Magazine article New Zealand Management

Consultation : Gaining Commitment Is Critical

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Consultation : Gaining Commitment Is Critical

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Gaunt

I have just been to a talk by a leading international management consultant who said that gaining "commitment" was a critical function of management in today's world. Is this true?

Yes I think it is true. If you just go to work to earn money then you're not really gaining full satisfaction for yourself as a human being and your employer is not getting the best value for money.

Commitment happens when you feel you have ownership over what you are doing and can make choices.

Just imagine if you owned your own business. I am sure you would put extra effort in just because it was yours and you would feel good about it even when times were challenging. When we work for other people we don't necessarily get this feeling and can feel disconnected and restricted to some extent. So commitment is important.

In today's world there is an escalating shortage of talent due to growing retirement levels and people working overseas. We need to turn our organisations into places where people want to work gladly and enthusiastically so that we attract and retain them. People will want to come and stay if they feel it is worthwhile and interesting being there, and this is "commitment".

How do we achieve it? A significant element is to enable people to make their own decisions which results in the all important sense of ownership. This involves managers learning to delegate effectively and share power. It also involves making sure people are able to get hold of first-class information on how they are doing (personally), and how we are doing (that is the team and the organisation).

This requirement places a skills demand on managers who need to develop high-level coaching and communication skills to achieve this effectively.

These skills are not necessarily learnt from traditional management graduate programmes and neither do they always come naturally.

In a way management has moved into a similar area as parenthood. That is, when people become parents they often comment that they have never been taught how to hand le this situation. This is now similar for management where the more traditional management training is not necessarily preparing people for the growing needs of power sharing and building commitment in our people. …

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