With the onset of 2020, the emergence of Covid-19 as a pandemic also came into our lives. Covid-19 has not only impacted us as a race, but it has also changed the way organization works, the people who inhabit them & make things happen. With all that change and uncertainty comes a need for ‘trust’. Trust in the organization and trust in the people who act as a communication channel between the leadership and employees.
As companies look to revamp their strategies in response to the pandemic, they must work on their metrics for valuing talent and incentivize the best of their talent, the motivated and self-driven employees, irrespective of the push and support, contribute the maximum of your revenues.
They are vibrant individuals who, driven by their passion, bring an extraordinary exuberance to the business. They are the ones who trust their instincts, start believing in you and carry an equivalent responsibility as ambassadors of the Brand. They are the ones who put their heart & soul into the organizational goals & make things happen.
Tim McClure, a Professional Speaker and Brand & Leadership Consultant, said, “Passion is contagious and so is not having it.”
Driving self-motivated people is a challenge that the leaders face, as they are highly inspired and smart people who are driven by their passion and urge to grow. It becomes important to recognize them, prove to them that they are valuable, else this leads to a potential exit wherein the organization fails to value such talent who, in turn, gets disengaged and feels undervalued.
Covid-19 has not only impacted the businesses; the fact that it has an impact on people is increasingly vexatious. It has disrupted the way employees work, it has impacted them psychologically and at such times, it becomes necessary for the leaders to rethink and build the trust.
When the employees feel that the organization cares, they have higher trust levels and when they don’t, they have significant trust issues. Leaders should look at the elements of culture care and invest in their employees by being supportive and flexible.
Communication is the key. Insufficient information withheld by the managers for power purposes or failure to communicate adequately with employees can make them feel neglected and worthless.
If truth is withheld or manipulated by the leaders, the smart employees easily perceive dishonesty and hate any conned attempts. Thus, it is important to be honest. Leadership integrity is paramount in managing the relationship and keeping people focused & energized. Not living the vision, mission & company values inevitably leads to distrust.
Have a vision in place with proper communication of an expected future state. Be considerate and employee-friendly, being selfish by acquiring big leadership bonuses with a small pay increase for employees, benefits and cutting on their bonuses stating pandemic as a reason is like hitting yourself with a hammer; this will only make the staff feel neglected & worthless.
Money, when given to a deserving, self-driven, passionate employee, can do wonders as motivation. It is a crucial incentive; it is a medium of exchange and how employees can purchase things to satisfy their needs & wants. It also serves as a scorecard by which employees assess the value that the organization places on their services. John Stacey Adams, a behavioural and workplace psychologist, developed equity theory, which says,”‘employees try to maintain equity between the inputs they bring to their job & the output they receive from it”.
This is then compared to the perceived inputs and outputs of others in the organization. The theory states that employees perceive being treated fairly when they get rewarded on expected lines. Fair treatment motivates employees to exhibit fairness in their relationship with co-workers and the organization.
Reinforcement & Expectancy theories also attest to the motivating power of money. According to the reinforcement theory, if the payment is contingent on performance, it will encourage employees to maintain high levels of effort. As per the expectancy theory, the money will motivate to the extent that employees perceive it as satisfying their personal goals and the extent to which they perceive their pay as dependent upon performance criteria.
If properly integrated into an organization’s workflow, this framework and its principles will help a company to retain the best of the talent in such testing times, help them to manage the return on its investment in human capital similar to the returns on financial lines while building a more equitable relationship with its stakeholders.
Internal reflection is necessary as the origin of the lack of passion so often lies in leadership inappropriateness, neglect, or selfishness & needs to be recognized and acted on, especially when we are being tested and challenged by unknown, strange and never handled situations like Covid-19.