As 2015 draws to a close, and I watch organizations scramble and toil to determine what 2016 holds, I found myself inspired by the #BigIdeas2016 topic on LinkedIn. But rather than predicting the next big trend or disruptive product that may arise, I find myself wondering what organizations could do to grow, be more competitive, add value to their communities and customers, and find greater success next year and beyond.
How about inspiring your employees? All too often we look to such metrics as the financials to drive decision making. Rather than using them as the intended lagging indicator of the accuracy the organization’s plan. It’s not that measures focused on financial performance, operational efficiency, improved quality, etc. aren’t important, but those only go as far as the people producing them. How good can you expect these numbers to be with an uninspired and unengaged workforce? Human beings (you know, the people getting the work done) can produce some level of results in an uninspiring environment, mainly because they want to keep their jobs and collect their paychecks. That is inspiration derived in fear, which can be motivating, but has an expiration date. Those who are inspired through fear, like losing their job, will only perform so long before they just give up and expect to get fired or look elsewhere for a better environment.
Those inspired through a compelling vision and mission, with consistently defined priorities, and a clear line of site of how their work contributes to the organization’s outcomes, will be highly engaged and feel a vested interest in the success of the whole company. They will take pride in your organization and that pride will translate into a higher performing culture, full of loyal and engaged employees who are inspired to deliver their best performance every day. Why? Because they love working for you!
So when you review your past performance and think about what you can do in the coming year, consider how you can inspire your most important stakeholders to perform at their best.