Blog Posts

Discretionary Effort vs. Aligned Employees

No Comments

Alignment is essential. But alignment without discretionary effort is just well-directed mediocrity.  Leadership needs to concentrate on three key issues:

Focus (alignment and vision)
Capability (skills and resources)
Will (desire, discretionary effort)

In a scenario where a “go-getter employee” is focused on the wrong objective, a situation I have seen in client organizations, the “fault,” if you will, is not with the employee, but rather the leadership. It is the primary job of leadership to provide a clear (and hopefully compelling) focus. Another point – if an employee is volunteering their discretionary effort (they are truly engaged) – then  they will welcome a better alignment with the company’s goals. We know, for example, that highly engaged employees are more adaptable and they tend to see more of the Big Picture. They are willing to make course corrections.

Secondly, I would much rather have a company full of unaligned employees giving discretionary effort than a company full of employees just doing whatever it takes to get by, but well aligned. Why? Because alignment is a cognitive exercise, relatively easy to describe and to set up the tactical steps to make it happen. Discretionary effort, on the other hand, is an emotional process and it is much more difficult/challenging to build and sustain the conditions that allow it to flourish.

BEST PRACTICES TIP:  Be wary of engagement “fixes” that are purely tactical and cognitive.  The emotional and social context is key.

To view the entire LinkedIn blog conversation, click here:

View Related Posts:

Leave a Comment

*

 

 

Engagient Multi-Media

Quick Clips on Employee Engagement.

Connect With Engagient

Sign up to receive our Employee Engagement Tips Sheet.
 

Recent posts

Blog

Archives

Quotes

Engagient has gone above and beyond to help me solve the problems I face in leading my company in a challenging and constantly changing legal marketplace.

Brian Daly has become a valuable asset in assisting me in the problem solving and people management issues I face in my company. He has not been afraid to ask me the tough questions, to point out areas of need, and to assist me with the toughest issues I face.

--Scot Henderson, President and Co-Founder
Henderson Legal
 
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn