05 Jul Dialing Up Your Discretionary Effort
Ever meet that person that always goes the extra mile at work or in the community? Chances are they are motivated to do more, create more and share more because they feel valued. Perhaps the sheer magic of the work itself is inspirational for them, but for many, people put in the extra effort because they feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions. In the world of work and executive coaching, I spend a fair amount of time listening to professionals lament over toxic work environments, unrefined leadership skills and old school management behavior. In order to encourage your teams to put forth that discretionary effort, or extra push to see that prized project to fruition or extra sale closed, consider the following: Listen, learn and look for ways to value your team members in creative and individualistic ways. Research shows that it’s not just about money. Performers go the extra mile when the work culture is progressive, inclusive and fun. Some professionals value career progression, learning opportunities, community visibility and/or work/life integration options over more money. In the world of organizational development and employee engagement, progressive companies have been using the “stay interview” to discern what really matters to their key employees. To retain top talent, the best managers are asking their direct reports what they love about their jobs. Managers are also asking what they can do to make the work or volunteer experience more rewarding. And then they listen. Know anyone feeling burned out at work, disengaged or unappreciated at a worthy non-profit? If you’d like to dial up your team’s discretionary effort, pick a comfortable place like Starbucks to have a connecting conversation. Listen to their ideas on how you can dial up processes, people skills and projects to keep your high performers engaged and energized. Nobody wants to learn how simple it may have been at the exit interview!