Many organizations have at least one value statement that contains the word “empowerment.” But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a statement that reads, “We encourage our employees to have a sense of entitlement.”
Having a sense of entitlement clashes with most organizations’ values, even though it is often promoted by their culture.
Sustainable organizations are sustainable because of their values. Employees with a sense of entitlement, however, often don’t work in a way that is beneficial to the business or that will help it grow. How does it happen, then, that employees develop a sense of entitlement? And what can be done about it?
During our last #MTtalk Twitter chat, held on Friday, September 2, 2016, we discussed “Empowerment vs Entitlement.” It was clear from the responses that no one enjoys working with people who have a sense of entitlement!
Let’s have a look at the questions we asked and some answers from participants:
Questions about “Empowerment vs Entitlement”
Question 1: What does a sense of entitlement look like at work?
A sense of entitlement at work puts the needs of an individual before the needs of the organization.
@cdemgo: When individual needs or wants must be met by the manager/company in order to keep motivated and productive.
@WonderPix: Expecting to get good things without putting the effort behind them.
Question 2: What can cause people to feel entitled?
@harrisonia: Nepotism in the workplace can contribute to entitlement.
@ZenYinger: Reality is we are all standing on someone’s shoulders. Nobody’s success is 100% self made. Entitlement stems from ego.
Question 3: Is a sense of entitlement more or less likely in different generations?
@ShereesePubHlth: It plays role due to availability of resources per generation. People born during Great Depression are less entitled than millennials.
@Midgie_MT: Could possibly be more with different generations with some feeling like they deserve things simply by time/age/experience.
Question 4: What are the costs to the business of a sense of entitlement?
@SAPTAonline: A sense of entitlement can cost a business money, people, its reputation and growth. It’s expensive.
@Yolande_MT: Sense of entitlement will often lead to people feeling like victims. They’ll stir and cause trouble.
Question 5: How can other employees’ behavior be affected by a person who feels entitled?
There was an overall consensus that it can greatly influence team spirit and morale.
@JulieMRodriguez: If employees see entitled behavior rewarded, their morale will be shot and almost impossible to resuscitate.
@MicheleDD_MT: Creates conflict. Decrease in commitment to achieve goals. Team can be demoralized.
Question 6: Personal accountability is empowerment. Agree/disagree? Explain.
@NootsCaboots: Agreed. Taking responsibility for your actions means that you’re taking control, which can be very empowering.
@KrisGiere: Disagree. Accountability can fuel empowerment but is not empowerment. Empowerment comes from autonomy, motivation & mastery.
Question 7: How do empowerment and entitlement compare?
@Dwyka_Consult: Empowered people ask, “How can I help?” Entitled people ask, “Why do I have to help?”
@PramodDrSolanki: Empowered leaders create empowerment. Those with entitlement create disengagement and conflict.
Question 8: How can lacking a sense of empowerment affect performance?
If people don’t feel empowered they won’t go the extra mile.
@Singh_Vandana: The employee will be happy doing mediocre work and will never strive for excellence.
@Ganesh_Sabari: One who is not empowered may choose to remain safely inert/dormant. A mute, unquestioning spectator.
Question 9: What can you start or stop doing to help others feel empowered?
A theme that emerged is that micromanaging people won’t help them to feel empowered.
@TwisterKW: Let go. Give balanced feedback. Set clear goals/expectations. Expect them to succeed.
@PramodDrSolanki: Convey that you trust the person to do the right thing. Develop him to be able to act on his own. No micromanagement.
Question 10: As leaders, how can we help replace entitlement with empowerment?
@GodaraAR: Push people to their extreme. The chair of comfort will make them complacent. Action happens on the “battlefield.”
@comhunicate: Leaders need to recognize/celebrate when team bring their minds and ideas to work not just their bodies!
Our Twitter poll this week:
Which generation do you think has the strongest sense of entitlement? Please cast your vote here:
Twitter Poll: Which Generation Feels More Entitled?
Next time, on #MTtalk…
Seeing that we’ve already touched on the generational issue, we’d like to explore it more during our next #MTtalk chat.
Managing people from a number of different generations can be tricky. What’s right or fair to one generation isn’t right or fair to another. To some generations, a good work ethic is almost all that counts, while others hold work-life balance as more important. Some may question authority, while others wouldn’t dream of doing so. How, then, do you manage a multi-generational team?
Our #MTtalk topic on September 16 is “Managing Multiple Generations.” As always, it will take place at 1 p.m. EST (6 p.m. BST). We’d love you to join us on Twitter to share some of your ideas and experience.
To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat. To join the conversation, simply include #MTtalk in your tweet and it will show up in the feed.
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about empowerment and entitlement, here are some resources:
- Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide To Ending Entitlement And Restoring Pride In The Emerging Workforce
- Coaching to Explore Beliefs and Motives
- Deming’s Five Diseases of Management
- Building a Culture of Purpose in Your Organization
- Understanding Workplace Values
- Employer Branding: Creating a Worker-Friendly Culture
- Appreciative Inquiry
- Egos at Work: Managing a Co-Worker’s Superiority Complex
- Reidenbach and Robin’s Five Stages of Corporate Ethical Development
- Locus of Control