August 17, 2015 – by Salem Samhoud, Freek Grootenboer, Nur Hamurcu &samhoud consultancy
This article is concerned with the connection between people and the organisations where they work. The reason for us to zoom in on this specific form of connection is not difficult to understand: the level of connection between people and the organisations where they work is responsible for the level of success of these organisations. After all, if we view an organisation as a network of individuals who work together to attain a specific aim, it logically follows that a successful organisation is a collaboration that truly achieves or exceeds the stated aim. With this article, we will look further into the relationship between the individual and the organisation: how is this relationship established and what value can it bring?
How does the organisation connect with its employees?
It is important that the organisation truly finds out about its employees, using the same criteria as for connection between individuals (interest, openness and criticism). After all, a good connection means that you know the other – in this case the employee – well so that the organisation can make optimum use of the qualities of the employee. On the other hand, the organisation must – and can – take optimum account of the wishes of the employees: after all, it knows how they are put together and in what ways they are most at ease so that they also want to perform to the maximum.
The organisation has yet anoher task in this connection process. As a coordinating collaboration, it must attend to the internal connections. After all, an organisation wants to achieve its aims, and so by definition it needs the right people in the right places. Connection has to be brought about at all levels, both horizontally and vertically. This means that the organisation must facilitate the conditions for connection. It must free up space and time to initiate and maintain the process. We already know that self-insight is an elementary ingredient of connection. The organisation can provide tools (the development of a personal vision, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator psychometric testing, etc.) that can help the employee to improve his personal understanding. It is important that this occurs together with other colleagues, so that not only self-insight is improved, but also the mutual connections.
What does it take for an individual to connect himself with the organisation?
In addition to searching out and adjusting the right capacities for the right task, we have seen that it is important that the individual also wants to carry out the task. There are four different motivations for an individual to connect himself with an organisation:
Material (physical) value
An important motivation for an individual to connect himself with an organisation is the fact that he receives something for it in return; something that helps him to provide for his daily needs or make his life more pleasant. In this way he exchanges his own (labour) value for another value, for example money.
The second main motivation concerns the emotional bond with other people. People very often indicate that the contact with other people is one of the most important and most motivating elements of their day-to-day work.
The third motivation has a strong correlation with the second. An individual may want to join an organisation because he wants to commit himself to the aim of that organisation, such as for example a charitable organisation or an NGO: in general people join such organisations because they feel a strong connection with their aims.
The last motivation is a rational weighing up of all other motivations in combination with the services and skills to be provided: how hard must you work, and what are the costs and benefits of that? How much am I prepared to invest? What advantages weigh up against what disadvantages? In short: it is the weighing up of different interests.
Why is the relationship between the individual and the organisation so important?
We can see that people who are strongly connected with the organisation have a greater knowledge and understanding of what the organisation expects of them. The organisation also knows their qualities better, and takes more account of their personal desires and wishes. The one aspect appears to arise from the other: when you know someone well – you know what he is good at and what he wants – you can also deploy that person within the organisation on the basis of that information. And doing what you are good at, being involved in things that you really want to do, creates more enjoyment in your work.
The underlying connection process ensures that both the employee and the organisation get to know themselves and each other better and better, so that the positive effect will only be amplified. We can thus conclude here that it is enormously valuable for an organisation to invest in the level of connection of its employees. The graph below shows this correlation between connection with the organisation and connection with yourself.
*Note that this graph is based on a seven point scale: a scale from one (lowest) to seven (highest).
Investing in connection ultimately means that the organisation will get to know its people extremely well, in order to make optimal use of them. Conversely, people will value this special interest, certainly if optimum account is taken of their personal wishes and capacities. Only in this way will a win-win situation come about.
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This is the third article in the &samhoud inspiration series: “The power of the blue ball”
Tags: connection, connection with the organisation, criticism, employee value, employees, interest, motivation, openness, personal development, power of the blue ball, self-development, self-knowledge