I also suggested that we make some effort to learn more about staff, for instance, what they did when they were not working for the company, did they have a partner, have children, what motivated them and interested them in and outside work hours.
The more significant part of the group, about 60%, were keen to find out what motivated their staff and the remaining number - stating that this was an intrusion into their staff's privacy, did little. In honesty, they were uncomfortable with the process of finding out just what drove their people.
Two weeks later the large group met again. Those willing to share the results of their investigations concluded that:
- Staff have many social and psychological motives for work. The key drivers were identified as recognition (not reward) and being valued as part of a team.
- If staff felt undervalued at work, they were more likely to pursue outside interests that may help them meet these unsatisfied needs. For instance, staff lower in status often pursued very responsible positions within Voluntary Sector organisations or in groups such as Golf, Bowling, Dance, Community and Drama Groups.
- Staff had many personal motivations and were far more complex to understand once the managers took more than a passive passing interest in them.
The remaining managers (who did not support this view) were clearly surprised and stated that their reason for not completing the exercise was their staff's perceived invasion of privacy. The real reason was their inability to experiment, try new (if uncomfortable) behaviours and become real man managers. They further stated defensively that most people come to work for purely financial rewards, and they were all interested in pay and promotion.
There was an issue of perception in this case. Those managers who opposed involvement with staff found 101 reasons to make a good idea fail - but couldn't find one good one to make it work.
If you need to turn your team around to be more optimistic about change and the staff's role in driving change, contact Philip.