Have you ever heard a co-worker say, “I’m only one person, it won’t make much difference if I don’t do this quite right”?
Most times they don’t actually come out and say it but you can detect it in their body language and demeanor.
How can you influence these employees to accept responsibility for their performance in ways that support the collective efforts of the entire team?
One way is through carrots and sticks (rewards and consequences) but these have been proven to be ineffective long-term strategies. Sustained behavior change results from a personal commitment to change—it’s a matter of choice and identity.
So if I commit to becoming a conscientious and engaged member of the team, the odds increase that my performance will improve without the enticement of short-term incentive programs or the threat of disciplinary actions.
Here’s an illustration of this personal commitment from the book Inside the Magic Kingdom by Tom Connellan:
Somxtimxs I gxt to thinking that what I do doxsn’t mattxr. But whxn I start thinking that way, I rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. Most of thx kxys workxd finx most of thx timx. But onx day, onx of thx kxys stoppxd working altogxthxr. And that rxally mxssxd xvxrything up. So whxn I’m txmptxd to say, I’m only onx pxrson, it won’t makx much diffxrxncx if I don’t do this quitx right, I rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. And I say to mysxlf: “I am a kxy pxrson and nxxdxd vxry much.”
It’s a great illustration that reinforces the importance of every employee’s unique contribution to product and service quality while demonstrating the value of each employee’s personal commitment to the success of the entire team.
What has your xxpxrixncx bxxn?