There is a prominent physical therapy provider in the region where I live. When the founders created this very successful company, they called it Strive Physical Therapy. Knowing the company and its origins quite well, I can attest to the fact that the owners of the company have always tried to strive for excellence, and at the same time, every day, they encourage all of their patients to strive and work hard for a full recovery. But I also know that they encourage all of their therapists and support staff to strive for excellence, as well, both clinically and from a customer service approach. So, obviously, the name was well chosen and fits well.
Every organization needs to set goals for its employees. Total perfection in a job is realistically not possible. However, striving for excellence is certainly in the realm of possibility and quite achievable. Striving for excellence begins with a firm understanding of the job. Every position needs to be clearly defined and the current job holder(s) needs to not only understand the stated expectations of the job, but more importantly, embrace the concept behind the job and its expectations. Once the job is clearly defined and understood, the next step is for the company or organization to strongly support the employee in carrying out the responsibilities of the position, giving the employee the necessary training, updates, tools and technology, and encouragement. There is a concept first introduced in the early 1980’s by sociologist Morris Rosenberg, called mattering. Mattering teaches us that each of us needs to feel we matter to others – to our family of origin, to our spouse, to our children, and to our bosses. Once an employee has embraced the position and mastered its responsibilities, the employee needs to feel that the work he or she does, matters. The employee needs to believe that their contribution matters to the company, to its customers, and to their managers.
Without question, the greatest gift a manager can give to an employee is to let them know every day how much their contribution matters. This can be expressed by a word of encouragement, a simple thank you, by public acknowledgement in front of peers, and/or with incentives and rewards. By focusing on the good that a staff member does, the manager is encouraging that individual to strive to achieve greater accomplishments and productivity with their specific job in the overall organization. And managers need to remember that when the staff is happy, the work gets done and it gets done with a positive attitude which typically translates to higher productivity, more sincere customer service, and a greater return on the company’s investment in the employee.
Today, managers should strive to be encouraging and caring bosses, and employees should strive to be the best they can at the job they have been given. Striving together is a smart way to approach the business of the organization.