I had the great fortune, when I was twenty one, to be given a very healthy view of work-life balance. I was living with my aunt and uncle in Oxford, my uncle is a very famous anaesthetist, and he's in the middle of a nine hour operation where they pull down the front of somebody's face, and they were rebuilding the face while he kept him under anaesthetic. So, he came home in the middle of the operation while someone else is looking after the guy and I said just, that's an incredible operation but isn't it a shame you've got to get back to work, we're having a great time, dinner and laughing and he said to me: "Mark, never make a separation between work and life, because you'll end up resenting one of them." Wooooah that made a lot of sense! What I've learnt is that there is just life, sure we do need to earn, but it's still my life. If I'm still in that desk, that's still my life, right here right now this is my life, so, if you've got a staff member that's talking about work-life balance, they're separating work and the good parts of their life, the fun bits. Not only that, if they're saying that they're looking for work-life balance which one do you reckon they think is out of whack? They're not saying they want work-life balance because life is taking on too much and they're not doing enough work! What we've got to realise is that we need to coach our staff, to understand what work is. Work is a component of life that needs to be fulfilling. We need to take a role in making it filling, and they need to take a role to make sure that their life, can fulfil their obligations at work. There's an alignment that needs to happen and that's what you'll find that all partners of workplace incentives will talk about, work-life alignment, and that really happens, firstly, by acknowledging that the work-life balance concept is crazy, you're just not going to be able to balance it, there is JUST life. Secondly, we need to listen to what our people want their life want to be like, and see if we can contribute to that. If you can contribute to a persons life, then they want to be around you and your organisation. That's a no brainer - because life is rich there. Then we've got to look at how you can do that in a most cost effective, intelligent, educated, strategic way. The plans here (Workplace Incentives) can do that sort of stuff but you as the manager can do that right away. But you just got to let go of this work-life balance concept, it's nuts. Look for work-life alignment. Can work align with my outside work life, so they align and both help each other? That's way more fun.
Well if you really want to impact staff morale, you would look at the world of staff members, and compare it to the world of an elite level athlete over a one year to two year period. The elite level athlete has complete clarity about what they are moving towards. They want to win an olympic medal, be in the final of something, set a world record, absolute clarity. Then they also have clarity of why...it's been my dream ever since I was a kid...when I'm doing this sport I feel more alive than I have ever have at any other time in my life. I'm born to do this. Where's the morale? This person doesn't have morale because morale comes from getting closer to their goal. Is the morale for an elite athlete always good? No. Anytime they're progress towards their goal, morale is excellent. Anytime they're not, morale is down. If the staff member at work does not have clarity of what they're moving towards and why, morale is impossible. Now you might say its just not possible in an organisation. But it is. Look at the Disney organisation, Walt Disney setup that organisation with the core purpose; make people happy. If that's not a match for you, then, this is not a place for you, but every target we set is going to be relevant to that. So, if someone has another agenda, say environmental issues or social welfare or cutting budgets or making sure the kitchen area is clean or making sure that everyone is sharing the bloody milk in the workplace. Then you get conflict. When you have absolute clarity, you go; "Is the number one thing is it impacting the core purpose of the organisation?" Then you can dissolve office politics because we're all moving towards the same thing. Next you look at the elite level athlete and they have clear incentives all the way through the year. There's opportunities to win medals, to set qualifying times, to receive tracksuits to be in photo shoots & to get sponsors. Anytime they're doing something well, they get rewarded. Inside your workplace very often the incentive program and the reward programs are not specifically and directly linked to the outcome. If the outcome is not clear, it can gets very grey because you go; well this year we're going to do an award for the best sales person, or the person who; oh its funny because they always park their car in the wrong place, lets give them an award for that. It needs to be thought through so that there are clear incentives to any quality, or value or productivity level directly relevant to that final outcome then you start to get morale because people start thinking, whoa I'm making progress and as soon as progress happens morale goes up! Morale isn't a black & white good or bad thing. Morale is a gradient. It's directly relevant to how much progress we feel like we are making towards an outcome and at what speed we are making that progress. That's when morale picks up.
Let's look at why are people not in attendance and why are people sick. In any workplace, you're going to find mechanical strategies to try to influence the absentee rate. You're going to find hand sanitiser in the right place. You're going to find boxes the right size so I don't lift too much. You're going to find ergonomical chairs and those little soft padded things, so when you use the mouse you don't hurt your wrist too much. These things are required, and we need them. They do a service. But if you want to develop resilience, if you want to develop a community where people are just driven to come to work, you need to tap into human spirit. Human spirit has a far greater influence on health than any of those mechanical things. Example: You've been sick all week and you've taken a week off school. On Friday night you get invited to a party, you can't go because you've been sick. You're mate says, "Yeah, but the thing is, that girl you really like is going & apparently, she's got a crush on you." Bang! You're cured... Now, are you really cured? No, what's happened is that you've now got enough of a reason to tolerate the symptoms. Not only that, you somehow generated energy to tolerate the symptoms that you've got. It's not an intellectual decision. Something just clicked. The human spirit was engaged. What we're saying is that the human spirit needs a few fundamental things taken care of. One, it needs a sense of purpose. It needs to know why; like why should I go? Is this menial task going to do anything; does it have a bigger purpose? Does it influence the world? Is it impacting the customer? Is it impacting my teammates? It doesn't seem to matter. We need to feel like what we do matters. We need to also feel important. When I go to work, am I welcomed with high fives and a bit of energy and "Hey, how was your weekend?" and people checking in with me, or do people not even know my name? If I don't go, does it really matter? Does anybody care? Am I missed? People want to feel important. People want to grow. They've got to feel like today they're somehow more than yesterday. Now, sometimes that's financially; the bank account's gone up. But for most people it's about skill development in themselves, what they're capable of, what they can do, what they can tell their friends. Sometimes when leaders and managers hear that, they think, "Oh, well, not everybody can be a manager. We can't promote everybody." That's not what this is about. This is just about having some little area where you feel like you're getting better.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.auWe’ve heard that expression that when you run away you take yourself with you, and I think that’s one of the vulnerabilities for people who are looking for a better job is that sometimes we don’t realise it.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.au/Part of the process of increasing staff engagement is to understand why people are coming to work on multiple levels, and it's worth thinking about engagement and work almost like Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.au/One of the key things I teach in our workshops in Ubuntu Leadership is that an organisation needs to have a phenomenal vision,and you can only really flesh the talent out in your people if you've got a vision.
http://www.workplaceincentives.com.auNutrition impacts, energy, someone's endurance, how alert they are, how resilient they are to illness and disease. A little flu goes around the office; super healthy people just don't pick them up the same way.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.auSome companies do staff incentives very well. It's well-thought through, well-resourced. It's aligned to the company values, the appropriate KPRs, to get the outcomes. It's fantastic.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.auYou know what's worse than absenteeism? Presenteeism: People turning up, being paid, and not engaging in their work, and even worse, deliberately being destructive.
http://www.workplaceincentives.com.auEmployee productivity is a particular passion of mine, because I'm passionate about talent. So when you develop a talent, what you actually do is you create a person who is more productive.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.auLet's look at why are people not in attendance and why are people sick. In any workplace, you're going to find mechanical strategies to try to influence the absentee rate.
https://www.workplaceincentives.com.auMany managers don't even know there's a problem because the hidden on-costs are covered by departments such as recruitment. Why do we have a recruitment company? Because people are leaving.
Staff turnover has big three bleeds.The first bleed is the loss and the bleeding of corporate memory.The second bleed is the bleeding of money because of the time and dollars required to train.The third bleed is the bleeding of growth opportunities.