Create a durable, giving culture

Take a lesson from the NBA: a recent study shows that team players add 60 percent more value than selfish ball hogs (or, in organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s terms, takers).

At work, generous colleagues, or givers, not only have an outsize impact on their own teams’ effectiveness but also help their organizations perform better on virtually every metric, from profits and costs to satisfaction and retention of both employees and customers. But does generosity at work come at a cost? Grant’s research shows that givers represent an organization’s best and worst performers—a sign that those who are overly generous, those who consistently go the extra mile, may be experiencing burnout. But the answer isn’t to give in to a culture of takers. Rather, leaders should do the opposite, weeding out takers and creating an equilibrium between givers and “matchers”—those who tend to subscribe to quid pro quo thinking. How can leaders find the right balance? First, lead by example, playing the role of “chief help seeker” so others feel comfortable asking for the help they need. Next, encourage givers to set boundaries and find small ways to make an impact, including five-minute favors or more efficient ways to share knowledge and resources. Want to find out where you fall on the giver–taker spectrum?

Source: McKinsey.com, December 6 , 2021
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