Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Instilling Hope among your Staff

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How do you instill hope among your colleagues and staff?

Gallup excels at researching what makes companies truly successful, then providing evidence for its conclusions and recommendations.  So it is with Making Hope a Business Strategy.

Why?  Because hope does in fact help companies prosper - The Business Case for Instilling Hope:
Business is work, numbers, performance, results -- things that can be done, counted, improved, then done again. If a business relies on hope, according to conventional wisdom, then things have gone wrong, because hope, like luck, is thought to be the opposite of action. 
Shane Lopez, Ph.D., would say that's a gross mischaracterization of hope. To Lopez, hope is an attribute that can be measured, increased, and deployed. And he contends that hope plays a central role in business as it drives persistence, motivation, goal setting, and innovation.
I see a fair amount of focus on, and encouragement to live in, the present.  We are reminded, too, that all we have is the present.  I beg to differ.  Whatever it is we may have in the future, it is what drives us.  We have our hopes and dreams, and in the workplace we certainly have our vision, aims, and Key Performance Indicators.  

Lopez offers the crucial framework, research and grounding around hope, which companies need.  But quite simply it's believing, and having confidence, in a better tomorrow.  So the work that the staff do isn't just a job, but also something that matters to them personally and something that they want as much as the company does.
Help employees understand how they can use hope to make the workplace better. 
Hope can be taught. People need to get in the habit of knowing they have the power to make the workplace better -- and taking the time to do it. But it might take some reminding. "So, with permission, give intrusive support," Lopez says. 
Intrusive support is a kind of complementary partnership. If you are a manager and your goal is to spend more time with your best performing team this quarter, for example, give a fellow manager permission to badger you about it. That will ensure you're more likely to work on that goal rather than responding to everyday problems created by disengaged staff. That kind of support can help you and your colleague stay accountable, and it makes realizing your goals more probable. 
And that's the power that comes from strategizing hope: The more you do it, the better it works and the more you can do it. "It's hard to be successful without being hopeful," Lopez says. "When you think the future will be better than the present, you start working harder today."

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