Feeding the Human Spirit

What inspires a person to give countless hours to community service and not be willing to go the extra mile for their employer?

This question came up yesterday in a seminar on Creating Cultural Impact I was delivering to a group a public servants. They were interested in learning how to create a high performing workplace culture in the aftermath of deficit reduction.

Culture in this sense is defined by how people do things, the way they work together, make decisions and management style.

I could sense it was an ‘ahha’ moment for the group, discovering the power of inspiration that drives people to give of themselves and want to make a difference for no financial return.

If they aren’t doing it for the money then what motivates people to do volunteer service and how can leaders tap into this source of inspiration and performance to create a high performing workplace culture. That’s the million dollar question for organizations.

We all have motivational drivers that cause us to do certain things and ignore others. These drivers make us unique and they add to the challenge in the workplace of managing diversity on a team. What inspires one person may not be the same for another person.
For example teamwork may inspire one individual while autonomy may be another’s preference in work style. The secret to creating a high performing workplace is valuing people for who they truly are and enabling those values to be lived.

Who are you? Some of the answers to this question are your personal values.
For example: I’m creative, I like teamwork, open communication, building relationships, commitment, integrity, honesty, respect, cooperation, making a difference, giving back … the list goes on. These values feed the human spirit. Some people would say they are the human spirit. They inspire us and are a source of life force energy.

What makes each of us unique is our personal values and beliefs. These values and beliefs drive our behavior. When you are able to live and experience your personal values they give you energy and a positive mental attitude. When you are not able to live these values, or they are being ignored or stepped on how do you feel? Do you want to continue working there and giving your 100%? No. Your engagement and performance drop off. Many people leave organizations because their values are not being respected or lived.

Gallup research shows the average level of engagement in organizations in North America is between 26-30%. What a waste of performance. People are coming to work but leaving their best at home.

The law of performance states: Positive Mental Attitude x Ability = Performance.

If positive mental attitude is 0 then no matter how much talent or ability you have, the performance will still be 0.

Personal values are what drive people to give of themselves and countless hours to community service. These same personal values will also drive individuals to excel and go the extra mile for their organization.

Hence a key factor in creating a high performing culture is aligning with personal values in the workplace. This means tapping into the personal values of individuals and finding out what will drive high performing behaviors. This knowledge serves to create a high performing culture.

We all want to wake up in the morning and be happy to go to work don’t we?


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To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

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Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Leadership Speaker Joanna Barclay (2)Contact Us Joanna BarclayJoanna Barclay, Speaker, Author, Leadership Consultant building high performing values-driven organizational culture.

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.