Entitlement is thirst for leadership. Entitlement builds over years. You can stop it.
Selfish words deceive.
- “It’s not in my job description”
- “That’s not what the contract says”
- “My shift is over”
- “I did what the customer asked”
- “Why did that team get tee-shirts?”
- “Seriously, they call this recognition?”
Listen deeply for pain, dissapointment, and fear.
“Fixes” That Drive Entitlement
Before fixing, listen more. Attempt to solve the surface complaints, and aggrevate the deeper pain.
1. “Better” Recognition: “Something must be wrong with our rewards.” Form a committee. Ask the people what they most want. A well-intentioned and potentially useful approach in the right scene. Not if entitlement is your problem. More just reinforces “this for that.” (see, Why Doesn’t My Team Feel Recognized)
2. Benchmarking Communications: “Our rewards are great, employees just don’t understand them.” Create glossy benchmarking brochures. Share market analysis. Show how much we spend on healthcare. If it’s really about the money, this may help. Entitlement is seldom about the money.
3. Straight talk: “They should feel lucky to have a job in this economy.” Enough is enough. The paycheck is their reward. Performance manage those who don’t comply. We need to hire better. Truth in all that. Such talk won’t change culture.
Don’t Fix, Listen
Stop talking about the money. Don’t fix your recognition. Listen instead. Grasping for tangible rewards is a sign of a deeper hunger.
Look for signs of…
- Weak vision
- Inconsistent values
- Betrayed trust
- Broken promises
- threatening leadership