This week, our topic is Leading for Fit - helping our followers reach the best possible match between their jobs and their unique characteristics: talents, experiences, values, personality, etc. Watch the video, below, introducing the main concept. Then, enjoy some of the resources for further learning below!
The question of the week is: Does your organization include alternative routes or paths for success?
Last week, I discussed the problem caused by silos in the organization. When we work in silos, we fail to cooperate and fall into a competition "default." A related topic is information sharing.
Why might people not share information at work? There are various possible reasons:
Engaging or meaningful leaders do not leave good communications to chance. Instead, they:
I recently analyzed data from one of my own engagement surveys. The data set included 683 responses. I found positive and significant relationships between all components of engagement and answers to the items above. The overall correlation between the average of those items and engagement was .453.
In other words, leaders perceived to be good listeners, openly share information, encourage employees to do the same, and overall promote a culture of transparency were more likely to have an engaged team. I measured the following components of engagement:
A caveat: As you may remember from the last course you took in Statistics (even if you took it many moons ago), correlation does not mean cause. I am not saying that open communications cause engagement - instead, my data suggest a relationship between a culture of transparency and open-communications environment and the employees' energy, focus, passion, role expansion, and pride. Here are a few possible reasons:
This week, therefore, I have two questions for our community:
Try assigning a task to two or three teams in a training room. The task does not matter. You could ask people to build a structure to protect a city from (enter whatever catastrophe you can think of), solve a puzzle, or answer a set of questions. Whatever the challenge, teams are not likely to collaborate with each other. At most, you'll succeed in inter-team collaboration - and that is, if you are lucky and engage in some reasonable preparation.
Human beings are wired to prefer members of their teams. We feel comfortable inside our boxes, even if said boxes are recent (for example, even if we had not met the members of our team before). The problem: Members of effective organizations must work towards a common purpose. Meaningful leaders, therefore, are able to break silos. They encourage their team members to work well with their team members and to collaborate with others.
Here is my question this week: What are some effective interventions to encourage collaboration? What have you seen that works?
We often dicuss the importance of trust in the workplace and for good reason. Without trust, everything would need to be double and triple checked. Efficiency would disappear - and so would innovation.
Trust, however, is not blind. You should not trust me, for example, to handle the financial health of your organization - not because I lack integrity but because I know nothing about finances and would be the world's worst CFO. It's also perfectly reasonable to double check on the work of a very inexperienced intern learning the ropes of something new.
In this brief video, I share five components of trust: Benevolence, authenticity, reliability, fairness, and competence. This video is the first in a series of discussions on Meaningful Leadership - a collection of competencies that help forge an engaging environment for all employees.
Please share your experiences! Have you observed the five components of trust I mention in the video?
In the wake of the heartbreaking mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, I asked Linked:HR members to follow Dr. Margaret Wheatley's advice and create an "Island of Sane Behavior." Watch the invitation below and share your comments. How can we create an environment of trust, safety, and acceptance, when the world around us is going crazy?
Dr. Cris Wildermuth
Dr. Cris Wildermuth is Linked:HR's Community Leader and an Associate Professor at Drake University, where she directs the Master of Science in Leadership Development. You may find out more about Dr. Wildermuth's leadership development, ethics, and intercultural development consulting practice at THIS PAGE.