According to communication strategist Kirsi Piha, impassive company cultures create timid organisations that are too slow to change.
What is the best motivator for an employee?
The best motivator for an employee is ambition for what you do. It’s the feeling of doing meaningful work and the sense that the company has a mission that you can actively contribute towards.
In most workplaces, scrutiny and measurement are not conducive to enthusiasm. A more individualised approach to work is what today’s—and certainly tomorrow’s—workplaces are all about. In many cases, making work highly motivating requires the right kind of company culture. Employees must feel like they’re all pulling in the same direction, working together, instead of people pushing each other down to advance their own careers. Rewards and incentives often promote an entirely different kind of behaviour to what management had in mind.
What is the significance of titles?
Titles say very little these days. They’ve become a way of showing off, far removed from what is actually done. At the same time, people want to have ways to advance in their careers. Often that means a change of job title, even if the job itself doesn’t change at all.
At Ellun kanat, we decided to harmonise our job titles for two reasons. We want to focus on action rather than talk. We help our customers in a very concrete manner instead of trying to sound smart. The second reason was our rejection of hierarchy. We don’t want to have middle managers or unnecessary supervisors. We want a peer-based organisation in which roles can change depending on the situation. Position must be earned and it can only be earned by first earning the respect of your colleagues.
Is it OK to get angry at the workplace?
My motto is “a conflict a day keeps a company fresh.” What I mean is that, in today’s rapidly changing world, only a company that processes things quickly can be successful. The more unpleasant a subject is, the more important it is to process through the conflicts it involves. A company culture in which people do not dare to bring up problems related to their work or even related to something else, like the company’s strategy, creates timid organisations that are too slow to change.
Does a company need to provoke emotions in order to be successful?
Not necessarily. Being successful requires that your attitude at the start of each day is the attitude of a challenger.
Being successful requires that you understand what the customer wants, but also what the customer needs, and you fit those two insights together in a way that enables you to take a bigger leap forward than the customer thought possible. To achieve this, the organisation must have a forward-looking approach to its competence development and the ability to shake things up, but also an in-depth understanding of the customer.
“A company culture in which people do not dare to talk about problems creates timid organisations that are too slow to change,” Kirsi Piha says.