Schlagwort-Archive: Performance

More attention on the personal contribution

The larger an organization, the more it is built upon the division of labor. Tasks are distributed not only horizontally from one function to another but also vertically – employees and leaders of teams, departments, divisions, businesses unit, and corporations. As in a snowball system, superiors consider the performances of all subordinates as its share of the whole. They infer the rationale for paying itself up to 273 times the average salary. But without considering that every role, no matter how small, has a decisive share in the overall result. Let us remember the story of the lost nail.

A blacksmith forgot a nail while shoeing a horse, causing a horseshoe to fall off, by which the horse’s leg broke and threw off the riding messenger, who was thus unable to deliver the message, causing the army to suffer defeat and ultimately losing the war and due to it the kingdom.

And only because the blacksmith forgot a nail. It was the blacksmith’s contribution that had unforeseen consequences.

People are not machines. This effectuates that the individual contributions turn out differently. These performances are influenced by their biography, traits, passions, and daily conditions. Further differences result from the respective circumstances, i.e., the time, speed, focus, result, quality, outcomes, diligence, comprehensiveness, and perseverance. However, the basis is the individual part built on practical experience, existing knowledge, commitment, and appreciation by superiors and colleagues.

  • Practical experience
    The most important is the practical experience, i.e., insights acquired through the consistent routine (regular application of obtained findings, mental models, and experiences through Learning-by-doing). If we see something new, we memorize only 20% – if we hear it, 30%; if we see and hear, 50%; if we see and hear and talk, 70%; and if we do it, 90%. Practical exercises create in active training or learning-on-the-job, informal learning in vocational weekdays, agile skills in the long term. Unlike theoretical training, personal application anchors skills for long-term recall. Yet, companies cannot assess these experiences, as their effectiveness only becomes apparent later in action.
  • Certified knowledge
    Originally, monastic and cathedral schools and later the early universities, such as Bologna, Oxford, Heidelberg, and Harvard, had a holistic approach, similar to vocational apprenticeship – young people studied, that is, observe, investigate, and engage in-depth with the world. After six years of research and learning, they attained the lowest degree, the baccalaureate. After another twelve years, they earned the magister degree or doctorate – and this with an average life expectancy of 32 years. This required various oaths as well as a private and a public exam. Today, a study is more like a continuation of schooling and predominantly limited to small areas of knowledge – although interdisciplinary courses, such as cognitive science, systems theory, or psycholinguistics, are making the boundaries between faculties more permeable. The purpose is primarily to confirm temporary knowledge, i.e., to recall a specific knowledge, at one point in time as completely as possible. In addition, the speed by which new knowledge and standards emerge has led to institutions offering training and grant certifications. In contrast to practical experience, theoretical training provides the content of a knowledge area and confirms, through fitting exams, that students have memorized a particular material. This is practical for companies, as they receive the final certificates, “objective” proof of the skills for selecting employees.
  • Decisive commitment
    Regardless of the experience and knowledge available, the personal contribution is determined by the commitment of individuals. Attitudes toward the company drive the engagement and are composed of emotional attachment, acceptance of the corporate governance, and perceived advantages. Even with the best conditions, indifferent personalities deliver worse results than committed ones with less qualification. This explains the efforts made to bind the low-commitment participants more closely to the company with coaching, team building, and participation in decision-making. For a company, this means, above all, winning leaders for the human image of Theory Y or even experimenting with entirely new work models to make it easier for the workforce to commit and thus deliver better results.
  • Appreciated performances
    The well-being of the members of a company results from respectful interaction with each other. In contrast, negative feedback, unfairness, and unequal treatment damage the satisfaction and self-esteem of ALL involved people. Especially micromanagers, who disempower employees by interfering in the smallest details, changing results, and not developing appreciation undermine commitment. As a result, those who actually work, leave the fulfillment of the task to these supervisors, who feel affirmed by the growing number of errors that they have to do everything by themselves – a vicious circle (see also Theory X). For companies, this demands developing an appropriate mindset (e.g., Theory Y). In the future, processes that follow a strict workflow will be shifted into IT. For the leaders remain the “human” tasks to serve the committed employees (Servant Leadership).

Bottom line: The personal contribution of the employees results from their doing, i.e., the ideas, actions, and results. This is supported by relevant experiences, acquired knowledge, and the desire to contribute maximally. When the performers can also expect that their part of the whole is appreciated, you have the best conditions to deliver top results. Since people are not programmable entities, who, once they are provided with business processes, rules and assignments, always function the same way, we need to put more attention on their actual contributions. This requires leaders who follow the activities mindfully. The smaller the company, the greater the likelihood that there is not enough time to take care of leadership skills. Therefore, these companies need to start developing a contemporary mindset. For example, every corporate member must develop entrepreneurship, encouraging followers of Theory Y and eliminating those of Theory X. The personal contribution of EVERYONE is the difference that makes the difference.

Comparisons that over-do

All living things derive their essential energy from the environment – the vital food and liquid are absorbed. These inventories are distributed internally and used for different tasks during operation. As soon as the stocks fall below a certain degree of filling, the renewed supply of energy is inevitable and the cycle starts all over again. The required quantity is determined by the size of the body, the number of consumption points and the desired power. For deposits that are currently not needed stocks are created, which are extracted, if there is no immediate supply from the outside. These buffers also require energy to remain available. There are mechanisms, such as the feeling of satiety, that regulate the exaggerated intake. However, today we live in an organized world of abundance. Innate sensations of satiety are getting lost. And when we additionally compare ourselves with others, it pushes us beyond the limits of what is needed.

Thus comparisons are harmful for a balanced energy intake. Let’s take a look at three such areas.

  • Possession
    The easiest thing to compare are physical possessions – my houses, my planes, my boats, my cars. The 0.1% of the world population own 80% of the financial assets. However, these assets are in the virtual space. All that it takes to evaporate these values is a sufficiently large crisis. The more than 99% then lose, but only their part of the remaining 20%, which are distributed over almost seven billion people. With 5 trillion Euros of assets worldwide, this means that 34.5 trillion Euros are distributed over approx. 7 billion people, i.e. on average per capita assets 4,500 Euros of the 7 billions versus 18,000,000 Euros of the 0.1%.
  • Reputation
    A study from the US shows that well-being does not increase any further beyond an annual income of US$ 75,000. If material things are no longer important, then recognition, appreciation and reputation offer a good opportunity to compare oneself with others. The reputation results from outstanding scientific contributions, from a special moral standing or a passionate image as well as from an extraordinary social engagement. A good example is philanthropy, private welfare, which has evolved especially where the state does not assume any responsibility. To make these comparisons visible, there are corresponding lists.
  • Performance
    Benchmarking can be carried out in all areas and strata of the population – e.g. financially, professionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, in partnership, emotionally, and artistically. The development to road panzer was certainly fueled by the neighborly competition for the largest. The rivalries in professional life begin, when one compares the own progress with that of others and their advancement in the first job. The fervor of one’s own faith is defined through regular participation in religious rituals and engagement of missionary work of dissenters, so that one stands in the line for salvation before the competitors. Or let’s take as a last example any kind of physical fitness which puts, through regular training, your own body in a better shape than that of your acquaintances.

Bottom line: The comparison is an essential accelerant for the competition in all areas of life. A certain amount of competition is helpful in overcoming one’s weaker self. However, the various driving forces have no point of satiation, which leads individuals to exaggerate. These zealots are not happy with what they possess, represent or perform. The result are the excesses that generate extremism in all areas. The triggers are predominantly the everyday benchmarks that drive us forward consciously or unconsciously – Comparisons that over-do.