Converting Ordinary People Into Extraordinary Business Assets

business people talking

Leaders, it’s your job to help your people get:

  • A sense of achievement
  • A future in the organisation
  • A sense of belonging to your company

How do you do that? And why would you do that?

Because people:

  • Thrive at work when they have good relationships with those around them
  • Know who to go to for what
  • Can solve customer problems quickly

Given this is so important, how do you do this?

First, accept that formal organisation relationships are not enough!

You have to develop the informal organisational relationships as well by:

  • Stimulating the networks behind the formal organisation chart
  • Making sure your people have conversations that matter
  • Ensuring your people find out what they need to know to do their job

Your social atom consists of people who are emotionally significant to you enabling you to continue learning and be involved in work and alive.

To determine who is in your social atom ask yourself:

  • Who are your key influencers?
  • Who do you confide in when things go wrong?
  • Who do you go to when you want to know what’s happening?
  • Who do you listen to when there is a crisis?
  • Who makes work fun?
  • Who do you talk with when you feel uncertain about your future or the company’s future?

Young people now rely heavily on connecting in cyberspace in many forms such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Blogs
  • Texting
  • Snapchat

Many young people have not learned to create face to face connections. Because of this it’s up to you to provide an environment where people can connect and have conversations that matter to them.

Your social atom becomes depleted when:

  • Significant people move away, or when you move away from your significant people e.g. they or you change location:
    • From school to work
    • From study to work
    • From home to work
    • From one country to another
  • Significant emotional connections are lost

For people to be spontaneous, alive, and always learning, they need to be in emotional relationship with others around them.

Why is it important to produce these interactions?

  • Each person’s network directly affects their enjoyment and satisfaction at work
  • People’s networks affect their willingness and capacity to contribute to the business
  • Each person’s network directly affects how they interact with anyone they relate to

Don’t be threatened by informal networks, learn to use them, because you can do a lot to stimulate these networks and make them work for you.

What are some ways you can do this?

  • Identify the informal leaders in your organisation
  • Know who connects with them from your team
  • Ensure each of your staff find someone that interests them in the organisation, have them go and find out what they do, and how it relates to what they do
  • Get people to find out from others one thing your contact centre is doing well, and one thing you could do better. Then have everyone bring that back to the next team meeting then choose 1 or 2 of those items to implement
  • Encourage your staff to network and find out how they are doing

Learn to stimulate and read the social networks in your team by:

  • Discovering how information flows through your organisation: who the trusted advisors are, who the problem solvers are and how well that works for everyone including you;
  • Identifying the key informal experts, the advisors, the leaders and who else these people might work with, learn to involve them
  • Innovation: discover who is working with who, and who the fresh ideas come from, and who else they might come from
  • Discover which managers, professionals or specialists are over chosen and over burdened
  • Discover the trust networks in making and implementing decisions in your organisations, especially where there are silos, and subgroups and people who need to collaborate

Your people will produce extraordinary results for your company when you:

  • Ensure everyone in your team has people they can go to, or who come to them for advice, counsel, problem-solving, laughs
  • Encourage and produce interactions between people relevant to the culture of your team
  • Show people pathways for more exciting or challenging involving work
  • Create a sense of belonging in your organisation by ensuring people enjoy working with others

© Diana Jones

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