True or False for your workplace?

This was today’s gem from the Page-A-Day Perpetual Calendar that has survived all the others on my desk over the years:

Calendar 365 Ways To Manage Better by Bob Nelson

April 2:    Employees don’t want handouts, they hate favoritism and they are uncomfortable with entitlements. They want to be acknowledged for doing what they signed up to do.

True or False where you work?


  1. says

    When I read that, Rosa, the piece that grabbed me was the “acknowledged for what they signed up to do,” piece.
    While employees are always given a job description which lays out for them “what they signed up to do,” my sense is that most employees hope that will be just a starting place.
    What they *really* want to do is contribute all they have to give… all their talents, visions, gifts, ideas, and passions. Contribution at that level goes way beyond the job description; it’s the “juice” that makes them feel truly alive.
    The key issue is whether employers will allow them to do that, or whether they really are going to be confined to the box set up by the job description. In my experience, most employees are absolutely boxed in.
    I genuinely believe that people would rather be appreciated first for who they are, and then for their higher contributions. I don’t get the sense that passion is often found in “what they signed up to do,” and so acknowledging it probably isn’t terrifically satisfying.

  2. says

    Thank you for your thoughts Stacy. “Contribution” is a word that has been appearing quite a bit lately in my own reading, and you make a good point here. Managers do complain that their employees develop an entitlement-mentality at times, and as managers, we have to wonder how we may actually have been the ones who were a key factor in having that happen.
    An easy thing to do is simply ask our employees the question more:
    In an interview: What do you hope to contribute here if you are hired? How do you anticipate putting your talents, vision, gifts and ideas into play? And my ho‘ohana question: What are you passionate about, and how will your passion translate into working with intent here with us?
    On an ongoing basis: Do you feel you are making the contribution you hoped to make here? If not, how can I help you make that happen? How can we work together in a different way?
    Then listen carefully, TAKE NOTES, and follow up on those notes in partnership with that employee step by step, note by note. You will end up creating a company culture of contribution. Continue asking questions instead of feeling you must have all the answers. Ask the employee, Do you have an idea on how we can get started on this? What do YOU suggest?
    I hope we can get more comments on this one Stacy, for there are a few components in those two short sentences, and it will be interesting to see what impressions it leaves with others.