In this edition of Leader Feeder, let’s look at how you can combat a culture of entitlement.
What is entitlement?
Entitlement can be defined as thinking you deserve something, without having to actually work for it. Working for something (and achieving it) creates a sense of satisfaction; there’s nothing quite like the feeling of achievement after accomplishing a task! Both professionally and personally, you generally want to earn things due to merit rather than getting something for nothing.
That way, they can work towards a goal or target and truly feel a sense of satisfaction when they achieve it. What do they need to accomplish, and by when? Clarity also involves providing the “why” behind decisions, as it’ll help your team get clear on the purpose of their work which will help drive engagement.
You want to be sure that you, as the leader, are offering praise when your employees are accomplishing their goals. Some leaders think that praise makes employees soft, or even contributes to entitlement. Instead, think of it as providing acknowledgement that they’ve rightfully earned. If they don’t hit their targets, you can give them some feedback and offer ways to improve their processes.
You may have found yourself in scenarios in the past where certain employees believe they deserve something that you haven’t offered praise or reward for. How should you handle this? Again, the answer here is to gain clarity. What did they think they produced to deserve recognition? And, what can they do in the future to receive more?
Often, if you set clear expectations as outlined above, you’ll be able to avoid scenarios like this entirely.
As a leader, you want to shift your team from this culture of entitlement to a culture of “earning their stripes.” And, you can help facilitate that by offering praise when and where it’s due.
What’s one way you combat a culture of entitlement? Let me know in the comments.