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10 Obstacles That Kill Employee Pride

Suppose you were working for a company in a product support or service role interacting with customers on the phone. Which would you rather do?

Choice A: Use your product expertise and unique personality helping your customer solve their problems, concluding the call once the customer's needs are met, and being measured by customer feedback, increased product utilization or revenue and the feeling that you made a difference.

Choice B: Take calls all day responding with organizationally approved scripts, assigning callers a case number, passing them on to a case manager and being measured by how many calls you took and how quickly you ended the call.

In which environment would you take greater pride in your work? In which environment would you feel more of a bond with your customer, management and employer?

According to the noted quality consultant Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Choice A sustains Intrinsic motivation to do one's best work and boosts morale. At his seminars, Deming asked participants to name specific obstacles that prevent them from experiencing pride in workmanship and company loyalty.

They often come up with:

  • Lack of direction, unclear goals and objectives.

  • Goals without what's needed to achieve them: time, resources, equipment.

  • Arbitrary decisions by the boss.

  • No indication that their contribution is valued.

  • Insufficient information provided to make decisions on their own.

  • Conflicting organizational goals within company.

  • Deadline anxiety.

  • Staff not valued by management.

  • Hierarchy tries to run technology it doesn't understand.

  • Short term objectives conflict with long term.

Consider the roles your employees perform and how their work is measured and valued. You hired them because they are smart, capable professionals and that's what they want to show you. The question is will you let them?


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