It is becoming increasingly difficult for many manufacturers to improve people engagement. Experiencing a ‘fall back’ after the initial positive signs of engagement programmes is common, and the manufacturers’ below-par performance can cause them to fall behind competition. Rather than new leadership competencies, well-formulated corporate values, or fancy engagement programmes- the missing link that differentiates the ‘leaders from the laggards’ is momentum.
The ability to consistently adapt and drive change is vital for sustainable performance, for the present and future, in today’s rapidly changing business world. It is the industry leaders who swiftly create an environment that encourages engagement, who achieve higher growth rates and a stronger brand overall.
Let’s look at Google as an example. They have created an inspiring environment for all ‘Googlers’ to continuously take on innovations of all sizes, and simultaneously, deliver a remarkable service. Innovation and adaptation is the norm, just as failing and learning quickly to have a maximum impact is.
The Missing Link
Business leaders may notice their employees behaving defensively by blaming each other, failing to collaborate with other teams and denying ownership for results and changes. Driving change can consume a lot of energy. And this can cause a ‘resistance to change’, meaning that there is no momentum to adapt, or change.
The root cause of this is the widely-used concept of ‘plan and control’- management practices of the 20th century. These practices encourage people to have a short-term focus on maintaining the status quo and reaching target figures weekly, monthly, or every quarter. For many employees, ‘failure is not an option’, and this can create an unsafe environment, which fundamentally creates resistance- as described above.
Can you imagine how it would feel if everyone in your company was passionate to perform, drive, and adapt to change, as well as keep up with the pace of a developing industry? Employees from all departments would take ownership of aligned initiatives, and collectively act to accelerate the servitization process, and make a stance in the business world. They would learn from setbacks, adjust priorities and strategies, and essentially, succeed. ‘Pushing’ or driving every initiative or intervention, is not your role as a business leader, as this will only increase your frustration. Immediate change actually energizes people!
To get more Momentum for engaging people, we need to adjust our management practices to create a safe, constructive and forward-looking environment. Within this, people will have passion, power and the confidence to continuously adapt and drive change.
Learn from the leading manufacturers which are quite successful in adapting their business and sustaining high levels of people engagement.