‘To make any kind of change, one has to have the will and determination to do it’ (Byron Pulsifer). This is true for every aspect of life. If you want to forge a successful relationship you have to be dedicated to it. You want to get fit, you must have the fortitude to go on that run. If you want that masters’ degree, your level of dedication will mean the difference between a pass and fail. The same applies in work, and when creating a dedicated workforce.
Dedication, however, can be hard to stimulate. Especially if the working environment is not conducive. In fact, there are many factors which may impede the level of dedication an employee gives towards any given subject. Even with a supportive team behind them, it takes ‘an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort’ (Jesse Owens) to make any desired goal a reality.
But before we analyse how dedication can be stimulated or restricted within the workplace, we must first question…
What exactly does it mean to be dedicated?
While an employee may have a strong work ethic, this is not the same as being dedicated. Dedication is the combination of a high work ethic and an infectious passion. You may work hard and well. But dedication is when your brain hurts and your feet ache, but you continue because you feel emotionally invested. It is this sense of devotion and loyalty that fuels a person’s enthusiasm to work. Motivation and dedication differ in that those who are dedicated will often work past the call of duty. They will stop only when the work is done, regardless of how long it takes and how much time is invested.
A dedicated person is more often than not punctual, as they believe that they are investing their time wisely. They show initiative and are flexible when it comes to making changes for the better.
You may be thinking to yourself that such character’s sound more like workaholics. What differs between the two, however, is that dedicated workers genuinely enjoy their work. Workaholics tend to:
Work more in order to keep up with their fellow employees.
Are micromanaged so feel pressured to work more.
Are at risk of losing their job, so do extra time/work in a bid to save themselves from dismissal.
In contrast to the dedicated employee, a workaholics lifestyle is pretty crippling. Burning the candle at both ends for a job you are uncommitted to will only create exhausted, unhappy, cynical and inefficient staff. It can be both physically and mentally debilitating and will, eventually, end with either a resignation, dismissal or an exceedingly unhappy life.
The benefits of having a dedicated workforce, however, are endless. Not only do dedicated workers get the work done, but often get it done to a high level and at a reasonable rate. These employees also
-Do more than is expected of them.
-Work well with other members of staff.
-Have good communication skills.
-Are good at working both on their own and within a team.
-Can empathise with others.
-Fit into the culture of the organisation well.
– Like to challenge themselves.
– Encourage others around them to challenge themselves also.
– They love what they do and can deal with any pressures that may face them.
Not only are these appealing qualities to any employer, but the dedicated employee is more likely to progress at a reasonable rate.
However, even if you do create a workforce that is completely dedicated to their work, there are other impacts that may stifle their development. One common issue is that they may struggle within the working environment or not fit into the culture. And, as we know from our previous article on workplace culture, and this article on belonging, a good working environment can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful business.
Some believe that problems surrounding the working environment stem from generational issues. That the younger generations work ethic/attitude towards dedication differs to that of older generations. This can cause conflict. (read more about this here).
Some are firm (maybe even stubborn) in their ingrained beliefs. In an article presented by Entrepreneur, older workers are described as more
-take more pride in their work
-are more organised
They even go as far as to state that ‘Younger workers want to put in their time at work and leave, while older employees are more willing to stay later to get the job done because of their sense of pride in the final product’.
Generalisations are never a good thing, especially in the data world.
But what we must question, however, is not ‘which generation works best’. But how can differing generations, with their varying viewpoints, work cohesively within a given organisation.
You see, for the first time, in a long time, the office is abundant with a range of employees, including:
‘Gen Z’, (1995+)
‘Generation X’ (1965-1976)
‘Baby Boomers’ (1946-1964)
And on occasion the ‘Silents’ (born before 1945)
All have very different working ethics, styles and techniques. Much has been researched on how differing generations interact with one another and the effects this has.
What matters, regardless of age, is that a good working environment is key to creating a dedicated workforce. This is where we can help.
At Pansensic, we use qualitative data analysis to examine aspects such as autonomy, job security, waste and resource, innovation, communication, targets and metrics, bullying and discrimination, staff engagement and listening, environment and future, personal development and more.
But it doesn’t stop there. We can identify the level of dedication within your organisation and identify why dedication is lacking so that you can improve.