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All Hands On Deck

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Last week’s article suggested that the performance-base incentive initiative can be most advantageous if the rewards are given on merit across the board, by evaluating all performances, instead of mainly focusing on the performance or lack thereof of employees. It is interesting that some believe, while the performance-base incentive is intended to motivate and increase employee morale and productivity, it rarely increases performance. Instead, it is used in many corporations purely as a tool to attract and retain skilled workers. Be that as it may, it is that time of the year again, to review, re-evaluate and correct past mistakes and implement alternative approaches that may be more effective in our corporations.

During our reviewing and evaluations of performance, we must remember that it is sometimes argued that, ‘an army of sheep led by a lion can accomplish more than an army of lions led by a sheep’. Even so, although our corporations are privileged to have some competent leaders who are actually ‘worth their salt’ no individual can singlehandedly achieve growth and sustainability for a corporation. Overall corporate success demands unity of command and direction. The quandary arises when the vision and direction of top management is not shared by middle management, lower management and employees. This produces opposing forces within the same corporation; and since ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’ this situation is manifested in the corporation by undermined authority, lack of discipline and division in loyalty.

So, how do we ensure that all concerned are singing from the same song sheet?

First, establish a single plan that is formulated by a single head (individual or group). The plan then becomes the origin of all departmental objectives. This reduces confusion and ensures that the efforts of all members are directed by the head. Second, create an open two-way communication channel to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This facilitates a free flow of information, suggestions, complaints and grievances. Third, directly supervise employees. This is an often overlooked but vital tool to increase supervisors’ accountability and the participation and motivation levels among employees.

The year 2021 is fast approaching with much uncertainty in the business environment for managers and employees alike, however, irrespective of what lies ahead, there is one surety; an all hands on deck approach must be demanded if corporate success is to be achieved and maintained.

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