The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word “vocare”—to call.
What do neuroscientists, pilots, brain surgeons, hairdressers and accountants have in common? They don't typically work to their potential. In fact most people regularly churn out a less than average performance.
Studies have repeatedly shown that most of us operate nowhere near our potential, even after a motivational speech. A survey quoted in the new book, Contented Cows Moove Faster suggests that most people only work up to 62% of their capacity.
Most people could operate at a much higher level but they must first chose to do so- and it doesn't happen naturally- it takes effort.
Here is how to increase performance:
Work is a contract, extra effort is a choice (Anyone who has ever worked in a union knows this!). People operate below capacity because this is what the job requires and it become engrained in the culture. Nobody else goes above and beyond, so why should they? It is about your workplace norms, culture and attitude.
Commitment Vs Compliance
The outcome is very different when someone is committed to their work. They are passionate and results driven. They aren't searching for a pat on the back or a raise.
Most employees are simply compliant. They do what they are told. Nothing more, nothing less.
Is your workplace geared towards compliance (structured, controlled, minimal standards, following orders, no room for innovation)? Compliant work is contingent on rewards, pay checks and recognition. If a behaviour has to be recognized or rewarded for it to continue, the chances of success beyond the average performance is low.
This always reminds me of Pavlov's experiments with dogs. The only way dogs would respond is if they were rewarded. Is your workplace structured this way?
I was an inspirational speaker for government employees where the other inspirational speaker quoted Richard Hadden in his motivational speech, saying:
Commitment Comes from 3 Things:
- Leadership. Some leaders can coax performance from others.
- Culture. A committed culture involves unwritten agreements that suggest people don't measure their work against its rewards but do whatever it takes to get the job done the best they can.
- Personal Nature. Some people just naturally give more than others to their work.
People invest wholeheartedly when they enjoy their job. When people love what they do so much - the pay, recognition and other compensation is just an after thought. They are not selling their time for work but becoming absorbed in their role and truly contributing to results.
A Little Give and Take
When I was an inspirational speaker for government employees we spent time digesting how we mass customize for customers so why not for employees? Load jobs with tasks that people enjoy.
Raise your standards. No one wants to let the team down, or perform lower than average. A little healthy competition goes a long way to promote performance.
How to hire an inspirational speaker: