Inspiring people to improve performance

29th November 2017 / BY / IN Performance

On the balance of probability, how likely is it that a team of frustrated, unhappy, resentful, worried people are going to deliver big improvements in efficiency and give the great service for your customers that your organisation aspires to give?

If you think it’s very likely, stop reading now.  I’m going to be wasting your time.

It’s alarming then that we that we hear so much about public services that are delivered by people who feel frustrated, unhappy, resentful, worried and many other things that are unlikely to inspire them to high achievement.

Here’s how it goes when it goes badly:

  • A service or organisation decides/agrees/is forced (depending on your perspective) to reduce costs.
  • It’s done without anyone knowing exactly how it can be achieved.
  • Some managers, feel crushed between the need to deliver and their lack of knowledge about how they can deliver by working in new ways and with a real or perceived the shortage of people in their teams.
  • Their teams, often want to change and improve but don’t know how.
  • They’re under constant pressure to do what they don’t know how to do.
  • They don’t change, so they’re seen as resisting change.
  • So, they feel frustrated, unhappy, resentful, worried, professionally compromised and more.
  • And they stop believing that things can improve.

And when the people responsible for making improvements stop believing things will improve – they’re nearly always right!

Mondrem are passionate about great public services – services that deliver for their customers and that are great places to work.  So, when we see problems like this, our instinct is not to complain, it’s to help do something about it.

Here’s what one council head of planning said about the improvement in one his teams who believed at the start that these improvements could never happen:

“The Admin team were taking 4 weeks to turn around the admin side of a planning application.  There was a backlog of 180 applications and it was growing.  Now, unbelievably, the Admin team take just 24 hours to turn around the admin side of a planning application.  Plus, there is no backlog.”

Here’s what the team said:

“We’ve shown what we can do.  We have some of our professional pride back.  People have noticed [the improvements].  It feels so much better coming to work – we have a laugh.  We’ve started helping the rest of [the Planning Service] to improve.”

To find out more about how Mondrem can help your managers and teams remain optimistic, become more resilient and find imaginative ways to meet the challenges and opportunities they face, contact us.


Mike Astbury

Director, Mondrem

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