- 9 August 2022
- Posted by: ante
- Category: Workplace
I am frequently asked about how to tackle an under-productive workplace. Employees tick the boxes and tasks are completed, yet motivation and use of initiative are low. Applying tried and tested business psychology methods can transform a group of individuals doing what is outlined in their job description, into an innovative and driven team.
One of the simplest leadership tools is The Grow Model. This four-step framework has been widely credited with unlocking workforce productivity and potential, so let’s explore what is involved.
What Defines a Productive Workplace?
A productive workplace is one where all tasks are successfully undertaken in the least amount of time, whilst maintaining quality standards and employee well-being. It is dependent on each individual being confident in the skills they have and empowered to use them.
The Grow Model for Business
The Grow Model was developed by business coaches, Sir John Whitmore, Graham Alexander and Alan Fine. It empowers individuals or teams to draw on their skills, experience and resources to set and action goals. The leadership role is to provide facilitation rather than instruction.
The concept is that performance management can be enhanced when leaders engage employees in the challenge and keep them motivated to see it through. The process builds confidence, trust in their skills and the skills of others, along with satisfaction with the outcome.
It also requires strong communication and collaboration, so trust is a key player. The employees need to trust that ideas and actions will be recognised, actively encouraged and supported. Leaders need to trust that their team has the skills to make things happen. If mutual trust is currently lacking, it can be advisable to engage a business psychologist to help introduce new concepts and kickstart the process.
What are the Four Steps of The Grow Model?
The Grow Model comprises four steps – G, R, O & W.
G – Goal – what do you want to achieve?
As a company, you may be working towards specific goals, such as net zero, 100% British, increased market share or a 5-star customer service rating. No matter what your goal is, employee buy-in is required. However, if staff are simply told this is the company goal, with little or no involvement, change is unlikely.
Sharing this goal with the team and asking for their ideas on how it could be achieved is a different tactic. Giving them the freedom to make suggestions, share insight and draw on experience can be the starting point of something more collaborative. What changes do they think would make a difference? What benefits could they gain from the company achieving this goal?
Goals and aspirations can also be a vital part of individual appraisals. What does that member of the team want to achieve both in work and their personal lives? How can you support them to make t happen?
R- Reality – where are you now?
To be able to work towards our goals, we need to understand the current situation. Are you starting from scratch or has progress been made towards the goal?
Reality includes identifying internal and external barriers. With limitless time, finances, self-belief and motivation almost anything is possible, however, there are practicalities which limit resources, so what are these?
O – Opportunities – what could you do?
With realities in mind, what skills, strengths and resources could be drawn on to make steps towards the goal? Leaders should encourage an open flow of ideas, so, initially, anything goes. Some ideas may sound outlandish, but they can spark other suggestions and may be the root of innovation. The trick is not settling on the first idea, but to keep asking what else could you do?
Where gaps or barriers are identified, are there ways to overcome these or alternative paths that could be followed?
W – Will – What actions will the individual undertake and by when?
Management should avoid stepping in and dictating what they deem the best course of action. If you want to develop commitment and productivity, it can’t be micro-managed.
The aim is for the team to agree on solutions that interest and excite them. Checking commitment levels will identify if this is the right course of action for the team (if not, return to the previous step).
Individuals need to work out how best to apply their skills and knowledge to the goal and what additional skills or resources are necessary. The greater their autonomy, the stronger the sense of purpose and accountability.
Issues will arise, but this is part of the learning experience and problem-solving skills can be put to the test. Leaders need to recognise the effort contribution and achievement and provide support and guidance, but not take over.
What is Achieved by Applying The Grow Model?
Initially, this approach may not come naturally to the leader or the team. However, each time a milestone is realised, everyone gains confidence in their skills and those of others. Trust in the process and each other grows, as does satisfaction with the outcome. Employees begin to spot possibilities and feel equipped to share suggestions and identify potential solutions, rather than just seeing the problem. The outcome is a more positive and productive workplace.
If it is time to see what your employees can achieve if you involve rather than instruct, my workplace culture workshops can get things off on the right track.
For further information, contact Mindset.