There are enough research studies to fill bookshelves examining the relationships between motivation, money, and recognition. What they often find, not entirely surprisingly, is that how you feel is more important than what you earn. Feeling appreciated is critical for employees to stay engaged and move the organization forward.
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey discuss in their new book, An Everyone Culture, that most people are a doing a second job they are not getting paid for: hiding weaknesses and imperfections. It is so common that the few organizations where people aren’t pulling that weight around behind them have a dramatic competitive advantage. They free their employees from the constant fear of being imperfect, and allow them to be more engaged, energized, and efficient. The best way to improve an enterprise is to realize its full potential by unleashing the previously untapped potential of its people. The authors call this kind of company a deliberately developmental organization, or a DDO.
Keagan and Lahey, developmental psychologists, discuss insightful work settings at Bridgewater Associates, Next Jump, and Decurion and discover that these enterprises “are built for human development. They support people in overcoming their limitations as part of contributing to the profitability of the business. It’s just as true that DDOs seek profitability so that they can stay in business to help people overcome their limitations and grow.”
The authors desire work to change the way we think of developing our adult workforce by focusing on culture first and foremost. Daily culture work enhances a business and its employees because “everyone who has ever worked anywhere knows that work is intensely personal, with daily opportunities to experience pain, exhilaration, self-doubt, and meaning. We all bring our whole selves to work every day.” The best organizations are deeply aligned with people’s strongest motive: to grow as human beings. This kind of development needs to be woven into the daily fabric of working life and daily operations.
The truth is, people don’t want to change jobs frequently. They want to grow through new opportunities and challenges. Realizing their full human potential and, in turn, helping to realize the full potential of your organization is a win-win situation.