I admit, I was curious and read on. The lengthy memo went into great detail about why employees should be concerned about a tax policy that makes their bosses pay more – it could cost them their jobs. The content deteriorated from there – significantly.
After a few deep breaths to get my blood pressure back under control, I thought about the message we send to our staff when we use scare tactics to try to change their behavior – and there are plenty of scare tactics on any side of the election and the economic issues being debated today.
One study, reported in an article titled “Fear as a strategy: effects and impact within the organization,” (Journal of European Industrial Training, 1998), found that “the use of punishment and fear in the organizational setting has proved to be ineffective and undesirable. Managers must try to create an environment and climate where employees can express their full potential and respond to difficult challenges by letting go of fear of failure, fear of change, or fear of risk taking.”
What does work?
Creating an environment that recognizes the value of the individual employee to the organization, not just the leadership or top management.
Investing in employees by giving them tools to learn and grow, to achieve their potential or climb a career ladder within your organization.
MyInnerView, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota and others found five “interrelated and predictive domains” of focus for providers:
- Consumer (resident and family) satisfaction (do consumers receive from frontline employees the level of care and service they expect, or more?)
- Employee satisfaction (Do employees feel they are heard, respected and valued?)
- Workforce stability (Does the company have programs in place that foster the retention of the best and brightest employees?)
- Clinical outcomes (Are problems quickly identified and addressed appropriately? Do frontline staff know what to report, as well as when, how and to whom?)
- Regulatory performance (Is compliance in all areas of the program a key focus for all staff?)
Every successful company will have plans, approaches and programs in place in each of these five areas. And they won’t be based on using fear as a management technique.