September 17, 2015
How can you make your organization work together as a more cohesive unit? There are several areas, identified by industry experts, which ought to be analyzed in order to increase organizational effectiveness.
Central aspects that should be considered for improvement, as identified by Jesse Newton and Josh Davis of strategy-business.com, can be loosely organized in the following areas: autonomy, purpose, and recognition.
(1) Autonomy at the Front Line
Micromanagement is the enemy of autonomy and inhibits managers from making the individual decisions that can lead to the adaptability and glocal (global business acting with the local interest) strategy necessary for optimized success. Mauricio Delgado and his social and affective neuroscience research laboratory at Rutgers University have found, the perception of increased choice in itself activates reward-related circuits in the brain, making people feel more at ease.
(2) The “Why” of Everyday Work
As David Ulrich mentioned in his book The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win, “When desperate people seek easy solutions without doing the hard work of fundamental learning and change, resilience is undermined and real growth and learning fade.” For this and countless other reasons it is important to instill in employees the understanding of why what they are doing matters on a day-to-day basis; therein lies thoroughness, satisfaction, and greater commitment to a cause. All too often however we allow employees to become entrenched in the nuances and intricacies of a particular task, blinding them from the fact that this is one essential contribution that helps compose a masterpiece. When it’s clear to employees that they’re helping others through their work, their intrinsic motivation rapidly expands.
(3) Recognition and Rewards
As mentioned by Jesse Newton and Josh Davis, “Neuroscience explains the importance of the personal touch in delivering recognition that matters. When a manager recognizes an employee’s strengths before the group, it lights up the same regions of the employee’s brain as would winning a large sum of money. Rewards of all kinds, including social rewards, tend to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which produces good feelings. These reward circuits encourage people to repeatedly behave the same way.” The best managers are capable of rewarding individuals in a way that is catered specifically to that employee. Everyone finds motivation from slightly different sources and companies that thrive capitalize on this knowledge and make it a key facet of analysis in building strong teams and individuals.
By analyzing this cycle of autonomy, purpose, and recognition on an individual-by-individual and team-by-team basis, we can more easily identify areas of improvement and weaknesses within our own organization. Odds are that struggling employee could use support in one of, in not all of, these three areas. Even the brightest team leaders and managers can gain insight by becoming more aware of this cycle in their own lives and how each member of their team responds at each stage of the cycle.
 The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win, David Ulrich