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Bosses must listen to their workforce.

The way to high performance as a company is to create a highly motivated, highly committed, and fully engaged workforce that loves to come to work and is at least 300 per cent more productive than if poorly engaged. Why? Because these people will fix every problem including a bad strategy.

Here is the formula I successfully used several times. Rather than spending its time trying to control employees with goals, targets, orders, bureaucracy, and the like, thus disengaging them, management listens to whatever employees have to say.

Management does this often enough to more than satisfy the employee's need to be heard. Management then responds to what was said in a timely and respectful manner to the satisfaction of the employee or better, thus satisfying the employee's need to be respected.

Once employees realise this will always be done, they realise that they can influence everything in the workplace. This ability to influence everything begets a sense of ownership - that this is their workplace just as much as it is anyone's.

In the same way, a sense of ownership begets commitment. This process also satisfies the employee's needs to have competence, autonomy, and relatedness and with all needs satisfied, they will choose to become engaged.

Ben Simonton

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 15, 2013
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