Some organizations exudes so much of energy that even the most difficult looking projects, arduous changes and large initiatives are completed without any issues. Things look simpler in these organizations and they have a very happy and dedicated set of employees on their side. We can define this Energy as willingness to do something new all the time, take up challenges, work through difficult times with full commitment, ability to collaborate without holding back and going beyond personal achievement to accomplish something bigger.
Where does this Energy come from? This comes from the organization culture and strong leadership, from clarity of thoughts an organization has, from vision & direction an organization can provide to its employees, from the openness of communications, from the opportunities an organization provides to its employees, from the way an organization takes care of its employees and from the stability an organization can provide to its employees. And if an organization is not doing the above they would quickly lose the energy and eventually become dull and lifeless where employees work not to achieve something significant but to carry on with the routine jobs without having the willingness to take risks and innovate.
Why this Energy does dissipate? Many organizations start with a lot of energy and continue to do so for a long period of time, but many others lose track in between and eventually fail to make any significant progress. What are the factors that causes an organization to lose its energy and vitality? Let’s look at some of the factors that may be impacting this very energy of an organization in a negative manner:
· First and foremost factor is failing to realize the fact that organizations and people both run on energy and not just technology, methods and processes. If the leadership is too focused on methodologies, processes and external competition they would fail to harness the energy of its own organization
· Not understanding the factors behind the organizational energy. There are several factors that energizes and organization if the leadership cannot understand what they are they would not be able to put focus and efforts in the right direction
· Weak communication on organizational strategies and direction and not ensuring that the message is well understood by the employees. There are multiple instances where communications do go out in numbers but this is where it ends. Many a time’s employees do not understand the communication clearly or they are not able to align to organization direction. Ensuring direction and communication is very well inculcated by the employees is the responsibility of the management. Do not assume that employees will understand everything, you as leaders and managers need to ensure this
· Not focusing on the employee development and aspirations, treating them as just another head in the overall number. I can tell you that this turns out to be very big mistake. It is reflected when decisions are repeatedly taken
without taking employees in consideration
· Making too many changes in terms of priorities, teams, processes and technologies. Everyone looks for some kind of stability and if there are too many changes impacting employees or the way they work, they would probably lose interest and become disengaged. Making changes to improve the things is always good and required as well but the impact of those changes needs to be understood as well. Ill planned changes will deplete the employee commitment and dissipate organization energy
· Difference between what is being preached and what is being practiced. Many and things are taught through trainings and different sessions but the reality on the ground may be different. For example managers being trained and mentored to take care of employee development by providing them right opportunities, but in reality not letting employees to move teams or just pushing them into areas which they are not interested in
· Organizations may have the valid reasons for changing something but not explaining what is in it for the employees will not go very well with the large section of the organization. Each individual needs to understand how would the certain changes impact them and how would they grow in the midst of all these changes
· Failure to reward risk or even punishing someone for failing while they had taken a risk to make something happen. Employees need to believe that organization is behind them when they put 200% efforts and take risk to bring in sense of belongingness and achievement. If not organization will be left with a very few risk takers and employee energy goes down
· Failing to organize effectively during the tough times. This is very important as employees are closely watching every move of the organization and how its leaders behave during tough times, what kind of messages are given out, what kind of pressure is put on the employees and how employees are taken care during this time.
· Not listening to the employees or ignoring the employee’s complaints. There is a new fashion where complaining employees are looked down. They are considered the trouble makers and ignored for good. It has to be noted that complaining employees are not always trouble makers or non-performers, they may be the ones looking to call out the issues and improve the things that may not be going right
· Not acknowledging that things are going into a downward spiral or there are some issues in the system that needs to be looked into and addressed. Instead concentrating on set of trainings or some high level communication in an effort to show that things are moving very well and there are no issues to be concerned about. However ground reality to the employees may be very different and they see the things very differently
· Not acknowledging the mistakes or accepting the mistakes openly in front of the employees. “When was the last time leadership came out and said sorry”. If you can be open with your employees and be open about the help you need from them, organizations can generate far more commitment.
There could be many more things to look at but remember focus should always be around employees as their combined energy becomes the overall energy of the organization. If you have dis-engaged employees with low energy levels it will percolate to the entire organization and will be visible in every aspect of the organization functioning. This would turn an outstanding, high energy organization into an ordinary organization that is dragging its feet.