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It’s generally agreed that persuading employees to give more than required can make or break a company. Yet many leaders struggle to get that discretionary effort. The 2013 State of the American Workplace Report found that only 70 percent of employees report giving their all at work, and my experience indicates the number is closer to 60 percent. The good news: Managers have the power to earn discretionary effort. The not-so-good news: Managers often inadvertently discourage over-and-above performance by punishing desired behavior and limiting opportunities for employee contributions. To break negative patterns and elicit lasting, positive change, I recommend these steps:
So instead of blaming employees for not doing their best, remember discretionary behavior always comes from what you say and do. If you focus on positively reinforcing behaviors that fit the mission, vision and values of your organization, you’re sure to become a more effective manager and gain more discretionary effort.
Are managers in your company earning discretionary effort?
Please share your experience and insights in the comments section below.
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