28 Sep Collaborative Ambition
Meme ideas shared at deFrost last Thursday night
In our first world economies, we’ve moved beyond subsistence; people don’t work just to put food on the table and pay the bills. Employees today have new expectations – they want a sense of purpose, to do something meaningful, they want to grow and be challenged, they want more transparency, and they want to have a voice. There’s no uniform agreement about what’s meaningful, because everyone is motivated by different things and those things shift at different moments in their lives. But we believe that employees share three intrinsic motivators, as articulated in Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan):
• autonomy – choice and control over what you do
• competence – succeeding at optimally challenging tasks
• relatedness – mutual respect and relationships with others.
In parallel, employers’ needs are changing too. In advanced service and knowledge economies like Australia, we’re automating or outsourcing repeatable tasks, leaving only the more complex problem-solving and judgement-based decisions for our workforce. Employers need agility and entrepreneurial thinking from their people. To meet new customer or shareholder demands, businesses need their employees to innovate constantly, finding new ways and better solutions, on their own initiative. And the whole team needs to work together to respond quickly to changes in the market, while navigating increasingly complex workplaces, eco-systems of partners and supplier companies across geographies and time-zones.
It’s not enough for employees just to turn up, they need to bring their best selves to work.
So we think it’s actually a very good thing that people’s expectations have changed. Employees’ intrinsic needs align completely with the new priorities for business: empowerment for staff allows them to show the initiative employers need, growth for employees increases their effectiveness, and connection is the foundation for productive collaboration. Employers should seize the opportunity to create collaborative ambition and bring out the best in their people. Because those people will put more into and get more out of their work.