What is pride? How do you know someone has it?
For many, pride is a sort of a feeling, a state of mind, an undefined emotion that might be identified by a smile or glistening eyes. With those vague definitions, it’s no wonder most of the corporate world ignores the concept — it is too touchy-feely and pie-in-the-sky to apply to a KPI-driven organization.
When you look deeper, however, you will discover that pride is far more crucial to the future or any organization’s success. And therefore the art of pride needs to be studied and implemented more rigorously for organizations to be ready for the future.
Pride is an emotion with actionable consequences. Proud employees thrive by taking initiative and sharing their passion with colleagues and customers. They spread positive productivity and commitment to excellence. Employees who are not proud stick to predefined processes and ignore opportunities that can be crucial to the organization’s future success. Lack of pride is always equated to lack of caring and investment in the work.
Look around you. Pay attention to your employee’s discussions and choice of words when it comes to the organization, its mission, and its leaders. Would those words inspire you to follow? Would they rally you to join a movement? Or would they plant doubts in your mind about doing business with the company?
What do your employees say on social media about their work? Are they proud of the impact they make? Do they treat work as a necessary evil? Do they even mention it at all?
The answer to these questions will illustrate the real state of pride among your employees. Do not send the question in a survey and expect a real answer. Take note of their actions and their choice of words, and you will obtain a pretty accurate image of their state of pride. And if they are not proud, lower your expectations. Employees who lack pride do not inspire customers, act as leaders, take risks, think creatively, or collaborate with others. Employees that are not proud are mainly there to survive and pay the bills until either they win the lottery or a better offer comes around.
Often, you hire proud employees, but in the process of working for you and engaging with other employees, they become less and less proud until they lose that pride altogether. No matter how they lost their pride, the impact is the same: lower productivity, reduced customer commitment, lesser results.
It is no longer a choice whether to pursue pride or not. So that they may be ready for the future, companies need to nurture their employees’ sense of pride as an essential element in everything they do.
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