You prob­a­bly un­der­stand very well what mo­ti­vates you per­son­ally as a leader. But do you un­der­stand what mo­ti­vates your staff and why it is im­por­tant that you do?

NZ Business - - CONTENTS -

You prob­a­bly un­der­stand very well what mo­ti­vates you per­son­ally as a leader. But do you un­der­stand what mo­ti­vates your staff and why it is im­por­tant that you do?

As a leader you are most likely very in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated. You do a good job be­cause it feels good to do so. How­ever, some of your staff are likely to be more ex­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated, mean­ing they take di­rec­tion from a line man­ager on what needs to be done.

And that, says Sean Thomas, the CEO at Tima Con­sult­ing, is what his com­pany sets out to change. They want more peo­ple on the fac­tory floor in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated and do­ing a good job be­cause they feel good about it; be­cause they get so­cial recog­ni­tion for do­ing so and they are praised for their ef­forts and the re­sults that ef­fort brings.

As the Tima web­site notes, the ac­qui­si­tion of knowl­edge alone does not de­liver value to the or­gan­i­sa­tion. “Im­prove­ment in per­for­mance re­quires be­hav­iour change.

Value is re­alised when peo­ple do things dif­fer­ently. Hu­man-so­cial fac­tors in­flu­ence be­hav­iour and ul­ti­mately the con­tri­bu­tion that an in­di­vid­ual makes to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“An in­di­vid­ual’s con­tri­bu­tion is not only in­flu­enced by their ca­pa­bil­ity but by their mo­ti­va­tion, fo­cus of at­ten­tion and dis­po­si­tion to­wards both co-work­ers and the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Thomas told Man­age­ment that a key test Tima looks for in a fac­tory is the de­gree and spread of ex­trin­si­cal and in­trin­si­cal mo­ti­va­tion. When they go in to an or­gan­i­sa­tion they want to un­der­stand cur­rent be­hav­iours and what changes are needed. They look at what they can pro­vide to get the staff in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated.

Thomas, who founded the com­pany 25 years ago, says the first thing is to get lead­ers to un­der­stand is that the so­cial cur­rency on the fac­tory floor is ef­fort, not the re­sult.

If man­agers praise the ef­fort that shows in the re­sults, this means it is not just about a lucky day for that per­son, but the ef­fort that worker put in, whether things go right or wrong the next day.

Tima Con­sult­ing grew out of Thomas’s me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing back­ground, and a deep in­ter­est in hu­man psy­chol­ogy. The firm is very re­search ori­en­tated and over many years has drawn its ex­per­tise from an aca­demic per­spec­tive on how or­gan­i­sa­tions get things done. Clients have in­cluded Fon­terra, Hansells Food Group, Tasti Prod­ucts, Col­gate-Pal­mo­live, Gal­laghers and Master­foods.

Thomas says a sim­ple sum­mary of Tima’s ap­proach is that the most ef­fec­tive thing to get peo­ple to fo­cus on is be­hav­iour.

“If peo­ple do not change what they do, you haven’t changed any­thing. Things don’t change based on wishes, be­liefs or de­sires. If that does not trans­late into be­hav­iour change, you haven’t got any­thing.”

He be­lieves that chang­ing be­hav­iour changes at­ti­tudes and this is what re­ally changes the game for an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“The path we put peo­ple on is look­ing at the be­hav­iours that are oc­cur­ring to­day and what be­hav­iours could lead to bet­ter re­sults to­mor­row.”

If the CEO doesn’t know the be­hav­iours that give that re­sult to­day how can he/she know what im­proved be­hav­iour will give bet­ter re­sults to­mor­row.

An ex­am­ple might be a prob­lem with pro­duc­tion er­rors on the pro­duc­tion line – wrong la­belling or wrong best-be­fore dates. The line man­ager might as­sume the work­ers are not pay­ing at­ten­tion, need to in­crease their fo­cus and pull up at­ten­tion lev­els. The as­sump­tion be­ing that if they are not per­form­ing well, they are not mak­ing the ef­fort.

But Thomas says when you spend time on the pro­duc­tion line you may find that no­body knew the checks and bal­ances for bring­ing in new la­bels and a sug­ges­tion that the line man­ager clued the work­ers up early and of­fered to check the la­bels with them, might elim­i­nate the mis­take.

“It’s a real magic mo­ment. The work­ers un­der­stand events which need in­creased cog­ni­tive at­ten­tion.”

Be­hind this is the idea that when some­thing does not go right, find out what drove that er­ror.

He sees this as a very prac­ti­cal way of driv­ing change, look­ing at the way things are done and look­ing at a way to im­prove the process.

While we tend to be­lieve peo­ple are mo­ti­vated by what they know and what needs to be done, in fact we are all mo­ti­vated by the way we feel and over­whelm­ingly our be­hav­iour is a prod­uct of our so­cial en­vi­ron­ment.

Thomas says in a per­for­mance learn­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion there is one thing they get right – they ask ques­tions in a man­ner that gets peo­ple think­ing ‘my man­ager and I work to­gether on this’. They are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to think dif­fer­ently about what they are trying to achieve. It’s build­ing that re­la­tion­ship and is work­ing in a less di­rec­tive way with more of a team ap­proach.

The com­pany’s es­Col­late soft­ware of­fers real-time pro­duc­tiv­ity feed­back, giv­ing peo­ple feed­back on their per­for­mance. Thomas says imag­ine golf or any other sport with­out any scor­ing, few are likely to want to play and it’s the scor­ing that can be hugely mo­ti­va­tional.

es­Col­late pro­vides so­phis­ti­cated fac­tory mod­el­ling that in­cludes anal­y­sis by ma­chine, line, line area, route and fac­tory area. Sup­port for vary­ing shift pat­terns and prod­uct de­tails spe­cific to each prod­uct-route com­bi­na­tion al­low com­plex op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­ity to be ac­cu­rately logged and re­ported.

He cites an ex­am­ple from some years ago in a food man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness in Aus­tralia where real-time feed­back on the pro­duc­tion line, show­ing work­ers the max­i­mum “fill” that could be achieved ev­ery 30 min­utes led to in­tense com­pe­ti­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent shifts to reach this max­i­mum ideal. Af­ter a two week trial pe­riod that had been achieved and over time the teams were achiev­ing 70 per­cent higher out­put than pre­vi­ously.

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