Sustain Organizational Energy

A June article from authors Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel provides ways to boost your organization’s talent energy. Your employees experience the highs and lows of energy within your organization. That energy can be fuel to make the company work and can be they key to employee effectiveness. Did you know that this energy is not only measurable but manageable as well?

Leaders must understand and/or assess organizational energy in order to influence it. Leaders should also boost and sustain this energy to efficiently execute business goals. How? Talent managers must step up to the plate to provide support for leaders.

Organizational energy reflects the extent to which an organization has propelled its behavioral, cognitive, and emotional potential to pursue shared goals.  Talent leaders must understand three keys or organizational energy:

1. Organizational energy is collective: It comprises a company’s activated human potential.

2. There are three components: Organizational energy comprises the activated emotional, cognitive, and behavioral potential.

3. Energy is malleable: Organizational energy reflects the current state of energy activation in a company, and it’s fluid, not stable.

Organizational energy presents itself in two dimensions: Intensity and quality. Intensity reflects the degree to which a company has activated its potential and quality describes the extent of which human forces are or aren’t aligned with company goals.

The combination of these two dimensions results in four different energy states. Most companies experience all four simultaneously –

1. Productive energy

2. Comfortable energy

3. Resigned inertia

4. Corrosive energy

A company’s energy state is measurable. Talent leaders can help analyze energy levels across the four energy states. One assessment tool is the organizational energy questionnaire (OEQ), it’s a standardized survey instrument to measure and analyze companies’ energy profiles for business units, departments, or teams. This can be administered as a periodic employee survey, an organizational energy pulse-check and an instant energy check in workshops with managerial teams. These sorts of activities let talent leaders tackle issues based on energy profiles and identify and nurture leadership talent based on actual data.

When organizations are in a state of languish, comfortable energy or experiencing high inertia, talent managers need to help their leaders activate human forces. Two strategies are known to help these states: the Slaying the Dragon strategy and the Winning the Princess strategy. Click here to read more.

Companies experiencing the corrosion trap are dealing with employee energy being invested in negative forces like anger, fury, and destructive in-fighting. Corrosive energy is infectious and quickly eats away at human potential. There are three tasks talent leaders must address to hinder the capabilities of corrosive energy:

1. Detect corrosive forces: Organizations need to accept corrosion, deal with it head-on, and assess negative energy early.

2. Clean up corrosive energy: Destructive energy cannot be transferred directly into productive energy.

3. Re-charge the organization with a strong identity: Only when corrosion calms down can executives think about charging up and re-igniting the organization by developing a strong identity and purpose.

Escaping the acceleration trap is also another issue. In very energetic companies, leaders often start too may projects or activities at once. Hence, they don’t devote enough time to individual activities and end up overwhelming employees. This often results in a burnout, resignation or fatigue for the entire organization. People are often more willing to be stretched to their limits if they know it’s only for a certain amount of time. There has to be an ebb and flow of energy, it must be in cycles or your workforce will burnout quickly.

Ultimately, sustaining energy is the final challenge and goal. Sustaining energy refers to leadership and talent activities that help organizations sustain high levels of activity, alertness, and emotional involvement. Talent managers must support their efforts to develop and align three components of a vitalizing management system:

1. Strategy: Talent leaders can help systematically identify weak signals in the market by involving  numerous employees in the strategy process.

2. Leadership: Talent leaders help to establish strong leadership capability among managers at all levels for an energizing leadership climate.

3. Culture: To create a vitalizing culture, talent leaders have to identify specific vitalizing values relevant for the organization’s context and purpose, and become the guardians of culture development.

Each member of your organization is a key source of productive energy. Each in turn establishes a sense of urgency for the entire organization, and this will sustain energy for long-term top performance. To read the full article, click here.



Post a comment