Xbox Hack#160125: Meet Individual Needs. Exceed Organizational Expectations.

Xbox Hack#160125:

“Creating a work environment that meets the individual needs of your team members creates outcomes that will exceed your organization’s expectations.”

I tell the participants in my facilitated conversation: “From the Xbox to the Box Alarm” that if they remember nothing else about our discussion, remember that ‘The greatest expectation of this XboxTM generation is: to be given clear expectations.’ That starts with “‘Because I told you so!’ doesn’t work anymore; and includes giving them clear direction in your application and on-boarding process; in your job descriptions, and in training, education and career pathways.

To most folks, the ‘I-Generation’ tag means ‘What’s in it for me?’ My definition is that ‘I’ stands for the fact that they are truly individuals. Therefore, pigeon-holing them into a stereotype becomes more difficult, and broad-brush one-size-fits-all solutions, incentives and motivators just don’t work.

The analogy I share in my Xbox Live conversation is: “If Harry is a ‘hat guy’, Tammy likes t-shirts and Jack likes jackets – does it make sense that they all get t-shirts?” No!

Now certainly I’m no advocate of giving Harry, Tammy and Jack each a t-shirt, a jacket and a hat just for playing along. As individuals, each of them have to earn whichever incentive or reward best meets their personal needs or wants. Thus it’s our challenge to create more of an à la carte menu of comparable incentives and rewards, both tangible and intangible, as appropriate to the benchmark achieved.

In reality they’re much more like us than we care to admit. We want clear expectations and want to know the benchmarks we have to achieve for meeting those expectations. They want that too.

IMG_2672What makes them somewhat different is that they want to see a third column next to expectations and benchmarks on the chart: benefits. They ask, ‘What is the benefit to me for meeting your expectation and achieving the benchmark you set for me?’ But we tend to get caught up in thinking that these benefits have to all be tangible instead of focusing on whether our benefits are appropriate and meaningful to the individual. And, wanting benefits doesn’t make them bad people; in fact, one could argue that it makes them smarter people than we are.

Historically, my M.O. for meeting expectations and achieving the benchmarks that others set for me is to answer with: ‘Yes sir, may I have another?’ I’m keenly aware of my personality type and thrive on additional responsibility as my reward for a job well done, sometimes to a fault.

Through my observational research in firehouses around the country I’ve come to learn that not everyone is like me, and more importantly, nor do they need to be – especially this generation!

But one organizational leadership tenant crosses all generations:

“The organization that focuses only on whether its members are meeting the needs of the organization and fails to focus on whether or not the organization is meeting the needs of its individuals “ is destined for failure, irrelevance, obsolescence and even extinction.”

It’s a simple relationship but one that requires frequent monitoring and maintenance:

  • Give them clear expectations.
  • Reinforce early and often.
  • Meet their needs.
  • Exceed your expectations.

Stay safe. Train often.

Train your replacement!

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[Editor’s Note: I don’t discriminate: I like hats, t-shirts and jackets – size large on all three, in case you were wondering! Send me an email if  you need my shipping address. lol]

[Editor’s Other Note: Xbox and Xbox Live are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.]