Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13

What are the origins of entitlement in the workplace? Ballou : Leaders don’t fully grasp how to empower staff, volunteers, and boards to function at the highest level without catering to their entitlement mentality. If teams think like entrepreneurs, with a focus on results rather than time worked, there could be a massive paradigm shift from activity to results, from scarcity thinking to abundance mindset, and from serving self to serving others. Fulfillment doesn’t really come from salary or personal entitlement. It comes from accomplishing the mission and purpose of the organization.The culture represents the brand, and the brand is focused on making a difference in people’s lives. It’s ROL: Return on Life! The leader’s job is to inspire, to influence, and basically to lead. Leading with purpose influences others to do the same. How does this create unclear expectations? Ballou : Leaders set up problems by catering to what they think people want. Research shows that money ranks 7th in reasons people stay in a job. There are so many other reasons that are overlooked, especially in the nonprofit world. We do, however, have a responsibility to pay a reasonable wage so that people are not struggling to pay their bills. We also don’t invest in the skills of people in the culture, for paid staff, board, or volunteers. The annual budget should consist of training money to provide continuing education, allowing everyone in the organization to expand their skills, improve their performance, and improve their satisfaction.This changes the focus from self to service. From the beginning of the relationship, the leader must create meaningful dialogue about salary and benefits, as well as performance expectations for both the employee and the leader. Benefits are earned, and not due on demand as entitlement. In order to attract and retain good people, benefits must be competitive. It’s a result of performance defined in the position description and measured on an ongoing basis. Benefits are a result of clearly defined expectations that are consistently met. Trading money for hours is no longer acceptable and must be addressed from the onset of the relationship. What drives this? Ballou : The brand of the organization is held or broken by everyone in the organization. The culture is defined by the guiding principles of the organization, created by the leader and expanded by the board.The leader has a set of personal principles. The organizational principles drive good decisions and define the culture that represents the brand of the organization. David Corbin, in his article in this issue and in his Nonprofit Exchange podcast, calls this lack of compliance Brand Slaughter.We have seen this happen with some airlines and other large companies. People in the culture act in ways that damage the organization’s brand image and brand promise. Their focus is on self, and not on the overall results.They confuse rights with entitlement and don’t understand their responsibility within the organization. The culture is a reflection of the leader.

Magee : Organizations globally today are pressed with multiple challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities; among them are ways one creates an environment and culture to attract and retain the best talent possible, within the abilities of the organization, and go beyond survive to thrive. In the beginning, employment was simply an individual providing mental or physical talent (labor) in exchange for compensation, and that individual then assumed the responsibility of taking care of themselves and those they chose to bring into their fold. In an attempt to compete for limited true talent/labor, an organization (employer) would pull from their earnings and add a valuable benefit offering to valued individuals who chose to join their organization.This holds true today. Magee : As more organizations competed for talent/labor, many started offering similar benefits, which in turn created an expectation in the marketplace that all organizations provide these benefits as an accepted piece of the compensation package. As this became commonplace, people failed to realize that there is a tremendous financial responsibility for an organization/ employer to provide these, and to do so universally to all talent/ labor on a regular basis. In recent decades, as more individuals entered the workplace with a gross misunderstanding of the difference between revenue and profits, and what it actually takes to generate a revenue stream in the capitalist system, people have developed expectations that they are entitled to not just a fair compensation for their exchange of mental or physical talent/labor, but that they are also supposed to receive a laundry list of other compensations, not recognizing that these are really benefits and that they are not actually entitled to any of them. The late great Margaret Thatcher once said, “…the problem with Socialism is that eventually you will run out of everyone else’s money!” Magee : Personal and professional ethics are the driver to this dilemma we face globally today. We actually have a generation of individuals that was raised in a very blessed environment and do not realize this: people who have never actually experienced a callus on their hands from physical talent or labor, and do not understand what it means to have no money in their bank account and no one to enable them. We have institutions that dictate and legislate how organizations and associations must provide for their talent and labor, yet are not engaged in multiple generations’ revenue streams in that business. We have people who, interestingly, fight for people’s rights but, in many instances, what they are advocating for is not rights but entitlements as rights.

SynerVision Leadership .org I 43

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter