Why don't people want to work hard anymore?

At Widget Ltd, the boss tells the workers what to do and the workers do the job they are told to do.

It works, but the problem is that the workers only do what the boss says. They don’t think for themselves. They just look upwards and follow instructions. The boss assumes that they can’t/won’t think for themselves, so he continues to exert power over them. Since the boss pays them, the employees think they have no option but to accept this behaviour. The process prevents the employees from coming forward with any ideas for improvement. It kills innovation.

As the employees only do what they are told, the boss has to carry the can if anything goes wrong. There is little flexibility built into this structure. Changes can only be dealt with if the boss gets involved. The boss is effectively tying himself to the employees. The makes him indispensable, perhaps by design, further stifling innovation and growth.

And since the boss is constantly tied up with matters relating to the employees, he has no time to oversee the business. This means that there is no room for him to see what is happening in the marketplace, and he has no time to innovate, or make the changes necessary for the business to thrive.

Many businesses run like this. Some are successful. But passive employees don’t ask questions, challenge or give their best. They are engaged only in doing just what they have to do and getting home as soon as they can.

How could they change?

Managers have to accept that power is not the only way to run a business. The British Army started top-down thinking and it won us an Empire. But the business world today is different. Employees are looking for purpose, development and a level of autonomy in their work. They want managers who support them and who work with them to continually improve the business, for the owners, for the customers, for the shareholders and for the employees.

The thinking today is that businesses grow by developing trust and engaging their employees.  Would the ROI in your business improve if your managers and employees focused their skills and behaviours to work well together in a team environment?  If they trusted and respected others, listened and calmly expressed their opinions and ideas together?

Change like this takes time and commitment and starts with open and honest communication. Our last blog looked at one way to start – through an Employee Forum, giving your employees a voice. Next, we’ll look at how business leaders can get employees to create and deliver their own targets with minimal management intervention.

If you’re business is looking to change and you want to find out more, call Gazella on 07813-994556 for a FREE consultation.