Discretionary Contribution

How much discretionary contribution are you getting from your team? In this case discretionary contribution is defined as follows:

Discretionary contribution is the proactive actions taken by members of the organization, at any level, in support of extraordinary performance of the organization.

These are actions taken that are above and beyond those necessary to meet the normal requirements of the job. These are actions taken by people who must feel like they are making a difference. They look for opportunities to make things better. They are never satisfied with the status quo. Ok is never good enough for these people, they are always striving for excellence.

In some cases, organizations are able to hire people that just naturally want to give their discretionary contribution and will do so without regard to the culture they find themselves in. However, this does not represent the majority. Most members of the workforce need an environment that is supportive of developing discretionary contribution.

?If you would like the majority of your workforce to be giving their discretionary contribution take the time to go out in the organization and ask members of your workforce both front line and various levels of management the following questions:

  1. What is our mission, vision, purpose (you may have one or all of these)? How do you relate to it/them?
  2. What are our core values and how well are we living up to them at all levels and how do you know?
  3. What are our corporate goals and how do your goals support the corporate goals?
  4. How do you know how well you are performing and how often do you know?
  5. When was the last time you had an idea for the company and shared it?
  6. How often are you recognized for doing a great job?
  7. What opportunities have you been offered to learn and grow in the last six months?
  8. Do you know how we are doing as a company?
  9. Do you feel your team members are making as strong a contribution as you are?
  10. Do you have all the tools you need to do a good job?
  11. Does your boos care about you as a person?
  12. When was the last time someone asked you about your goals with the company or your career goals in general?
  13. What, if anything, keeps you from being the best you can be at work?

You may find the answers to these question interesting. At a minimum you will have learned something and created a bit of a buzz in the organization just by asking. You will also have created an expectation that you are going to take some action as a result of what you learned.

Your comments and questions are welcome

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