Saturday, February 23, 2008
Attitude and organizational success - Part 2
3.6 How to Measure, Influence and mould employee Attitudes
Dealing with people is digging gold. To get an ounce of gold, one may have to move tons of dirt. At the time of digging the dirt is not looked into, the aim is only gold. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The HR people need to become “good finders”. That is finders of good things. Looking for positive things need not mean overlooking faults. Negative people always criticize. To build a positive attitude, learn and practice the following phrase “DO IT NOW". A completed work is fulfilling and energizing whereas the incomplete work drains energy like a leak from a tank. An organization should make the best of now and utilize the present to the fullest. Never leave till tomorrow which one can do today.
Education doesn't mean what one get from colleges like information and statistics. Education that builds fundamental traits of character such as honesty, compassion, courage, persistence and responsibility is absolutely essential. A morally educated person will be lot better equipped to move up in life or succeed than a morally bankrupt person with excellent academic qualifications. True education is training of both the head and the heart. Knowledge is piling up facts and wisdom is simplifying it. Education doesn't mean good judgment. A person can and will be successful with or without formal education if he has character, commitment, conviction, courtesy & courage. Ability without the right attitude is a waste. Continuance of the positive education leads to positive thinking. Positive thinkers are the winners who recognize their limitations but focus on their strengths. The management should make each and every employee a winner for organizational success. The winners will :Always have a program, Communicate " let me do it for you", sees an answer for every problem, tell " it may be difficult but it is possible", admit mistakes, make commitments, use " I must do something", always part of the team, see the gain where as the loser sees the pain, see the possibilities and the potential, use hard arguments but uses soft words, stand firm on values but compromise with petty things, make it happen, plan and prepare to win.
Attitude starts at the top and spreads throughout the organization, good or bad. Bosses coming early and leave late set an example that is productive and respected, and also fosters better work ethics and commitments. Bosses who bend over backwards to honor their customers, who will do anything to please them, demonstrate by living their ethics demonstrating it to his employees. Thus, employees will act similarly towards the customers, doing the same things, bending over backwards to satisfy the customers’ needs and desires, going the extra mile, doing the unexpected. Bosses that treat the employees with respect and consideration, getting to know their personal lives and families and demonstrating care and concern, will not only get the same in return but their actions will promote the same good behavior among employees and with customers. Employees will enjoy their work experience more, performing more effectively, and the customers will be happy.
There is a knowledge gap is in the area of how to measure and influence employee attitudes. There are a number of possible methods for measuring employee attitudes, such as conducting focus groups, interviewing employees, or carrying out employee surveys. Of these methods, the most accurate measure is a well-constructed employee attitude survey. To positively influence employee attitudes, understanding of some of the points already discussed is important. In addition, knowledge of important considerations for analyzing employee survey results is essential for taking appropriate steps to improve attitudes. Survey feedback discussion meetings can be used as a means for acting on employee attitude surveys. It is an important way to support action.
3.7. Support actions.
3.7.1 Develop quality people
Personal transformation programs help in the development of highly effective, quality people. Reiki, yoga, sudarshan kriya and hypnotherapy are some of the systems gaining popularity in corporate circles. Interpersonal communication skills are the backbone of success for any organization. Employees should develop listening skills, understand the basics of body language and learn memory-enhancing techniques. Now many corporate, especially high HR oriented sectors like IT is now follow this type of practices to develop their employees. Infosys is a fine example for it.
3.7.2 Grow motivation muscle
For employees to display loyalty, organizations must show a similar concern for them. Most organizations grossly underestimate the human need for appreciation. This erodes employee motivation and creativity. The organizations should not wait for others to change first. Be an active participant in this inevitable change.
3.7.3. Develop quality mindset in people
Everybody understand that customer always comes first and not our internal bottlenecks and constraints. As we struggle to overcome external market forces, our internal forces need to be our strength. All processes should be such that they emerge from the concept of handling internal constraints with the same sensitivity and responsiveness similar to the way we deal with external customers.
3.8. Attitude and Organizational Culture
Employees spend major part of their life in the organizations within which they works. When people join an organization, they bring with them the unique values and behaviours that they have been taught. Any organization with firmly established organizational culture would be taught the values, beliefs and expected behaviours of that organization. Just as society moulds human behaviours, an organization also moulds human behaviors that are in tune with the prevalent set of norms and behaviors. In this process, certain basic attitudes and beliefs about the people and their work situations are slowly but firmly accepted in the organization, which becomes its 'Organizational Culture.' Behaviour towards work-efficiency is largely controlled by internal ability and willingness to work hard. It is based on sincerity of participation, involvement, devotion to duty, earnest desire to work, and discharge of responsibilities with confidence and competence. Human behaviour is the outcome of frequent interaction between several value system and pattern of the interrelation of cultural traits. It is not a self-induced phenomenon. Employee's attitudes are reasonably, good predictors of human behaviour and the organizational culture. It provides clues to an employee's behavioural intentions and inclinations to act in a way. The culture of an organization is the sum total of negative and positive attitudes of organizational members. A strong culture, which is widely held by the organizational members, indicates a favourable attitude and a weak culture indicates unfavourable attitude of members towards the beliefs and norms of the organization. Employee's attitudes are the beliefs and feelings that largely determine how employee will perceive their work environment, commit them to intended actions and ultimately behave. Strong indicator of cultural variations in work environment then can be observed through human behaviour, which is the precipitation of dominant attitude. Attitudes comprise three elements: affect (feelings, emotions); cognitions (knowledge, beliefs, values); and behaviour. An integral and important component of an attitude concerns the values attributed to its contents. Values reflect how positively or negatively a person feels towards a specific object, event or relationship and, consequently, provides valuable insights into the nature of the employee-work relationship. Human attitude against prevailing value system is then a factor detrimental to organizational growth, organizational development and success.