At Legitimate Leadership we believe that leaders who are in the relationship with their people to “give” to them rather than to “get” results out of them have seven possible “gives” at any point in time. These seven are: Care, Means, Ability, Censure, Discipline, Praise and Reward.
When leaders are getting the Reward “give” right, their direct reports would “strongly agree” or “agree” to the following two statements (when responding in a Legitimate Leadership leadership survey):
Leadership Leadership has agonised on how to word the first statement simply because we have found in practice that people are very reluctant to agree that they are happy with what they are being paid.
One respondent who did “strongly agree” with the first statement nevertheless felt obliged to add a qualifying comment that “I am not currently unhappy with my pay”. The implication, I think, was that he could find himself back in the unhappy box very soon!
At the start of one Legitimate Leadership intervention the average score for the leaders being surveyed on the first statement on a scale of +10 (all respondents strongly agree) to -10 (all respondents strongly disagree) was not at all poor at 2.9 – though it indicated scope for improvement. Six months later, in a repeat leadership survey, the score on this item had risen to 4.3. Given that any change in score of 0.5 or more in a repeat leadership survey is noteworthy, this positive gain of 1.4 was significant.
But this was when things got interesting. I asked the executive team what positive changes had been made to employee remuneration. They said nothing had changed.
So, what accounted for the significant improvement in sentiment about pay? The answer, I think, lay in the gains in the other six possible leadership “gives”. While scores on Censure (4.1 – 4.0), Discipline (6.9 – 7.1) and Praise (7.0 – 7.3) remained little changed, scores on Care (6.7 – 7.1), Means (4.0 – 5.4) and Ability (2.7 – 3.7) had all improved significantly.
What can we conclude from this?