was to success. Good managers want to be known as dedicated and serious about achieving results. The attention contributes to how others perceive what the manager is doing for the company and enhances Referent Power.
Good managers need and use drive which means they are action-oriented and have a high desire for achievement. Action-orientation includes initiative and example-setting. Having a high desire for achievement means perfection and dedication. Drive is therefore a large part of Referent Power and what good managers need to have in order to influence others work.