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  • Foto del escritorJuanpablo Barrantes

People Engagement: Beyond Organizational commitment

Juanpablo Barrantes, #leadersapproach

How to achieve a work environment of loyal, highly committed and motivated people. One of the main roles of a leader is to nourish a culture of Engagement - and mold it over time, because the behavior of the leader determines the culture of the Organization. As once the author Ram Charan said, "The culture of any Organization is simply the effect of the collective behavior of its leaders. If you want to change the prevailing culture, then change the collective behavior of your leaders." I will propose the following axiom to start this topic on Organizational Engagement: "The sustained success of any Organization is proportionally direct to the level of its People’s Engagement". According to recent studies, it is common to find that 7 out of 10 people feel demotivated and uncommitted, with a little or no contribution at all to the Organizations they work. This figure is unfortunate considering that many of us spend half the time we are awake in our jobs, the half of our lives! When we go deep into the main reason why this sad reality happens to too many people is because of the lack of passion in what they do, where or for whom they do it, we find out that the main reason falls heavily over the shoulders of the leaders that these Organizations have chosen to manage their front lines of command. Why? Well, because plainly and simply put, this is the role of a leader: to serve his people, while providing a sense of mission and vision through the full conviction that both mission and vision are in alignment with the common interests and aspirations of all those involved, and they will benefit from the Organization, both employees and customers, suppliers and community ... everyone! Simon Sinek has an insightful concept about this interaction between the leader and his collaborators. This concept is based on animal’s anthropology, where humans , as mammals, are “social beings”, especially for survival purposes. Sinek explains that we —as mammals— instinctively seek for safety and protection, because of our survival instinct. Forming in groups, “as a herd" we identify a leader who gives us protection from outside dangers and to help us in providing food. Such "sacrifice" of the leader for serving and protecting us is precisely what grants him the rights to lead us as a group, at the same time by having the leader certain privileges like the right to eat first and the right to mate first. The problem with many leaders today is, they are not willing to pay the price for their leadership since they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be served instead of serving his people. Even worst, they are the ones who run away first whenever problems arise, leaving his people unprotected! This is precisely the very reason for demotivation, lack of commitment and disloyalty from employees to their Organization (all combined results in disengagement). The most ironic thing is, whenever someone decides to quit his job because of disengagement, they quit his leader, not the Organization. Roberta Chinsky Matuson, in her book "Suddenly in charge", proposes on seven behaviors that a leader must display to foster a work environment that promotes full Engagement of its collaborators. I just have added up some insights to each behavior... - Create a TEAM mentality. There is nothing that provides more safety to any person than the feeling of being part of a family. Working as a family, where each one is loyal to a cause and everyone is always taking care of each other. At the same time, this feeling of protection and safety produces commitment, loyalty and higher motivation to get the desired results. - Foster Learning and Growing by allowing making MISTAKES. Our educational systems reward on no-making mistakes, and penalize us on making mistakes, in the end this causes individuals who are disconnected to the real world, resulting on frustration because human nature is set up to learning by erring. Allow your people to make mistakes, but at the same time observe and reflect with your team whatever needs to be done so the same mistake does not happen anymore. - Show FAITH to your team. Believing without seeing, that is FAITH. As a leader it is key that you grant a vote of FAITH to each member of your team. A downside of anyone is a downside for everyone, the success of one individual is the success of the whole team. A genuine unity of the team in good times and in bad times leads to credibility and momentum. - Display LOYALTY to your team and to your common cause. Doing always the right thing, the leader and his team are governed by a code of honor that is above and beyond anything that is done on a daily basis. Change and growth must be embraced constantly to achieve the objectives and to ensure competitiveness, what never should change are the principles that rule the Organization. - Always work on SERVING your team before being served. Leading by example is the best way to influence your people, especially when there’s a leader who shows with his behaviors and actions what should really be done, with a genuine attitude of serving his team and the Organization. By consequence, having a servant attitude to his team, the leader will eventually be rewarded because his peolle will not only seek to do the same, but they will also embrace the highest commitment in not failing their leader. - BE GRATEFUL, recognize and reward the achievements of your team

Show gratitude whenever the objectives are met, celebrate every success no matter how small it may be. Each time you genuinely appreciate, a bond of loyalty is created so it makes team cohesion even stronger. A great leader gives each teammate the opportunity to shine without stealing prominence, and he also exposes individual achievements and gives credit to whoever corresponds, stepping aside so that everyone shine for their own achievements. - HAVE FUN! People who have fun while working produce more. A wise leader creates and promotes a mystique of humor and joviality with his team, making him more accessible whenever his collaborators are in need of addressing him for feedback, or simply in making their opinion, especially when it’s a different point of view. We all deserve a great work environment, where trust prevails and everyone feels encouraged and respected. To love what you do, where you do it and ultimately, loving the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives whenever possible. The process begins within each one of us, since it cannot be imposed nor faked. In the end it’s a matter of your approach as a leader. By Juanpablo Barrantes

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