Care and Growth in Public Sector Organisations

Service delivery is one of the challenges faced by public sector organizations (PSOs), and the main reason behind the lack of services available to customers is employee disengagement.  The Care & Growth thematic by Schuitema studies the various aspects of employee disengagement in organizations and suggests solutions that will enhance leadership roles, employee efficiency, and the overall work culture.

There are four main reasons behind the increase in disengagement amongst employees and the lack of delivery services. The first paragraph under each heading discusses the increase in disengagement and lack of services. The second paragraph under each heading discusses the Care & Growth solutions for increasing employee engagement and service delivery.

Sense of Purpose

Lack of clarity of purpose can be one of the main reasons for employee disengagement.  It means that workers lack a clear sense of purpose of their role and the larger organization’s goals. Due to this missing link, they experience their jobs as meaningless and lack motivation.

The core of Care and Growth (C&G) is based around the idea of benevolence ‘Intent to Give’. The reflection of benevolence in the organization is in creating value for its customers. In other words, the benevolent intent of enterprise. The C&G also links the benevolence of the organization with the benevolence of the task. Hence, there is a clear line of sight and every task is meaningful. Further, in the light of a sense of purpose, communication at each level of the organisation is meaningful.

Leadership in the Public Sector

Leaders in Public Sector Organisations achieve their positions through designation. And in the eyes of their employees, they lack legitimacy. Further, their tenures are uncertain. These two factors can create a weak bond between leaders and employees. Consequently, employees are not willing to go the extra mile for them. Leaders under these circumstances may become expedient too. Their only concern is to focus on results and use employees as the means to their end.

Research on the Care & Growth model has analyzed that there are two primary conditions under which people go the extra mile for someone. The criterion for willingness is based on a) the boss having a genuine interest in his/her employees’ wellbeing (care) and b) the boss giving his/her employees genuine opportunities to learn and grow (growth).

Hence, the C&G model helps leaders to understand this. Furthermore, it equips them to create an environment of willingness on all levels of their organizations. This willingness is the cornerstone of exceptional performance.

Personal Maturity

Lack of individual maturity is also a big factor that contributes to employee disengagement and poor service delivery. Mature people approach any situation with a duty-focused mindset. They are there to contribute and act with generosity and courage. Whereas, immature people focus on their own rights and have a sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, in our society, there is a general lack of maturity. And our organizations generally don’t address the immaturity of their people.

One of the strongest components of the Care and Growth thematic is building on the personal maturity of an individual. It links personal maturity to intent to give that is to act with courage and generosity. It shows people that whenever they are the giver, they become stronger, more secure, in harmony with their surroundings and most importantly they feel fulfilled. However, if they approach the world with the intent to take, then they will become insecure, unsatisfied, weak, and always in conflict. This component allows individuals to understand the implications of their intent on their surroundings as well as their personal and professional growth.

Organisational Culture

An organization’s culture is also a key to employee engagement. There are cultures where the norm is to serve others and take pride in it. In such cultures, self-interest is looked down upon. Japanese culture is an example. On the other hand, there are toxic cultures that undermine employee engagement and service delivery.

It is clear from the above points that C&G helps people learn their sense of purpose, equips leaders with the tools to create a more efficient and willing workforce. It also helps individuals in their personal growth. Hence, if achieved with success, it leads to a positive effect on the organizational culture. Culture is manifested in values; these values are reflected in transactions. Transactions are about giving or taking, and when there is a fundamental shift in the transactions, where people become givers and not takers, it leads to a positive shift in the overall culture of the organization, where individuals that were previously takers also become givers.

Hence, the thematic of Care & Growth is an extremely effective tool to tackle service delivery in public sector organizations. It comprehensively addresses the issues faced by employees that cause them to become disengaged with their work and their organizations.

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