As barry sheehy, author of winning the race for value, asserts: “no organization can perform well

As Barry Sheehy, author of Winning the Race for Value, asserts: “No organization can perform well…if employees are demoralized, traumatized, or seething with anger.” Employers are looking for performance. They value employees concerned about productivity. On the flip side of the value coin, though, is the recognition that to elicit best efforts, employers must produce best conditions. Before they can affirm or awaken certain values in their workforce, they must develop a sense of cohesion in the workplace.

That cohesion requires us to regard the workplace as employee-centered. Such a focus, in its most basic thrust, asks if employees are happy coming to work in the morning, if they enjoy what they do, the people with whom they work, and the environment in which they work.

A simple analogy will illustrate the importance of this factor. Go back to your high school days.

Excluding lunch or study hall, what was your favorite subject?    
What were your grades in this course?

Typically, we do well in those things we enjoy doing. Granted, several possible reasons could explain the enjoyment: We may always have been fascinated by a particular topic, we liked the teacher, our best friend was in the class, we had been hooked by a teacher in the previous year, et cetera.

There’s another possibility, though, one aptly framed by Alfred North Whitehead. He asserted that “Romance precedes precision.” We fall in love with a subject this. The fall is soon followed by a desire to know as much as we can, to learn all the precise details.

As a general rule, we want to acquire mastery of the topics that grab our attention. (Think of the youngster who cannot seem to remember the difference between a gerund and a preposition but who can recite from memory all the stats about his or her favorite sports figure.)

The challenge for workplace leaders is to make the employment setting a place that is secure, positive, and interesting.

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