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Attitudinal change for improved productivity


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The training focuses on improving employee attitude at the workplace. It identifies good and bad workplace attitudes, explores how attitudes are formed and/or influenced and proposes measures to personally address your own bad attitude or address that of colleagues at work.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Attitudinal change for improved productivity

  2. 2. OBJECTIVES At the end of this training, you will be able to: • Determine what an attitude is • Identify how attitudes are developedand/or influenced • Identify wrong and right work attitudes • Discover strategies for managing your own attitude and that of others • Name and understand the factors that determine or influence our attitudes • Recognize other factors that help in creating a productive workplace
  3. 3. OUTLINE 1. Attitude defined 2. How are attitudes determined and influenced? 3. Can attitudes be changed? 4. Creating a productive work place
  4. 4. ATTITUDE DEFINED Session 1
  5. 5. ATTITUDE DEFINED Attitude is  A state of mind or feeling with regard to some matter  A mental position with regard to a fact or situation  A feeling or emotion toward a fact or situation  the way we react or respond to people, objects and institutions on issues, facts or state.  an outward expression of our state of mind. Attitude is a mirror of the mind.
  6. 6. ATTITUDE DEFINED Attitudes start from the mind but do not remain there. They manifest as behaviour. We see people’s attitudes in their  Actions and inactions  Work ethics  Body language  Speech  Tone of voice etc. Attitudes start from the mind!
  7. 7. ATTITUDE DEFINED Attitude  Is a virus that can be contagious.  Has identifiable warning signs or symptoms  Has a cure – it can be changed Attitude is everything. It impacts everything we do in life:  Our personal lives  Our mindset and approach to life  Work  Success or failure  Social interactions  The kinds of people we interact with and how we interact
  8. 8. ATTITUDE CAN BE DEFINED AS ONE WORD…LIFE •It makes an incredible difference in your LIFE. • It can be a powerful tool for positive action. • It can be a poison that cripples you. • It dictates whether you’re living life or life’s living you.
  9. 9. THOUGHTS THAT BREED WRONG ATTITUDES 9 I’m just fed up with this job! I hate it Why does Brenda spend so much time with Ama these days? I’m sure they’re talking about meMy boss is so difficult and demanding, he’s a pain to work with. Why was I not copied in the email? There’s something fishy going on Adjoa is just lazy. She can’t finish her reports after the deadline was even extended Its not my fault the new client left! There are so many competitors these days
  10. 10. THOUGHTS THAT BREED RIGHT ATTITUDES 10 This job is tough but I like meeting new clients everyday My boss has high standards and expectations. I need to put in a little more effort. Brenda and Ama seem to like each other a lot, nice friendship there Adjoa must be facing some problems. She wasn’t able to finish her reports even though the deadline was extended I’m sure she forgot to copy me in the email I must apologize to the rest of the team for losing our new client. I did not do proper follow up.
  11. 11. SPOTTING WRONG WORK ATTITUDES Not a team player Does the minimum amount of work or  Pretends to work Offers no solutions to issues Usually late to work Disrespectful to colleagues Insubordinate Usually unhappy and takes it out on others Always negative and pessimistic  Has something bad to say about anything or anybody Usually in a bad mood/Unpleasant Gossip Clock Watcher  Leaves work even before official closing hours
  12. 12. SPOTTING WRONG WORK ATTITUDES Prima donna  Thinks very highly of herself everyone else is below her level Defensive & argumentative  Would never accept that s/he is at fault Work to Rule  Does not put in extra effort in the work or go the extra mile Abrasive  Normally uses very harsh language or tone with colleagues Rude  Uses wrong language Confrontational  Very cantankerous Disruptive  Cannot control his/her temper
  13. 13. CONSEQUENCES OF WRONG WORK ATTITUDES Erosion of team spirit Morale suffers Conflicts Poor quality service Reputation of the organization suffers
  14. 14. CONSEQUENCES OF WRONG WORK ATTITUDES Frustration on the part of others because they have to put up with the bad attitude Communication suffers The virus spreads and productivity suffers
  15. 15. BENEFITS OF RIGHT WORK ATTITUDES FostersTeamwork SolvesProblems Makes For Congenial Atmosphere IncreasesProductivity BreedsLoyalty
  16. 16. THE GOOD NEWS Just like most viruses, attitudes are contagious, they can easily be passed around and others will catch it too. So a good attitude can offset a bad one in a work situation if other colleagues catch the good attitude virus But before we delve into how to change attitudes, let’s first considerhow attitudes are formed
  18. 18. DETERMINE & INFLUENCE EXPLAINED Let’s begin by explaining our two key words Determine means  To cause (something) to occur in a particular way or to have a particularnature.  It connotes the root cause of something So first of all, we want to understand why a person’s attitude is of a certain nature ie. the root cause or the reason why a person is the way s/he is
  19. 19. DETERMINE & INFLUENCE EXPLAINED Influence means  The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something.  In other words, to influence character means to shape it, or have an effect on it.  If something is an influencing factor, it is not the root cause but only has an effect. Factors which influence attitude are therefore not the root cause of a person’s attitude but may affect it. Understanding these 2 terms will help in having clarity on the issues discussed in this session.
  20. 20. HOW ARE ATTITUDES DETERMINED? At the very onset, attitudes are invisible, not only to onlookers but sometimes to the person portraying the attitude as well. Attitudes can therefore be likened to the iceberg because only 10% of the iceberg can be seen.  90% of the iceberg remains below sea level. 20
  21. 21. HOW ARE ATTITUDES DETERMINED? 21 Attitude Above sea level Below sea level
  22. 22. FACTORS THAT DETERMINE OUR ATTITUDE Attitude Education Experiences Environment
  23. 23. ENVIRONMENT 23 • Parental/SiblingsInfluences Home • Peer Pressure School • Supportive Or Critical Bosses/Colleagues Work • Television, Newspapers, Magazines, Movies Media • Traditions& Beliefs Cultural Background • Norms & Values Social Environment ReligiousBackground
  24. 24. EXPERIENCES & EDUCATION Experiences  Our behaviour changes according to our experiences with various people Education  Education broadens our horizon and influences our thinking, actions, behaviours and attitude. 24
  25. 25. Based on these factors, we can either develop a positive attitude or a negative attitude. People with a positive attitude are usually  Optimistic  Confident  Caring  Assertive  Patient  Humble People with a negative attitude are normally  Unhappy  Pessimistic  Unpleasant  Defensive  Argumentative  Confrontational  Disruptive
  26. 26. POSITIVE & NEGATIVE ATTITUDES Benefits of a positive attitude IncreasesConfidence Reducesstress Careersuccess High productivity Improves interpersonal relations Is energizing Effects of a negative attitude Self doubt Poorself esteem Increasesstress Bitterness Resentment PoorHealth
  27. 27. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE OUR ATTITUDES We have just discussed factors that determine or cause people to have either a positive or negative attitude.  These are the root causes of whether we develop a positive or negative attitude generally We will now discuss factors that influence, affect or shape our attitudes.  Sometimesa person may generally have a positive attitude but on a particularday or in a specific instance their attitude may be shaped, influenced or affected by an event, situation, a person etc.  Sometimesstress or a difficult situation can influence our attitude for a short while and equally cause havoc in our workplaces.
  28. 28. Factors that influence attitude
  29. 29. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ATTITUDE A combination of these situations can turn someone with a positive attitude into an unpleasant work colleague on a particular day.  How should we handle such events that cause our attitudes to change?  How do we relate with others when we realize that we are under unusual stress on a particular day which may make us uncooperative and unpleasant to our at work mates?
  30. 30. MANAGING YOUR ATTITUDE Make colleagues aware that you’re having a bad day and apologize in advance for any wrong attitude? Identify your stress relievers and use them… music? ice cream? a good conversation? Explain your circumstances to your colleagues and ask for their help with work for that day. Take the day off? If possible In other words, KNOW YOURSELF!
  31. 31. CAN ATTITUDES BE CHANGED? Session 3
  32. 32. CHANGING ATTITUDES Attitude change takes time, effort, and determination, but it can be done.  It is important not to expect to change a person’s attitudes overnight. Remember that attitudes are formed over a lifetime through an individual’s socialization process which includes his or her formation of values and beliefs during childhood years, and influenced by family, religion, culture and socioeconomic factors. This socialization process affects a person’s attitude toward work as well as their behavior.
  33. 33. CHANGING ATTITUDES Before you seek to change a colleague’s attitude however, you need to change your own
  34. 34. WHAT CAN YOU DO? 1. First and foremost-be honest with yourself 2. Recognize warning signs  negative thoughts, blaming behavior, pessimism 3. Use positive affirmations and think positive thoughts  About your work colleagues, customers, your job, friends etc. 4. Visualize your day before it begins  Determine that you will not give anything or anyone the power to change your positive attitude for that day 5. Clearly determine the goals you want to achieve for the day 6. Put your head in the game and focus.
  35. 35. TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR OWN ATTITUDE Don’t associate with people who have hostile attitudes, you might get infected  Remember attitude is contagious whether good or bad Practice optimism and positive self-talk Dwell on positives Give others the benefit of the doubt Become a problem-solver Choose your battles carefully Use self-control
  36. 36. TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS WORK Manage stress Empathize with colleagues  That way you will not be unnecessarily critical of them Look for creative ways to make the tasks you do at work more interesting.  Try sharing or exchanging tasks with a colleague - monotonous vrs. challenging.  Ask for more responsibilities. Avoid people who discourage you
  37. 37. HOW CAN MANAGEMENT CHANGE ATTITUDES? Employees perception about how the organization is managed also plays a role in determining their attitude to work.  For example, if employeesbelieve that management is not concerned about their welfare, does not treat them fairly etc. they will adopt a nonchalant attitude to work. Some of the possible ways management changes poor work attitudes is by:  Providing information  People are more likely to cooperate when they understand what is going on. So instead of simply giving instructions or orders from management, management should dialogue with employees and get them involved
  38. 38. HOW CAN MANAGEMENT CHANGE ATTITUDES? Use of Fear  Managementuses punitive measures to get people to do the right thing. This method however, needs to be backed by a monitoring system where employeescan be regularly monitored to ensure that they are doing the right thing. Acknowledge concerns  Don’t gloss over complaints. If appropriate, acknowledge employees’ point of view and provide clarification on misunderstandings.
  39. 39. HOW CAN MANAGEMENT CHANGE ATTITUDES? Encourage humor  Humor can diffuse tension and ease stress. But humor should be positive and lighthearted, and should never occur at the expense of others. Suggest privacy, if appropriate  If a major setback or crisis occurs at work for an employee, encourage the person to take a few minutes to be alone. That way, the individual can work through strong emotions and avoid scenes or actions that he or she may later regret. Praise, praise, praise  When successes occur, share them with others and praise those who made them happen. Recognizing achievementsmakes everyone feel good.
  40. 40. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Accept and acknowledge personality differences  When you spend 8 hours a day with people, it is likely that they’re eventually going to do something to offend you.  Small issues will be magnified  Personality differenceslead to varying work styles, which can easily turn into conflict.
  41. 41. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Kill them with kindness  If someone has been rude to you, or said something that might have offended you, try being extra pleasant when chatting rather than being offended and refusing to speak to the person. Your kindness may help them realize and be a little ashamed of their own bad behavior.  Or find at least one thing about that colleague you like and focus on that rather than the traits that annoy you. Find ways to center your conversation on topics that interest you both ie. football, TV programmesetc. and perhaps what you disliked about that person will be lessened.
  42. 42. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Try avoidance tactics  Finding ways to simply avoid the negative colleague is a helpful solution that can possibly solve the problem without an actual confrontation.  While this does not necessarily solve underlying issues or conflicts, it may not matter much if the ‘problem’ is out of sight and out of mind.
  43. 43. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Address the Issue  While avoidance tactics can occasionally work they’re not always successful since they don’t address the underlyingissue.  If your challenge with a colleague is personal in nature rather than related to the work itself, you may need to approach them directly with whatever your issue is. Eg. If they’re cracking inappropriate jokes, tell them that it makes you uncomfortable  By not addressing these personal conflicts when they arise, you simply let them fester inside, and then you end up disliking the person far more than you may have if you had brought it up straightaway.
  44. 44. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE If the challenge with the colleague is because of something that is related to the work rather than personal, it can be a different situation which may require going to your supervisor first. In some instances, though, you still might be able to handle it on a personal level.  If you’re leading a work team and someone isn’t keeping up with the work, you can absolutely handle that on your own.  If your colleague routinely takes personal phone calls when the boss leavesthe office, you can mention that you’ve noticed, and let them know that unless they stop, you’ll be bringing it up to the supervisor.
  45. 45. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Speak to your bosses There are certainly situations that warrant approaching your boss but it should be the last resort. Before you go to your boss, talk to other colleagues you’re friendly with as to their feelings about the offending colleague.  After you tell your boss about the issue, he or she may ask around to see if others have noticed the problem as well. Knowing that your coworkerswill corroborate your story will give you confidence and add some weight to your case.  If you’re the only one who’s noticed the problem, you might consider the possibility that you’ve managed to make a mountain out of a molehill, and that bringing it up with a supervisorwill backfire on you.
  46. 46. HANDLING A COLLEAGUE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE Once you decide to approach a superior about the issue, make sure that you’re talking about it in terms of how it is affecting the business and your performance. Don’t tell a story of emotional wounds.  Make an argument that the person is costing the organization money.
  47. 47. YOUR ATTITUDE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CHOICES YOU MAKE IN LIFE… “Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor E. Frankl
  49. 49. CREATING A PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACE Productivity at the workplace is crucial for any organization since it affects the bottom line.  The more productive employees are the more profitable the organization will be, all things being equal. Attitude, as discussed, plays a key role in enhancing or weakening productivity in the work place. Aside attitude, a number of factors also contribute to ensuring employee productivity.  Let’s discuss a few
  50. 50. TRUST High trust organizations:  Experience ½ the average turnover of industry peers  Have higher productivity and profitability  Have higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty  Constructive strategic alliances Productive relationships are based on trust  often unrecognized and taken for granted It’s a resource that  increases with use  enables coordination without coercion  enables commitments to be undertaken in situations of high risk
  51. 51. TRUST Reasons for low trust in organizations:  Lack of inclusion  Perceptions of vulnerability  No positive attachment to a “boss”  Previous experiences – yours or other peoples
  52. 52. CLEAR GOALS AND FEEDBACK Employees are more motivated if they know what they are expected to achieve.  They need to know what they should be doing as well as their assigned roles.  Without clear or explicit expectations, people tend to find excuses when they fail to achieve targets.  There must be clarity at the onset: define what is expected of everyone, and how people are expected to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities  Short-term goals, in particular, are effective in encouraging employeesto properly manage their speed in doing tasks to meet targets.
  53. 53. CLEAR GOALS AND FEEDBACK It is also important to provide feedback or show that employees are being supervised.  Accomplishments should be acknowledged, while errors or failures in meeting targets should be promptly addressed.
  54. 54. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT Providing opportunities for developing skills or advancing professionally helps employees to learn new skills and improve their productivity on the job. It is not enough that they have mastered the skills needed to efficiently accomplish their current assignments. People need to realize that there are other things they can do, so that they can progress to higher positions.  If employeesare not encouraged to develop professionally, that may become motivation for them to seek a new company.
  55. 55. EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION Effective communication reduces errors and builds confidence. Likewise, a lack of effective communication will frustrate employees and make them feel less important. Communication is a crucial aspect of business operations.  Without an effective system of communication in place, it will be difficult to achieve goals and even function properly. Effective and efficient communication means that employees should know the hierarchy and expertise within the company. They should know who to reach out to regarding their concerns.
  56. 56. MOTIVATION The need for • employee motivation, •the proactive involvement of managers, and • the use of technologies and systems that greatly help employees in doing their work more efficiently.
  57. 57. RESOURCES 1. De Jager, P. (2005). The Consequence of Attitude. 2. ‘Attitude is Everything, Choose a Positive Sales Attitude’ - Cruise Planners Annual Sales Conference (May 17,2007) 3.; Attitude Virus: Curing Negativity in the Workplace, 1/5/07. 4. Triandis, H. (1971). Attitude and Attitude Change. New York: Wiley 5. Dr Tabassum Alvi . Attitude