As part of our series of articles by exceptional HR professionals, today we present another article by our regular guest author, George Krafcisin.
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Working with people is frustrating - they don’t follow neat, logical rules. If you’re an analytical type, comfortable with flow charts and equations, but have to manage or work with people, you have to learn as much as you can about behavior and then make your best guess as to what to do. It would be nice to have an idea of what people factors most affect productivity and profit.
That’s why I was pleased to run across some usable data from the Gallup Organization – the pollsters. Their book First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, gives statistically rigorous data correlating how people feel about their workplace and the profit performance of the companies they work for. The study found that worker’s positive answers to six questions were strongly statistically correlated with productivity, profitability, employee retention and customer satisfaction. The six questions are:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
- In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
- Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
Some of these seem obvious – if you don’t know what’s expected of you, how can you perform well? – but believe me, they can get lost in the fog of everyday struggles to meet schedules. And of course, it’s obvious that people need to feel cared about. But are you doing your best to get Yes! answers to the six questions? Is your boss doing the same for you?
The book has a lot more information, including six more questions less strongly correlated with good performance, and some opinions on how to make the most of the information. I highly recommend it.
About Our Guest Author:
George Krafcisin is the President, coach and trainer of Mosaic Management, Inc. He writes regular installments on the topics of leadership and management here on HR-Worldview.
His last article "Workplace Confessions" can be found here.