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itag news

April 2, 2024

Leading People Enhancing Performance

Author: Jo Mullins
Date published: April 2, 2024

The itag Leaders Forum recently hosted ‘Leading People Enhancing Performance‘ at The Hardiman Hotel. The event covered topics such as ‘Leading People in a Hybrid working environment’ and the multifaceted challenges that arise from this. As it requires navigating a blend of remote and in-person dynamics.  Overcoming the difficulty of monitoring and evaluating employee performance consistently, especially when traditional visual cues are limited in remote settings. Maintaining a cohesive organisational culture across remote and in-office settings, ensuring that shared values and goals remain central to the team’s identity.  

Sharon Walsh, Senior Vice President, Technology at Fidelity Investments and itag Chair “These events are central to enhancing our tech community, because as leaders it is important to find the right balance between offering flexibility to accommodate individual preferences and structures to enable optimal performance’’ 

Our first guest speaker, Dr Maeve O’Sullivan, Assistant Professor HRD from University of Galway presented findings on 2023 University of Galway / WDC national remote working survey. Dr. O’Sullivan also advised on key steps in managing a hybrid and diverse workforce and highlighted the relevant changes to legislation relating to hybrid and flexible work. The survey demonstrates the disconnect between employers and employees.  A lack of direct contact with co-workers and isolation, as well as a sense of being constantly present at work, are identified as the most negative consequences of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Negative effects of remote working also include: 

  • Threatened career advancement 
  • Longer working hours  
  • Being always available 
  • Emotional exhaustion 
  • Demand for higher cognitive abilities 
  • Stress (including technostress) 
  • Workaholism 
  • Health problems affecting for instance the musculoskeletal system.  

Dr Jill Pearson, Assistant Professor in Work and Organisational Psychology from the University of Limerick, highlighted the need to value and recognise the contributions of employees who go above and beyond at work, individuals who engage in activities such as volunteering, mentoring, and coaching. These organisational citizenship behaviours, often seen as ‘non-promotable tasks’, are essential for creating a cohesive, supportive, and productive work environment, yet often aren’t considered when promotion decisions are made.  

 ‘Kind acts become expected behaviours and those doing them sometimes aren’t even thanked.’ 
Based on Jill’s research at UL, in conjunction with the Center for Creative Leadership in the US, employers should be asking this question – ‘Are we doing enough to visibly reward these extra contributions?’. After all, organisational citizenship is the glue that connects us in the new world of work so why is it still undervalued?  

In response to these insights, organisations were encouraged to take a closer look at their organisational citizens and consider ways to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts. Simple changes, such as adjusting award and promotion criteria to include behaviours that benefit the broader organisational culture and community, can make a significant impact. 

 The panellists made up of representatives from itag Member companies were, Ronan Kavanagh, TitanHQ, Michelle Concannon, Signify Health, Dave Silke, Centripetal Networks and Liam McDwyer, Genesys.  

The panel host Deirdre Giblin from Ericsson led the discussion and encouraged them to share useful strategies for building and maintaining company culture, especially in the context of hybrid working arrangements.  The discussion focused on the importance of organisation citizenship behaviour and its impact on building a strong culture and community within the workplace. 

Overall, the itag Leader’s event provided valuable insights and recommendations on how leaders can enhance performance by empowering their teams and fostering a positive work culture.   

Takeaways and Helpful Resources 

One key takeaway from the event was the need for organisations to reassess how they measure and reward organisation citizenship behaviour. It was noted that women tend to engage in these activities more than men, and there is a bias in how these contributions are recognised. 

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