I’ve always held the belief that people inherently want to do a great job. This belief came about organically through my own feelings and by observing other people throughout my life. It doesn’t just apply to a career, but also to personal relationships, managing our lives, and extracurricular activities. So, if my belief has any validity whatsoever, what happens between that first day on the job when we’re all revved up ready to change the world, and the day where we’ve become unmotivated, disgruntled and disinterested? And once someone has reached that point, how can you turn them back into a champion?
Well a myriad of things can happen to cause a person to lose the thirst for excellence, but that’s a whole other blog that I will save for another day. What I’m most interested in is how to motivate the unmotivated, convert the disgruntled, and spark the disinterested.
I recently read an interview with Filippo Passerini, President of Global Business Services (GBS) and CIO at P&G, led by Michael Bloch and Elizabeth C. Lempres of McKinsey. http://rss.mckinseyquarterly.com/f/100001s20kq5ik7jg6a.rssWhat I found most intriguing in his interview was that as the GBS organization was streamlining and outsourcing, moral was going up, internal customer satisfaction was going up, and more and more internal employees were applying for jobs within that group. Typically when you hear the words streamlining and outsourcing, one of the next thoughts may be “change management issues”.
When asked why people were so interested in working for GBS, Mr. Passerini said “It is due to … the perception that we are doing more important work than before. Success breeds success”. Although this concept is something I’ve believed throughout my career, I’ve never heard it put in such a way that really made me think about it. Who wants to do unimportant work? If you believe, like I do, that everyone wants to do a great job, than part of that desire needs to be satisfied by feeling that the work that we’re doing is important.
The example that Mr. Passerini gave was that of the acquisition and integration of Gillette. The GBS personnel were working quite literally around the clock to implement. Instead of becoming exhausted and disgruntled, their morale was rising. As Mr. Passerini said “It’s really very simple. People want to do well. People want approval. When they feel they are doing something extraordinary, their motivation increases.”
My call to action today is to think about how to tap into that desire to be excellent that lives both within us and within others. The flip side of that coin is for an individual to be able to define what their organization can do for them in order to make them feel as though they are doing both great and important work.