Most employees don't join an organization with the intention of being average, yet some can so quickly be converted to mediocre. Why?
To answer this I'll share an analogy. Several years ago I was driving with a friend, when we saw a sign in the distance that read, Slow Down - Speed Bump. What did she do? She stepped on the gas, accelerated, and we went flying over the speed bump - a move that could destroy a car! She saw my look of terror and explained "Oh, don't worry! I don't own the car I'm just renting it."
As a motivational keynote speaker, I find audiences suggest this mindset is also percolating in most workplaces. Just renting, this cavalier attitude is also a deep rooted perspective of the employee who is content to be average. Consider this; do you have employees who don't really own their jobs but are just renting their time out to the company? Do employees belong to your organization or are they just working there? Look out! Alongside low commitment, morale will plummet.
The Rental Perspective
Consider the attitude of someone renting an apartment; they are likely content to live in average surroundings, and they aren't going to spend a lot of time, effort, energy or resources fixing the place up. Why would they? They are just renting. They save their resources to invest in a place that they own.
This rental perspective has two dimensions:
1) It's short term - basically to the end of the contract or lease agreement (or even shorter).
2) It entails low commitment. People who are renting are not willing to invest a lot of time, effort, energy or resources within that short term contract.
During a motivational speech, we discuss the disadvantages to a short term perspective at work.
This attitude is very relevant in the workplace. Here are a few ways to identify the rental perspective in your workplace:
Employees who are renting their time:
►Don't buy into or belong to the organization. They don't know or care about the organization's mission, vision, or values.
►They have a short term limited perspective; they don't see and don't care about their place in the big picture.
►They aren't willing to invest a lot of extra energy in their work even if when it is required.
►They show limited involvement. They don't 'go the extra step' for the customer. They grudgingly campaign against hard work.
RENT to OWN
If you wanted to move from renting to owning an apartment, what would you do? You would have to invest time, effort, energy and resources (money) into buying a place and making it home.
What it boils down to is those employees who rent their time just don't have much invested in their work. You need to get them to move from renting their time to you to owning their job and their place in the organization. As a motivational keynote speaker, increasing employee commitment is one of the top motivational speeches clients call about.
Steps to increase commitment:
►Insist employees "belong" to the organization by helping them buy into and understand the organization's mission, vision and values. Show them how their contribution affects patient care, the team, and the whole organization.
►Involve, Involve, Involve. Insist low commitment employees invest time, energy, and effort into the job. Send them to professional development events, give them "projects" and reward them for specific contributions outside of their standard job descriptions.
►Increase their perspective. Help them see beyond the day to day job. Ask, "Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?" Or "How will you positively impact your profession so that you leave it a better place?" Put a clear employee development/succession plan in place so that your employees will be equipped to map their futures.
If employees still won't show initiative and involvement, cut your losses and let them go.
There is, thanks to the movies, a popular saying Build it and they will come. If you build a great work environment and offer people the opportunity to own that experience you will be an employer of choice! Your workforce will be invested in your organization.
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