To try and motivate someone by saying, ‘go and read this book’, when they don’t learn that way, is going to be as frustrating for them as it is for you. Especially when you find out later that they can’t do what you expected the book to teach them. However, if you recognize that they need to watch you do something to learn how to do it, then you will organize your time differently to achieve your objectives.
As a leader in a group you need to be aware of your own style too, because it has implications for the impact you make on the team. Without acknowledging your own style you may encourage your team to focus on issues from a certain perspective and miss the opportunities that result from different approaches. A team has a collective learning style all of its own. For example, if you have a group of sales managers who all share a preference for action, they are less likely to stop and think about the underlying framework
and rationale for their actions (with a tendency for headless chicken syndrome!). As their leader, your job is to guide this group and help them to understand the strengths and potential weaknesses or blind spots associated with their learning styles.
Hay Group can help you look at your own learning style and those of your team so you’re better able to tune into the needs of others, to the aims of the group and to the optimal way of using your collective time, resources and capabilities.
Emotional intelligence is “the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in ourselves and others.” This has been misconstrued by some as a requirement to become ‘warm and fuzzy’ at the expense of having a hard-nosed business sense. But emotionally intelligent leadership is not about unfaltering ‘niceness’, nor is it about being emotionally bland or controlled to the point of appearing emotionless and robotic. Rather, it is about exercising real choice, based upon a realistic and accurate assessment of oneself in a given situation, instead of being driven by one’s emotions to act in an uncontrolled manner.
As described in detail in The New Leaders2, this perspective on emotional intelligence can be encapsulated in a behavioural framework of four competency clusters: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
This kind of leadership is not based on personal dominance and is not directed toward self-aggrandisement,the service of self-interest or the exploitation of others. Nor does it rely on manipulation, threat or punishment. Rather, it shows regard for the rights and feelings of others, within the context of established institutional procedures and guidelines. In order to be a catalyst for change, these leaders must deal with their own uncertainties and gain the personal confidence that will enable others to respond positively to change. Emotional intelligence is not for ‘wimps’. In fact, leaders who are not emotionally self-aware will not be mentally tough enough to succeed in tomorrow’s business environment.
Organizations are emerging from recession into a tougher, more cost-conscious and performance-oriented world. It is clear that a return to ‘business as usual’ is unlikely. Indeed, the new mantra is ‘do more with less’. Firms are lean, and, if not exactly mean, concentrating their effort and investment on those activities that will deliver the greatest returns.
At a time when both financial and human resources are at a premium, the discretionary effort of employees will be the most vital component in creating high-performing organizations. And in order to ‘go the extra mile’ employees need to be both ‘engaged’ and ‘enabled’.
As we highlight in this issue of ViewPoint engagement alone will not driveperformance; enablement is also critical. Embedding both into organizational cultures is no easy feat. It requires strong leadership, management accountability, strong performance management, ongoing measurement,excellent communication and, last but not least, clear alignment between individual targets and rewards with business objectives.
It’s a challenge, but it can be done, as some of Hay Group’s recent research shows. Three of our landmark studies – The World’s Most Admired Companies (in conjunction with Fortune magazine), Best Companies for Leadership (with Bloomberg Businessweek) and The changing face of reward – provide valuable insights and lessons for fi rms wanting to create their own high-performance cultures. In the rest of this ViewPoint we examine some of the different levers to create better engagement, as exemplified by some of the world’s leading organizations.
Goleman’s book had all the earmarks of a classic fad: a bestseller featuring ideas and concepts borrowed from outside the business world; articles and follow-ups in dozens of professional magazines, including the Harvard Business Review; seminars at scores of professional meetings and conventions; and serious discussions in hundreds of executive suites and HR departments across the country and around the world. But a funny thing happened to emotional intelligence on the way to being forgotten. It wasn’t.
In fact, far from joining other management fads that have come and gone in the ensuing decade, the qualities that comprise emotional intelligence are more critical to the success of business leaders than ever. The reasons for this enduring value can be found in the ways the business environment has evolved since the 1990s – including the economic uncertainty of the last few years– and in how the core qualities of emotional intelligence help leaders strengthen their effectiveness in that changing environment.
Perhaps more to the point, however, emotionally intelligent leadership delivers results. Research has confirmed a significant performance gap between leaders who display the qualities of emotional intelligence and those who don’t. Hay Group’s own work has revealed that the most admired organizations report their executives demonstrate higher degrees of emotional intelligence – and that the lack of these qualities contribute significantly to the failure of high-potential executives. Emotional intelligence has endured because it really is essential to effective organizational leadership. And that’s even more true now than when it was introduced in 1998.
Many employees are well motivated. They want to provide quality service to their customers but are hindered by weak systems, heavy bureaucracy and conflicting pressures. Organizations can function on this motivation alone, at least in the short term. But if employees lack the support and business processes to get their jobs done, they can ‘burn out’ from the effort of just trying to do a decent job. The result is a workforce of frustrated people. If employees are engaged but not ‘enabled’, around one-third of the workforce is likely to be making plans to leave. (This figure rises to a massive 76 per cent if employees are both unmotivated and not enabled).
Frustrated employees tend to behave in one of three ways:
1. Break through the performance barrier – through force of effort, some highly engaged employees find ways to overcome the obstacles to getting their jobs done.However these high-value individuals are at risk of burnout in the medium term,usually after about six months
2. Stop trying – other less driven employees reduce their efforts to match their limited opportunities to succeed
3. Leave – yet others will seek greener pastures where their strong motivation to succeed can be matched with more supportive working conditions. This creates an unfortunate drain of what is often an organization’s best and brightest talent.
On top of this ‘mindset’ challenge, there is also the issue of the survey approach itself. For surveys to deliver real ROI, they should be connected with strategy rather than be run as a standalone HR exercise.
When developing our client-specific survey solutions, we strike a unique balance between engagement and enablement to provide you with the information you need to take action.
By including both components in our surveys, we are able to provide clear direction on systemic issues as well as issues specific to what managers need to do to create effective work environments.
The impact of the Arab Spring has led to several announcements by governments regarding increases in pay and allowances for their national population, mainly in the public sector.
From a recent ‘Hay Group Middle East Flash Survey’, c. a third of the organizations surveyed in the Middle East are looking at expansion in revenue growth in the coming year, indicating a change from the sombre atmosphere of early 2011. They have forecast a healthy 5-15% revenue increase compared with global organizations. FIGURE 1 above highlights the 2012 pay forecast from the responses received from 1,500 organizations in 11 countries. It is clear that salary increases will outpace inflation.
All countries in the MENA region are forecasting a modest-to-healthy increase in salaries in 2012, although this varies depending on inflation rates. From government initiatives in the Gulf countries to recruit nationals, to revisions in pay and benefit policies in North Africa, to salary reforms in the Levant, all these have an impact on pay. A combination of civil unrest and legislation means many changes still lie ahead for compensation and benefits in the region.
Faced with a challenging global economic climate, organizations need to do more with less, making the discretionary effort of employees willing to ‘go the extra mile’ all the more important.
What’s the missing piece? To borrow a line from the movie Jerry Maguire, engaged employees seem often to be saying to their leaders, “help me help you.” In other words, put us in roles that leverage our skills and abilities and allow us to do what we do best.
Give us the tools, technology, information, support, and other resources we need to
And, finally, get out of our way. Don’t dilute our focus and consume our energy with tasks that don’t add value. And don’t introduce procedural barriers that will interfere with our ability to get things done.
Most organizations today employ a sizeable number of people who are hindered at work.
These individuals are aligned with corporate goals and objectives and are enthusiastic about making a difference – but they are held back by roles that do not suit them
and work environments that get in their way. These ‘frustrated employees’ represent a lost opportunity as commendably high levels of motivation are not being translated into high productivity, undermining the impact of employee satisfaction programs.
Research from Hay Group indicates that in organizations today, frustrated employees may represent 20% or more of the total workforce.
Some surveys ask employees how they feel - how motivated or engaged they are at work. Some ask about the factors that help or hinder their work. The Employee Effectiveness Survey (EES) is unique because it does both.
EES is a powerful, off-the-shelf tool, it helps you measure and analyze the level of engagement and enablement your employees are experiencing. It presents these comprehensive finding in a clear, organization-wide report and it shows how engagement and enablement level vary across the organization.
The results from the EES will give you the critical information you need to identify the factors preventing employees from performing at their best. And by addressing these barriers to performance, your organization can then create a more positive environment, which leads to quantifiable business improvement.