Monday, May 24, 2010

Structuring for service and motivation

One of our classes recent visiting lecturers was Eltel Networks´s CFO. Listening to a finance-oriented presentation got us thrilled on how employees can be motivated by simple ways of organizing and structuring the company.

Eltel did a turnaround of its operations few years ago. What they focused on and wanted to value was internal entrepreneurship and thus serving customers better. The old matrix organization with functional responsibilities was tossed. Instead, Eltel organized its sub-units as independent sales teams, having full profit and loss responsibility. Each sales team was in charge of customer relationship and had resources accordingly. No central overheads were charged to these independent sales units. Within a few years results have spoken for themselves.

If the progress is similar in other companies, sounds like the old school scorecards will be dead. Corporate employees no longer are motivated by objectives set too far apart from their daily responsibilities. People find motivation in doing, participating, influencing operations and seeing the actual results. On a daily or monthly basis, rather than annually.

Recent study on Finnish students´ employment expectations was drastic: there is no ambition to succeed careerwise. On the contrary, young employees are expecting a nice balance between work and leisure. What they want is a life they can appreciate not just looking from company headquarters.

What Eltel realized was that they can influence the success of the company by looking into what really motivates people. Let the company objectives meet the individual ones – in an ethical, inspiring and human way.