Managerial and employee attitudes in the workplace largely determine the success or failure of a company. Negativity can spread quickly in the form of tension and low employee morale, while consistent positivity can foster creativity and boost productivity. Managers can encourage growth and results from their team by realizing that their attitude directly influences that of their employees and, in turn, the company's culture.
The Facts About Attitude
In a January 2012 interview with Forbes magazine, Mark Murphy, the author of "Hiring for Attitude," cites his study of 20,000 new hires, in which 46 percent of them failed at their job within 18 months. Of those who failed, only 11 percent failed due to skill, and a whopping 89 percent failed due to attitude. According to Murphy, an employee's attitude is more important than hard skills or training when determining success in an organization. Among the reasons were a lack of motivation and the lack of desire to be coached, traits that often separate employees with an ownership mentality and those with a worker mentality.
Managers vs. Employees
An employee's attitude influences his role in an organization. Employees with a managerial mindset tend to have a more collaborative approach and are more motivated. They are highly invested in the company's vision and take ownership of their team's projects, positively influencing the company's output and overall culture. They are prepared to coach their employees and develop their strengths. Individuals with the worker attitude, on the other hand, tend to need a bit more guidance and don't necessarily embrace the responsibility or leadership requirements of a manager. Often, they have no desire to do anything more than necessary to get their paycheck, are less engaged and are not as interested in the overall goals of the organization.
Because managers impact the overall culture of an organization, they have the responsibility of setting the tone and enhancing the attitude of the workers under their supervision. Managers must evaluate those around them, deal with difficult employees in a prompt manner and cultivate the talents their team members. It's important for managers to understand that not all of their employees want to, or are able to, give the extra effort that they do, but use the workers' strengths to benefit the team as a whole. By cultivating an attitude of ownership and personal responsibility, managers can create a more productive environment in the company.
Maintaining Morale and Engagement
Maintaining an attitude of engagement is key to eliminating the less productive aspects of the employee mentality. Managers must remain receptive of the crew's challenges and provide incentives that promote motivation and camaraderie. They must exude the positive energy that is expected to make the entire team successful and keep morale high. Although not every employee is willing to put in extra hours or be the star of the team, workers who are happier and more successful tend to take more ownership and be more motivated and productive.
- Forbes.com: Hire For Attitude
- Human Nature@Work: More Evidence That Managers Make the Critical Difference
- Westminster College: Motivation and Productivity in the Workplace
- The VisionLink Advisory Group: How Do I Get My Employees Focused on What’s Most Important to My Company’s Growth
- Inc. The Employee Mentality
- Gallup Business Journal: The High Cost of Disengaged Employees
Lindsey Day graduated from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. She has worked in marketing and finance for Universal Music Group and founded Made Woman Magazine, an online magazine for female professionals.