Outside my home are blue and white flags which read, “Don’t give up the ship.” It’s a replica of the flag that flew over the ship of Commodore Perry in his battle to defend Lake Erie during the war of 1812. It’s a message that businesses need today in these difficult times. But, how can you inspire your employees to be a part of the company, particularly during times of recession?
Three elements that encourage commitment
One of Obama’s campaign mottos was “Change people believe in.” They want people to support Obama’s cause of changing Washington. If your company had a slogan that called its employees to show their commitment, What would it be? It’s not the same in the present. The team members aren’t typically loyal to companies as our grandparents or great-grandparents were. Beyond a salary, it is essential to have something in the company that goes beyond the level of skill that reaches into the hearts of every team member. Many people leave their jobs, but they are very rarely will ever quit an organization that is a part of their values and passions of theirs. Are you genuinely trying to make a difference in the world? If yes, is everyone aware of the difference? Are our values for the company conveyed and shared throughout the entire company?
“People matter.” It’s a lovely phrase, but I’m having one issue with it. We don’t think of “people” as generalized categories but rather connect to the individual individuals that collectively form people. “Semantics,” you say. “On the opposite,” I reply. If you just relate to the teams as a unit and don’t pay much consideration to the individual members of the group, he/they may begin to question whether they play a significant contribution to the team. Friendships and relationships that go beyond tasks and projects provide the glue that binds individuals to the organization. What have you done in your company to create a more social atmosphere?
Power of Why
During the American Revolution, it was reported that a German officer was assigned to transform the”ragtag” American army in Valley Forge into a committed and vital force. After several frustrating days of shouting commands at volunteers and officers, the officer realized the issue. The army was expected to react in obedience to the authorities he had ordered. He had to justify his order. After that explanation, the army complied with his demands. Why do your employees and team members work for or with you? What motivates them to work for you? Many are scared to ask the same question to their employees. They could quit when they realize they lack the enthusiasm to keep their commitment to the job. That’s precisely the reason why this question is crucial to ask. It is either you are concerned about your employees’ satisfaction at work, or you’re simply using them to boost the profits. If you’re worried about them that they are happy, they will remain. If not, then they won’t, and you’re back at starting from scratch.
Mike Weaver is co-founder and facilitator with The Group Mind [http://thegroupmind.com]. He has spoken to audiences across the U.S. and abroad. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Miami University. Mike has been trained in Improvisation in conjunction with Cinublue Productions of Columbus, Ohio and Keith Johnstone of TheaterSports. He teaches improv and often performs with Easily Amused Improv and is a part of the Applied Improvisation Network.