Archive for the ‘measuring change’ Category
I received an email invitation in my In Box recently for a webinar titled, “Recognition as the Foundation for a More Human Workforce.” I deleted it but then went back to read it in more detail.
One of the reasons I deleted it is that it struck as sending the wrong message. In fact, it does say “THE” foundation, not just “A” foundation. All my experience, intuition, and even personal research tells me that this proposition is just plain wrong.
As relating to a “human” workforce, I recalled the piece by Emma Seppal in HBR (“Managers create more wellness than wellness plans do”) that speaks to the power of organizations and leaders characterized by trust, forgiveness, understanding, empathy, generosity, and respect. Is recognition lurking in there? Perhaps, but there is a big difference between recognition that is a daily spontaneous habit and what is viewed as a program.
When I was working with Dana Costar to design an upward feedback instrument for managers, we did a lot of background reading on possible drivers of perceptions of manager effectiveness. It seemed to us that recognition was fairly far down the list, but recognition did keep popping up. So we somewhat grudgingly did include it as a dimension in our instrument to see how it stacked up when the data came in.
Our results (Costar & Bracken, 2014) on an international sample of 82 leaders showed that Trust is the leading driver of ratings of manager effectiveness, while Recognition fell far down the list. (As an aside, Trust was behind Facilitating Development in ratings of effectiveness as a Coach, but still far ahead of Recognition.)
Lolly Daskal’s blog in Inc. has a list of leadership “beliefs” (characteristics/behaviors) where says “Honoring Trust” is the “first job of a leader.” But her list includes many other trust builders as well:
- Leading by Example
- Accepting Accountability
- Leading with Integrity
- Encompassing Humility
- Manifesting Loyalty
- Showing Respect
- Leading with Character
(I see that recognition, “Exhibiting Appreciation” does make the list but is, in my opinion, overwhelmed by these other factors and a cousin to recognition.)
Gallup’s list of critical manager capabilities includes these:
- They motivate every single employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.
- They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
- They create a culture of clear accountability.
- They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
- They make decisions based on productivity, not politics.
We don’t see recognition on this list either, but we do see trust.
Vendors are pushing recognition apps. I believe they fall in the category of activities that are relatively harmless but of little value. If there is harm (besides wasted expense) it is that they, by nature, are targeted only at positive feedback. Then there is a lost opportunity to create awareness of other important behavioral/skill deficits.
I have proposed that “Trust” comes in two forms: Trusts and Trusted. Turned into behaviors that can be defined, developed and measured, they look like this:
Trust is one of those constructs that may be elusive to pin down definitionally, but we all know it and, more importantly, feel it when we experience it. Unfortunately (tongue deeply embedded in cheek) there will never be a “trust” app. But trust can be “deleted” just as fast as an app with no opportunity to reinstall.
Trust is the real foundation of a human workforce. Define it, develop it and measure it. Then your organization has a chance of really being “human.”
Costar, D.M., & Bracken, D.W. (2014). The impact of trust and coaching relationship on manager effectiveness ratings. In D.W. Bracken (Chair) Manager As Coach: Defining, Developing and Measuring Effectiveness. Symposium at the 29th Annual Conference of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Honolulu, HI, May, 2014.
©David W. Bracken 2016
This is the logo I have designed for my business, and it is a something of an ambiguous figure (but not too ambiguous hopefully). Please take a few seconds and think about what you see in the context of our work.
Hopefully the main message is something around conflicting forces. In the business of change, whether it be individual, team or organizational, as we attempt to create sustainable change we are always faced with opposing forces. So there are many opportunities to identify which forces are working in our favor and which are working against us, and so on.
The secondary design message I hoped to create is around the multiple triangles, or “Deltas,” that the arrows create. (How many do you see?) And we use Delta as a not only a symbol of change but also as a measurement of the amount of change. A major part of my business is not only to create sustainable change but to be able to reliably measure it, which will allow for comparisons of improvements as well as comparisons between individuals and organizations.
Or maybe you see a duck.
But what I want people to remember most are the Deltas and the message that change needs to be measurable and measured. Measures need numbers. Sometimes numbers are ratings. Ratings can be both reliable and valid. We can use ratings to compare scores if the scores are reliable. Yes, it can be done.
So what do you think the picture is worth?