Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
~ Winston Churchill
Our attitude in life can take us far or get us nowhere fast. Unfortunately, this is not a concept that everyone understands. I have seen and heard stories of workplaces that have been ruined or have been transformed positively based on employee and senior management attitudes.
Sounds like new age propaganda?
As an employee or a manager, you should always be aware that your attitude is sending messages through the workforce. These messages are capable of boosting morale or destroying the work environment.
Here are a few examples, which opened my eyes to the importance of attitude:
Ritesh worked in the accounting department and was an excellent time manager but he was a bone of contention between the Account Head and his immediate supervisor.
“How could he perform when half the time he is not at his desk? argued the Accounts Head.
“Sir, Ritesh deserves a good appraisal. He has achieved all the targets, I find no reason to complain if he still manages to find time for leisure,” replied Ritesh’s boss.
“Ritesh is affecting the company’s work culture. Not everybody is capable of understanding your argument,” said the Accounts Head and dismissed the matter.’
With this, a capable employee was deprived of his deserving appraisal and the company lost one of its performing employees.
Time Management plays a big role in increasing productivity at work but as an employer, it is not easy to manage productivity versus perception. An employee not at his desk implies a lack of productivity even if the end results indicate differently. Unfortunately, the exceptions to the rule such as Ritesh demand close scrutiny as his overall conduct can affect the mindset of the masses.
Ritesh might have been an ideal time manager but he ended up creating a bad example amongst his colleagues. The lesson – ‘Even if work can be done in one day, take three days to complete so that expectation reduces.’
Ritesh was the exception to the rule. Typically, employees or employee management styles can be divided into 3 categories – Performance, Productivity, and Incentive-Based.
The first category is based on employee performance.
For example, Pooja
Pooja used to stay in office after hours since her husband picked her up on his way back from work. Due to this behavior, people assumed that she worked hard and she encouraged the thought.
Pooja was an average performer but an excellent pretender. Her mistakes were often covered by blaming other employees who left on time. However, to the senior staff, she was the most deserving employee, who sat late to complete her work. They hoped to encourage other employees to take work as seriously as her.
Instead, it spread a negative message among the employees – ‘Performance equals to a number of hours spent at the offices.’
The next category recognizes potential which in turn reaps productivity and loyalty.
Such as Karan
Karan was not an expert SAP professional, he was only skilled with the JD Edward software, but instead of rejecting this potential candidate he was absorbed and trained.
Karan’s job was dependent on the number of sales orders per day. The work structure demanded extra effort during the first ten days and the last five days of the month. His performance during this time slot proved his efficiency.
“When you know the work cycle, it is important to allow employees to relax and prepare themselves mentally for the peak pressure days,” said the employer. It spread a positive message amongst employees.
The message ‘We appreciate potential and productivity.’ It also had the bonus effect of developing a deeper loyalty between the employee, his work, and the company.
The next category offers incentives to performing employees in order to generate results.
For example, the Managing Director gave his team a huge sales target while offering tempting incentives to performers. The targets were achieved but under the influence of wrong-selling practice which ultimately affected the reputation of the company.
The lesson – ‘Blind delegation is dangerous’. Achieving results irrespective of how the results are attained often leads to shortcuts and malpractices if proper guidance or guidelines are not provided.
Lastly, there was Karishma.
Karishma was a receptionist and one of the oldest employees in the company. She was famous for bitching amongst her colleagues until the day the HR head learned of her skill and he invited her for a cup of coffee.
No, he didn’t yell at her or fire her.
He simply gave her a new assignment – ‘assist the HR executive on assessing the staff conduct in the office on the basis of their positive and negative behavioral aspects’. A lesson was taught without a single word being spoken.
The lesson – ‘It’s important to influx positive energy in a work environment to get maximum output from the resource.’ Simply put, if you inject positively, you will create a more positive, happier work environment because enthusiasm is infectious.