Believe or leave

“You either believe or leave.” She said it so calmly, so succinct that it made me shake my head. She continued, “I’m not a proponent of allowing people to coast through their work. I know it’s not common for employers to demand passion and commitment to their work, but that’s exactly what I suggest leaders must do to cultivate a great company.”

Kristin Lindeen is the head of QBQ inc. a consulting firm that believe their mission is to bring personal accountability back to the workplace. During our interview she cited articles and research polls that all all pointed to the exact same thing: people are no longer held accountable for their attitudes or actions in the workplace. As it turns out, passion the buck has become commonplace and accepted.

Then she stated it again with a refrain and directness that made me smirk, “A company that wants to be extraordinary needs to make sure their employees believe in the efforts of their organization or then need to leave immediately.”

I think about all the organization I’ve seen with time-wasting, clock-punching, zombies roaming the halls.

What would it be like if companies demanded more from their employees? How productive, profitable, and exciting would it be to work with people that were truly committed to their work?

Sadly this is not the reality. In many cases, manager are are just as despondent as the employees.

So, how can it be fixed?

1. It has to start with leadership. Accountability can never begin from the bottom up, it need to be sanctioned, mandated, and ingrained into an organization’s culture. If executive level management is first holding themselves accountable then no one can be expected to take ownership of it.
2. There has to be strict guidelines surrounding what is and is not acceptable behavior. Banning complaining and gossiping is a great starting point. These sort of behaviors are detrimental and not constructive. Instead, have people with issues bring forward solutions with every problem. Make negative feedback a one way pay upward, no more bickering among colleagues or ‘bosses’.
3. Begin questions with How and What instead of who or why. This builds a collaborative feel to any inquiry without being seen aggressive.

Example. What sounds least accusatory?:
“Who dropped the ball on the Johnson account?”
“Why is the Johnson account in such bad shape?”
“What can we do to salvage the Johnson account?”
“How can we fix this to make the Johnson account happy again?”
4. Make their role within the company personal. While it may sound very subjective, it has lasting effects on the commitment that employees have towards their efforts. To make it personal ensure that each team member knows why their job is important. Do they know the direct results for their organization if they do their role well? Poorly? If your employees don’t see the meaning in their efforts, they can easily justify working halfheartedly.

Make sure your organization is cultivating people that believe in the work that they are doing and are committed to being accountable for their efforts.

It’s time to tell your employees that they need to Believe or Leave!

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