To exceed expectations significantly in the workplace implies that you deliver tangible achievements and proactively seek solutions to challenges in a competitive environment.
In this context, motivation is crucial in encouraging you to work hard toward achieving success and enhancing your productivity.
It is one of the foundational pillars of the work ecosystem, spotlighting exceptional accomplishments and valuing high-performing employees. However, what about the concept of the illusion of accomplishment?
The concept emerges from stagnant environments driven by routine, which create an atmosphere of complacency. These environments lack clear, measurement standards. They automatically consider anything achieved as an accomplishment, even if it meets basic tasks and fundamentals of work.
Dynamic work environments compel us to intensify our efforts and engage in a positive spirit of competition. In a flexible and ambitious environment, employees grasp the essence of accomplishment and evaluate it based on clear criteria.
In contrast, in stereotypical work environments, the term “accomplishment” may be attributed to routine tasks, leading to chaos, loss of credibility, and the fallacy of accomplishment.
Recognizing shortcomings and celebrating genuine achievements are pivotal components of the educational process. There is a distinction between motivation and getting used to the illusion of accomplishment.
In that manner, transparency in measuring real achievements helps us know our current position and set new objectives, propelling the work system towards new horizons.
Similarly, motivation is necessary, and it is one of the most essential management practices, as it boosts employee morale, productivity, and creativity.
However, it is crucial to differentiate between well-deserved motivation, aimed at achieving better outcomes, and mere image polishing, meant to give the impression of being on the right track.
For example, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, not only established the highest governance and excellence standards, but also worked on reinforcing transparency and combatting the illusion of accomplishment in transactions by launching the Mystery Shopper initiative in 1990. This initiative contributed to enhancing government performance efficiency and sustaining excellence.
Nevertheless, the most crucial factor is the educational environment — education within families and society — and the cultivation of work values.
Recognizing shortcomings and celebrating genuine achievements are pivotal components of the educational process. As previously mentioned, there is a distinction between motivation and getting used to the illusion of accomplishment.
Students at schools and children within families should understand this distinction, so that they celebrate genuine achievements and recognize their essence as they grow up.
All this culminates in creating a functional system based on the principle of credibility, steering us toward monitoring where our accomplishments will lead us.
• Asma Al-Janahi is a UAE national with over 10 years’ management experience in government excellence and the sports sector. She writes about management and social life.