Your behaviours have more of an impact on your employees than what you say to them. If your behaviour as a leader is reasonable and wise, nobody pays attention to the perfection of your sentences or the quotations on your wall. Speaking of what is perfect loses its importance while serving as a model gains vital importance.
As you might have noticed, many companies hang motivational quotes on their walls and create their own mottos. For them, this is part of the corporate identity. Some companies place value making their announcements perfect; using the best sentences or writing the coolest vision and mission statements and they spend a lot of money to determine these sentences. We do not say these are wrong, but the following assumption is incomplete: “If we announce our vision to our staff in the coolest, most inspiring way, their motivation is going to move up.” It is incomplete because “Announcing is not enough”.
As it is untestable, it is impossible to say that the assumption is wrong. However, we do see and work with companies to support our claim.
In my training sessions, I cannot help asking the participants if they know the vision of the company which they work for. Approximately 90 % of the employees do not know what I am talking about. This is the case both for the employees working for the international and multi-national companies as well as for the middle-market companies. The reason of the vision unknown is not the fact that the company visions are not on the walls or on the homepage of the companies’ websites. I am sure we see all these in their real and virtual walls constantly.
In spite of all widespread wall texts, special bonuses and other luxury facilities that the company provides, loyalty surveys of ISO 500 companies in Turkey show that company-loyalty varies between 40-60 %. In other words, employees of large-sized companies are shouting to their employers:
“I am not happy and I am not loyal to your company”.
The main reason of low motivation is the failure of the organization executives according to a vision that employees can accept, and can be inspired by.
I would like to explore this further. Say, I ask you “Would you like to spend 4 hours at the Society for the Protection of Children?” I guess most of you would say “Sure”. The underlying reason would be, to clear your conscience and do something for the world. Now let’s combine this data with the other: The aim of all companies is to meet the certain needs of people. Therefore, the company which does not serve people, cannot survive. Even smoking, one of the most harmful things, makes people happy. Because the main aim of people is happiness, the cigarette company which totally serves its main aim and vision serves people by making them happy. There are transport companies for reuniting the dear ones. In this company’s vision, there is a world where lovers are together. The company fulfils its vision as the bus company thanks to its mission which is to bring lovers together.
However, if every business firm aims to serve people, and people are satisfied serving the world, why are we willing to go to the Society for the Protection of Children but we are not happy going to our workplaces?
The real difference is between visions, minds, living and working conditions of mine and my leader. If my manager said to me “We must make more people happy and our job is reuniting the dear ones” instead of “We must increase our turnover by 20 %”, I would be convinced and worked with an outstanding motivation.
This is essentially about the visions on mind, not the visions on walls.
It is certain that our own behaviours as a leader are more inspiring than our words or the sayings we hang on the walls. There are some values we put on the walls but if we do not believe them, they are only fancy wall ornaments.