In the first half of 2014, Learning4Managers surveyed leaders from government and corporate fields to understand what factors make staff assertive, confident and overall more productive.
At Learning4Managers, a division of Accolade Institute Inc., we believe that attitude and performance go hand in hand. Gaining a clear understanding of factors that affect our attitude at work can provide us insight as to what may help improve or affect work performance.
The survey intends to give us a first glance at what leaders perceive to affect assertive behaviors, confidence and motivation. This first glance will allow us to further study and inquire about more specific work performance enhancers and hindrances.
In regards to workplace attitudes, the following questions were asked in the survey:
Do you think you are assertive at work? Why or why not?
Part of the definition of assertiveness is the refusal to be intimated by others. Lack of assertiveness is a known factor that could lead to issues such as bullying in the workplace. 37 percent of workers have been bullied at work, and 45 percent of the targets reported stress levels that affected their health (U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey: September, 2007). Assertiveness is generally accepted in the Western world as a necessary quality for leadership.
We decided it was important to gather an initial view on what makes people feel assertive at work and what would keep them from feeling assertive. The survey question was open-ended allowing participants to elaborate as much as they felt needed.
Describe what type of situations make you less confident at work.
Lack of confidence is generally associated with lack of assertiveness. We added this question to our survey to further inquire about factors that might make people feel less confident. Furthermore the question is open-ended and allows participants to elaborate on behaviors and/or circumstances that may impact their confidence.
What are the things that make you less productive at work?
We also wanted to know from our participants what factors play a role into decreasing their productivity at work. We expect to identify the top three issues that most directly affect productivity in the workplace.
Think of a person who motivated you to perform better. How did they motivate you?
Finally we wanted to hear from participants examples of what managers can do to help employees feel motivated for higher performance. Speaking of specific examples would help us extrapolate a list of best practices.
In the next article we’ll start discussing the results of our survey and we’ll start with our findings about Assertive Behavior.