Thursday, May 31, 2012

From Co-Workers to Team Members

By Drew Eisenbeis

This week I am going to focus this blog posting around the article, “What Happens Next? 5 Crucibles of Innovation That Will Shape the Coming Decade” from McKinsey & Company. Out of the 5 crucibles the article discussed (rebalancing, productivity, global interconnections, worldwide pricing, and market state), I most related to the discussion on productivity.
            In the productivity section of the article, it was mentioned that some companies are learning that, “work is not a place where you go, but a rather something you do.”  That line made me do a double take, as I thought back to the several jobs that worked in the past. Places where it was very shift-oriented. ‘be at the desk from 9-5 regardless’ in my experience, had the worst working environment as employee moral and creativity was non-existent. Working in a strict environment, the main focus was on the ‘time commitment’ and the hours till ‘freedom’. Whereas, in environments where the hours have been flexible and the jobs have been project and assignment based, my coworkers and working environment have been the exact opposite. In the project and assignment based jobs, the working environment allowed people to excitedly collaborate about the tasks at hand – often working at odd hours and times because of the excitement around the project. This worker freedom – or empowerment – seems to allow the worker to focus on what they were hired to do and apply their specialty in their own way. It also allows the team to work when they feel they can best apply themselves at the tasks at hand.
            In the article, it talks about the successes Best Buy, IBM and Cisco have had with this strategy, and I, from my personal experiences, would have to agree.  It is a risk to ‘trust’ and employee with freedom, but with a results based work environment there is quite incentive for the worker to know their tasks and do them well. In fact, the McKinsey & Company article caused me to search out more information on results-based management and I stumbled upon an article (linked below) that discusses ten reasons why results oriented management matters. Number one on the list was, Goals. Employees and employers will strive to have clearly defined goals and deliverables to ensure everyone knows what is expected.
            In the same article, 10 Reasons Results-Based Management Matters To Small Business, it was interesting to read how far reaching a results-based management approach will drive an organization. Talent is easier to retain, budgets are easier to figure out, weaknesses and inefficiencies are quickly exposed and dealt with. It seems to me, in my opinion, that the results-based environment turns people from ‘just co-workers’ to team of motivated people – similar to a sports team.
As companies struggle through tough times, down economies, or changes in general as the world alters, it seems to me that adapting the working environment from a ‘just co-workers’ environment to one that acts like a tightknit team will have greater chances for a successful outcome - as people will be more invested in their goals, the company and each other. Most importantly, mentioned in the 10 reasons article, "It really is the results that count" so if everyone is motivated and working like a tightknit team, the team will be motivated and focused on the results - like a sports team winning the game.

10 Reasons Results-Based Management Matters To Small Business

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