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You’ll find the 20% of leadership information that produces 80% of leadership results in this newsletter. This is well-researched leadership information that, when consistently implemented, will produce bottom-line results.
Discretionary Effort – The Rest of the Equation
One in five workers is giving full discretionary effort on the job. Employees are clear about those organizational qualities and leadership actions that will prompt them to put in greater discretionary effort. April’s Business Leadership listed 10 qualities employees expect from the organization. In addition to those 10 qualities, the employee’s immediate manager can do 5 things to elicit more discretionary effort. Manager who inspire the extra effort are:
1. Performance and development strategists
2. Solutions enablers
3. Learning experience architects
4. Opportunity brokers
5. Honest appraisers
Performance and Development Strategists
Managers who perform this role well take care to explain expected performance standards to employees. Criteria for success—and failure—are clear. In addition, managers also work with employees to create individualized performance plans and ensure that the employee has the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.
In performing this role, the manager helps employees find and use opportunities to use new skills and knowledge. Part of that process may include teaching and coaching on the part of the managers and giving examples and advice as the employee tries out new skills and knowledge.
Learning Experience Architect
Managers who perform this role well seek to place employees on projects and give them experiences that stretch skills. These experiences may be in other departments or on cross functional teams.
Help employees find the resources they need to stay sharp in their field of endeavor. Be on the look out for development opportunities in the larger world and connect employees to those opportunities—seminars, conferences, courses. Let employees know about job opportunities they are qualified for. The object is to keep the employee’s talent within the organization even though they move to a different area.
Employees do want honest information about their performance. Think of it this way. Feedback is information. Everyone needs reliable information in order to make informed decisions. Employees need accurate information, honest appraisals, of their strengths and weaknesses in order to make good decisions about their career path, learning and behavior. Most companies have appraisal processes and yet the quality is dependent on the individual manager.
How well do you perform these 5 behaviors with your employees? How well you do directly affects the level of effort they choose to put in on the job.
Join the dialogue on leadership
Expanded information, case studies, business applications and missed opportunities from the real world that you can use to further leadership development in your organization, is in our quarterly journal Leaders’ Work. For a sample issue,