Maintaining a strong technical professional team requires more than just hiring quality individuals. The real challenge lies in retaining and maximizing their performance. In the article “Building a Better Team – Sense of Purpose” (Gunter, J.G., 2023), the author highlights the significance of the quality “Sense of Purpose” in building a successful team.
To recap, “People with a “sense of purpose” are those who have a clear understanding of their career direction, are enthusiastic about what they do, and want to do their part to help the business succeed. This results in a team member that is committed, intensely interested & engaged, and driven to accomplish their goals, regardless of any difficulties that may emerge.” (Gunter, J.G., 2023).
Even people with a strong “Sense of Purpose” might eventually face diminishing returns and low morale, which can affect both their performance and the performance of the team as a whole. To prevent this, it’s critical to comprehend what drives high-caliber team members and, in turn, the team as a whole.
Employee morale is rooted in basic human needs and their fulfillment which, in turn, translates into what workers seek in a work environment in order to satisfy their higher needs (Bateman & Snell, 2001). Abraham Maslow, as is well known, developed the idea of “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” which outlines the basic human needs in a pyramidal framework, starting with physiological needs as the foundation. The higher-level needs are then built on top of these basic needs and must be satisfied successively.
Although the theories of human developmental psychology are not intended to be exhaustively covered in this article, “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” does provide some context for understanding what technical professionals seek in their work. Simply offering a good salary and a positive work environment is insufficient for long-term fulfillment. It’s critical for the business to identify and address the higher-level needs of its technical professionals once lower-level needs have been satisfied. These higher-level needs will be discussed in more detail.
What Workers Seek
The wants and needs of technical professional personnel where it concerns the work involved coupled with the impact of low morale can come in the form of (Gunter, J.G., 2012):
- Recognition for one’s work – positive feedback after having performed well cannot be overestimated; it is critical to a technical professional.
- Eliminating perceived lines of authority and working in a more integrated fashion – a more cross-functional organizational work environment which encourages a type of intellectual cross-pollination combined with distributed decision-making toward a common goal or objective.
- Greater empowerment and responsibility – the freedom to make determinations and decisions towards the final goal of the project, thus, allowing more creative solutions to be possible.
- Preeminence of the work or task itself – a result of a technical professional placing greater value in the profession and resulting work rather than simply to the organization which, incidentally, translates into higher standards for the organization.
- Belief that one’s work is critical and of great value and significance to those involved and the organization to which they belong. (Barnard, 1997; Katz, 2005)
The negative impact of low morale to the technical professionals when the above wants and needs are not met can be significant to the organization in the form of lower quality, lower production, and a long-term reduction in competitive advantage through loss of intellectual capital (Gunter, J.G. (2012).
Creating a team with members that have a strong “Sense of Purpose” is essential, however it must be combined with a program and organization that internalizes and actively supports the aforementioned workplace virtues.
If you are looking to build a better technical professional team in operations, Penon Partners can help you. Let’s get together and discuss!
Written by Greg Gunter, email@example.com , IT Operations Practice Leader.
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