What would happen if top leaders where you work were to be transparent, sharing strategy, values, and financials with employees at all levels? Some experts say this is what’s needed if you want to link everyday tasks to the reasons why it all matters. This is how you link passion and performance.
When leaders encourage a culture in which employees take psychological ownership, even average employees can perform at high levels. Purpose and passion create meaning and excitement at work. You achieve workplace engagement when employees apply this energy to specific tasks that drive your company’s success.
When I’m working within corporations, I’ve observed leaders who could be a lot more communicative about strategy. They could let every employee know what’s going on with the business, including financials. Being open and transparent about the organization actually drives more engagement.
What Happens When Leaders Put Employees First
One company that does this well is HCL Technologies, where the company intranet openly publishes strategy, budgets for all employees to see and even performance reviews of leaders themselves.
In Employees First, Customers Second, CEO Vineet Nayar recounts how he defied the conventional wisdom that companies must put customers first, then turned the hierarchical pyramid upside down by making management accountable to the employees, and not the other way around.
In doing so, Nayar fired the passion and imagination of both employees and customers and set HCL on a transformative journey making it one of the fastest-growing and profitable global IT services companies and, according to BusinessWeek, one of the twenty most influential companies in the world.
HCL managers must ensure their direct reports understand how individual performance contributes to overall long-term success.
Most executives believe they communicate well, but they tend to overestimate their abilities. The more frequently you speak to values and higher purposes, the more others will follow your lead.
“People are most fulfilled and happiest when their work is aligned with their own inner passions. Personal passion, corporate purpose and business performance all go together.” John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, Conscious Capitalism, Harvard Business Review Press, 2013.
Passion is contagious—an energy force that encourages goodwill and collaboration. So, too, is negativity. Ignite passion and diminish negativity by frequently talking about purpose and values.
Passion abounds when people believe their daily tasks have meaning. You energize your workplace when people see their accomplishments have a direct impact on team members, customers, the community and the business.
What’s been your experience? Do leaders or managers in your company speak about values, purpose or passion? Are they open about sharing mission, strategies, and financials? I’d love to hear what’s happening where you work. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.