Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Imagine!’s 2015 / 2016 Leadership Development Group Update: April

In March, Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) attended the second of five Great Leaders series of training's. The most recent training focused upon motivation and engagement for the workforce of the twenty-first century. Our training was centered around aspects of the book DRIVE by Daniel Pink and how he focuses on different concepts of motivating employees. Mr. Pink, states that “The question so many people ask – namely ‘How do I motivate people to learn? To do their chores? To take their medicine? are the wrong questions’. They are wrong because they imply that motivation is something that gets done to people rather than something that people do within themselves.”

Simply put, DRIVE asserts that “We cannot motivate other people. People are motivated by their own reasons, and not yours. As a Leader you can only create an environment in which people are motivated to perform at their best, as a self-motivated team player.”

To understand motivation, we must understand human nature itself. An understanding of human nature is a pre-requisite to meaningful motivation, management, and leadership.

LDG members Shannon Bundy, Sterling Wind, Laura Ball, Tim West-Heiss, Maria Klickna
with their Great Leader Instructor, Jan Baller

Here are some additional comments from the LDG members on what they got out of our most recent Great Leaders training:

I really enjoyed the most recent Great Leaders training on how to motivate and engage today’s employees. I was surprised to learn that statistics show that only 26% of employees are engaged, loyal, and productive. An additional 55% of employees are not as engaged and simply do what is required of them. Our job is to create an environment in which employees are motivated to perform at their best. The pay-offs of high engagement are immense: the first pay-off is lower staff turnover, the second is greater customer loyalty, and the third is increased productivity. I believe Imagine! has a much higher level of engagement then the national average, but there is always room for improvement. The LDG recently conducted a staff survey and the top three motivators were: 1) the individuals we serve, 2) the work environment, and 3) co-workers. I encourage all managers to find out what motivates your staff, and then work like heck towards greater engagement! – Laura Ball

I have learned a great deal from the Great Leaders training series. During this last training we discussed how leaders motivate and engage today's employees. We discussed many things in length, starting with the differences in employee engagement of different generations. We focused on the importance of the "millennial" generation and how we need to learn, as leaders, the key ways to motivate these individuals in the workplace. We also focused on the book, DRIVE by Daniel Pink and how he focuses on different concepts of motivating employees. Daniel Pink illustrates the "carrot and stick" idea of how it worked in the past, but that it is the wrong way to motivate people in today's challenges. From this, we moved into the topic of goal setting. I think I took away the most from the goal setting discussion. I have always been one to develop goals in my head but never truly follow through with these goals. I learned that the only way to truly accomplish a goal is to write it down and develop an action plan. Right after our training I went straight home and wrote down all my goals and developed action plans for the first time. I can already feel the increased motivation to work on these goals and strive to accomplish them. – Shannon Bundy

The second training in the Great Leaders series was very interesting and covered “How Great Leaders Motivate and Engage Today’s Employees”. We discussed in great lengths what motivates us and the importance of having a clear passion, purpose, and goals surrounding your work every day. I was affected by a discussion surrounding realizing and internalizing the power of goals. I learned that a well written goal follows the SMART rule (the S stands for Specific, the M stands for Measureable, the A stands for Aligned, the R stands for Realistic and Result Oriented, and the T stands for Time Specific). Writing down your specific professional or personal goals will assist you in internalizing your goals and will get you closer to meeting those goals. There is great power in writing down and revisiting your goals on an ongoing basis. – Maria Klickna

During the second iteration of our Great Leaders series training, we discussed how great leaders motivate and engage today’s employees. This training influenced me in many ways, and something that really stands out is the generational differences in employee engagement strategies. We touched on how the expectations of individuals from “generation x” are different than the expectations of “baby boomers,” and different yet from “millennials,” and how to incorporate these expectations into workplace leadership. This is an important concept that resonates with me since much of what DRIVE, by Daniel Pink, alludes to is the idea that motivation is not something that is done "to you,” it’s done “within you" and only truly occurs when the environment supports your motivational framework! – Tim West-Heiss

Work can be viewed as being either task-oriented or purpose-oriented. The goal for leaders is to create a dynamic environment where each of us can rediscover the role of purpose in our work. Without a clear notion of purpose, we cannot make intelligent choices to tackle our work activities, and thus we’re deprived of a connection to the meaning that our work accomplishes. That’s one of the reasons why I value Imagine!’s new mission statement “Creating a world of opportunity for all abilities.” I believe that through our new purpose driven mission statement we can ask ourselves “How am I working to achieve the mission of Imagine!?” – Sterling Wind

Leadership is not limited by your or my job title. Our challenge as team members is what will be your next move towards contributing to making our shared work environment purposeful so that every team member is performing at their best!

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