February 25, 2017

Why Momentum Matters

“If you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards.”

Leaders of most businesses and organizations are well aware that moving forward is essential for continued success. “Staying the same” is seldom an option. The ever-changing environment within which businesses and organizations operate demands constantly being prepared to change, adapt and innovate- what works well in the present time can erode quickly due to rapidly changing circumstances and developments. While most businesses and organizations are aware of the immediate, obvious, bottom-line impact from leaning forward there are also some not so obvious positive benefits from maintaining positive momentum, including:   

A motivating work environment. There is an energy and a positive vibration in businesses and organizations where new ideas and approaches are not only welcomed, but encouraged nurtured, and rewarded. Failure to do so can rather quickly lead to a stagnant workplace where work becomes routine, uninspiring, and “just a job.” Take time to assess the culture in your workplace. Is there a consistent “what’s next” in the mix?

Employee satisfaction and retention. Most people work between one-fourth to one-third of their lives and the quality of their work experience contributes significantly to their feeling of self-worth and significance. Workers of all ages, and especially millennials, value a career that is challenging and engaging.  Providing employees opportunities to contribute beyond their day-to-day responsibilities adds greatly to job satisfaction. Being a member of a team effort to continuously improve, innovate, and explore new possibilities is invigorating and results in a shared feeling of accomplishment.

Attracting talented new employees. Businesses and organizations don’t succeed without quality employees. The best people are looking to work for progressive companies and organizations that are never satisfied with “good enough” and are always looking for the next best thing. Bottom line- talented people want job settings where they can utilize their abilities. Millennials are currently the largest demographic in the workplace and they are attracted to work that is interesting, challenging, on the cutting edge, and full of new opportunities. Ask yourself: if you were a talented person looking to make your mark how attractive is your workplace culture?

A “cutting edge” reputation. Being in the forefront of new developments in any field matters. For a business “being the first” means being most attractive to current and prospective customers. For organizations, including non-profits, being on the forefront commands respect from peers and attracts the attention of funding agencies. Additionally, being a progressive company or organization is a source of pride for employees- a pride they share with friends and associates.

Conclusion. There are many advantages in maintaining positive momentum in companies and organizations. How to do it? Make innovation and new ideas a part of your culture by consistently involving all employees- at staff meetings in formal and informal conversations, at retreats, and by continuously asking questions like “how can we do this better?” “What is the next big idea for us?” Eventually, leaning forward becomes an ingrained value- “the way we do things around here.”