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Employees or Volunteers

By Aditya Kuchibhotla
Life Coach coach

22 December 2020

Leadership Coach

Whenever we go to a religious place or a spiritual center or a social service organization, we do come across a lot of volunteers who manage all the activities. What always amazed me was the fact that these volunteers are not only sincere, diligent, and dedicated but also go out of their way to serve.

Let's take a moment and compare them with employees or any commercial organization. You'll see that such sincerity and dedication is found in fewer people compared to the above category of organizations. The only other institution where you get to see such high levels of in-depth dedication and commitment is the Armed Forces.

Compared to those in the Armed Forces, the employees of these large commercial organizations draw better salaries, showered with a wide range of perks, and even get to work in luxurious workspaces. The volunteers, as the name suggests, don't get paid at all.

For the purposes of this discussion, I'll include the employees of the Armed Forces in the category of volunteers as a majority of those who join the forces don't join for money alone.

I don't mean to say that all the employees of commercial organizations lack dedication and sincerity but what I'm saying is that the depth of these traits is less when compared with the voluntary organizations.

Is there a trick that the commercial organizations are missing which the voluntary organizations are able to crack?

So, what should these commercial organizations do so that they can also cultivate such levels of dedication and sincerity?

  1. Purpose (including values): If we take a close look at the volunteers, they very clearly know the purpose of the organization which they're serving. And they're completely aligned with that purpose. However, some employees of commercial organizations don't even know the purpose of their organization. Amongst those who are aware of it, most of them are not aligned with it. So, a commercial organization should - set a clear purpose that is simple yet complete, ensure that they publish it for all their employees, vendors, clients, and other partners to know it and finally, they should keep reiterating it in all their programs and events (internal as well as external). This will ensure that everybody is clear about the purpose of the organization and is aligned with it.
  2. Trust: If you look at the Armed Forces, each individual trusts their mates with their lives. Commercial organizations should strive to build such trust in their employees. The leaders should be transparent, objective, and stand by their teams at all times. Teams should be able to express themselves without any fear.
  3. Engagement: Employee Engagement should not be the name of a department or an event or an initiative. Ensuring that the employees motivated and engaged should be part of every manager's responsibility and should be measured from time to time.
  4. Emotional Intelligence: All organizations should invest in building Emotional Intelligence across their organization.
  5. Onboarding: Employees, Consultants, Vendors, and Clients are broad categories of the partners that an organization deals with. It's important to ensure that due care is taken while onboarding them. While due processes are followed for onboarding consultants, vendors, and clients, tools like "Value-Based Interview" are used for employees.

These steps will go a long way in helping the organizations to ensure that their employees are aligned with them.

What is your recommendation?

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