When you look back on your life, have you ever wondered why you easily excelled at some tasks, but not others? The answer often lies in how much pride you felt in your work. For most of us, the tasks that we perform well tend to be the tasks where we tried very hard to be perfect. Learning how to change your organization’s culture so that your employees feel a sense of pride in their work helps them to focus their efforts on achieving your company’s goals and objectives and improve performance while also boosting morale.
Why Pride Building is Important
When an employee doesn’t have pride in their work, they are more likely to cut corners and be less attentive when performing their tasks. Regardless of an employee’s specific job duties, this can have a profound effect on productivity, quality, and morale, which in turn can affect the attitudes of other employees and even customer satisfaction and loyalty.
By harnessing the power of the rewards center of our brain, leaders can make it easier for employees to feel pride in their work. There are two types of pride that leaders need to encourage – pride in their work and pride in the purpose of the organization.
Show why their work matters.
Leaders can help build their employee’s pride in their job by helping them to see how the performance of their job affects the organization as a whole, and how the quality of their work directly affects the lives of others. Once an employee is able to see that, regardless of their job title or specific duties, their work truly matters, they are more likely to take greater pride in their work and perform their duties with greater care and energy.
This approach works because research shows that the human brain is hardwired to be altruistic, and we are all more motivated to perform a task well when we believe the results matter and our performance has the ability to either harm or help others.
Give them the space to find pride in their work.
Research at Rutgers University shows that employees feel less stressed at work when they take an active part in the decision making process, as it activates the rewards centre of the brain and releases chemicals that help the mind and body relax and feel less stressed. All of these things lead to an environment where employees have a greater sense of pride in their work, which increases quality and improves attitudes.
Practical examples of this step include giving an employee the authority to be able to offer a customer a discount or refund if there is an issue with their order, or creating a safe open environment where employees feel free to offer corrective actions and suggestions when they identify potential improvements to a process.
When an employee has little say in the way that their work is performed, they often feel frustrated, anxious, and literally out of control. A work environment like this increases stress and leads to employees viewing supervisors and customers as adversaries and obstacles, rather than seeing them as individuals, guides, and friends whom they are more than happy to help.
Show some appreciation
Just as our brains are hardwired to work harder to help someone else, our brains are also hardwired to seek recognition. When recognised by our leaders and peers for a job well done, the rewards centre of our brain “lights up” and releases dopamine and other chemicals. This neurotransmitter calms our minds and bodies. Leaders can increase their employee’s pride by providing opportunities for both formal and informal recognition when the employee consistently performs their duties to a high standard.
Your attitude is contagious
As leaders help their employees to have greater pride in their work and a job well done, employee morale and job satisfaction increases. This results in employees adopting a positive attitude, which is literally contagious thanks to the mirror neurons that each of us have in our brains. Just as our brains are literally structured to be altruistic and to seek recognition, our minds also tend to imitate the actions and attitudes of those around us. By increasing the sense of pride that employees feel in their work, leaders create an environment that encourages positive energy that boosts everyone’s energy levels and focuses.
It is easier to feel pride in a job well done when we feel that we have some control over the outcome when we feel as though our efforts matter, and when we believe that our efforts will be noticed. If you are a leader of an organization that is struggling with quality, performance and satisfaction why not try these simple steps and increase pride and inject some positive energy into your workforce?
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