Prism.jpgEmployees on all levels need to understand how important their individual work is to the organization as a whole.

Employee engagement with #prismphilosophy (  helps employees see the big picture and how their jobs fit into the larger process; when employees see their work more holistically, they make the managers’ jobs easier. Providing employees with more information as it relates to their roles helps them do a better job. An employee who realizes how his or her work affects a coworker’s job can save that coworker time and effort, and will ultimately improve the work process as well as the product or service. For example, when employees are thinking about the big picture, they can see ways to improve functions such as labeling, speed, delivery, accuracy, consistency, communication, and maintenance.

Rather than taking a traditional organizational approach to work by creating specific jobs, each with their own purpose and function, it is possible to create a workplace in which jobs are part of a work-group process. In this model, there is constant interaction and shared communication among members of the team. Such a collaborative design changes the way employees interact and communicate with one another. When using a work-cell concept, the responsibilities and functions of each worker are not distinguished but are instead shared by employees in the work cell. Specific jobs may be rotated, or responsibilities may be shared in some other way. In addition to being an efficient job design, work cells give employees an appreciation of what others do and allow them to learn new skills and make their work more interesting and challenging. They learn how each job affects the performance of other jobs because they have performed these roles. Managers can use many variations of the work-cell concept, from full integration of multiple jobs to simply connecting them in some way, through physical proximity of workers (open office design) or a change in reporting relationships.

Every job function has a customer, and sometimes that is an internal customer-or employee who receives a work product to perform his or her job. It is crucial for every employee to understand the requirements of his or her internal customers and meet these requirements. In this regard, each employee’s performance can determine how successful an organization will be. Discretionary performance is the extra effort that employees put into their jobs to ensure they are doing everything they can to meet or exceed the requirements of their tasks and ultimately the internal customer. This performance has a significant effect on a supervisor’s or manager’s area of responsibility. When employees feel alienated, unappreciated, or “left out of the loop,” their discretionary performance goes down. It is within the manager’s power to change or influence this behavior through engaged leadership.


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