What are you doing to bring out the best in people for peak performance (Developing Perseverance Blog Post)? While no management guru has found the golden key to unlocking the full panoply of human potential at work, research sheds new light on the possibilities.
As far back as a 2005 Harris poll, 33 percent of 7,718 employees surveyed believed they had reached a dead end in their jobs, and 21 percent were eager to change careers. Only 20 percent felt passionate about their work.
The situation isn't improving. In 2014, 52.3 percent of Americans said they were unhappy at work, according to a report by the Conference Board, the New York-based nonprofit research group.
When so many skilled and motivated people spend decades moving from one job to the next, something is wrong. They clearly have not landed in the right outlets for their talents and strengths. Their brains never light up.
The better the fit, the better the performance. People require clear roles that allow them to succeed, while also providing room to learn, grow and be challenged.
Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author of Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011), synthesizes some of the research into five steps managers can apply to maximize employees’ performance.
Hallowell refers to the five cited essential ingredients as “The Cycle of Excellence,” which works because it exploits the powerful interaction between an individual’s intrinsic capabilities and extrinsic environment. A psychiatrist and ADD expert, he draws on brain science and peak performance research for bringing out the best in people:
1. Select: Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains.
2. Connect: Strengthen interpersonal bonds among team members.
3. Play: Help people unleash their imaginations at work.
4. Grapple and Grow: When the pressure’s on, enable employees to achieve mastery of their work.
5. Shine: Use the right rewards to promote loyalty and stoke your people’s desire to excel.
The whole idea reminds me of Jeramiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
God designed us to proper in out work and as leaders we have a responsibility to seek to understand those that we lead and make sure they are in the right spot – inspired – growing and effective.
“Neither the individual nor the job holds the magic,” Hallowell writes. “But the right person doing the right job creates the magical interaction that leads to peak performance.”
I’m curious: what do you do with your team to encourage peak performance? I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn