IT’S GOOD TO KNOW THAT nothing has changed. Long-term career opportunities, corporate cultures that allow employees to speak their mind, recognition and rewards, and senior leaders who lead by example, are all key in motivating a workforce and creating excellence. So says Towers Watson in their ‘Tracking People Priorities and Trends in High-Performance Companies‘.
The study looked at trends in employee opinions over a five-year period, and consisted of 26 organisations in high-performing companies, based on above average scores in financial performance and employee opinion scores. Four specific areas, above all others, contributed to these organisation’s success:
It’s no surprise that static careers demotivate, and that opportunity inspires. It’s all connected to ‘hope’. Regardless of the difficulties today, if there is hope to move forward and grow one’s own career then employees will remain loyal.
…‘what makes you stay in your current job?’ of which the top response was ‘new challenges’
Towers Watson believes that high performing companies excel in providing “open, supportive cultures that encourage new ideas and empower staff.” That can be easier said than done, particularly in China which has a higher power-distance index than the West and therefore is culturally less tolerant of speaking up in the company. And yet, Towers Watson believes that professionally expressing difference of opinion is a key element of a healthy corporate culture, which equates to ‘silence is not golden’ in meetings.
Recognition and Rewards
…it was not the money in itself that was move critical to motivating excellence, but rather the supervisor “valuing my contributions”
Leading by Example
When leadership is seen as a reward, rather than a duty, a company’s culture suffers. High performing companies have leaders that are able to “communicate down the line” and align decisions with company values, that is, ooze integrity. This should come as no shock, but alas, practice often proves harder than theory, with all to common cases of senior directors being convicted of corruption. It would be remiss of me to forget to mention that leadership can be trained and developed and that ClarkMorgan’s clients are almost always the high performing companies that Towers Watson highlights. That’s not coincidence.
So there you have the most common ingredients to gain excellence. Not surprising, sure. Easy to follow, yes. So why aren’t more companies taking heed? Perhaps ego, perhaps naivety. And for this reason it is your duty to share the results and forward this article to your boss. Remember, speaking up is one of the virtues!