I will be the first to admit that we are not the only company that claim to go above and beyond. Many companies like the idea of exceeding expectations. Until this value is immersed in the core of organisational culture, it stands as empty rhetoric.
You may have an idea of where I am going with this entry. Let me put your mind at ease – this is not a discussion about how we, at Symbiotics strive to go above and beyond, nor is this a discussion about how going above and beyond contributes to a gleaming reputation. Instead, this entry focuses on different areas of our life where we should be aiming to go above and beyond.
Going above and beyond at work
When we aim to go above and beyond in our work environment we set ourselves up to receive rewards. In motivation theory, this is known as Expectancy Theory.
Expectancy Theory suggests that people perform a certain way when they perceive that their work efforts will lead to a certain performance level. This performance level then results in certain outcomes. Outcomes may be things like rewards, a sense of accomplishment or a finished product.
Management has a duty to find what motivates employees to exceed expectations for clients and each other. They also need to communicate what behaviors count as going above and beyond. Once this is communicated, employees will not feel demotivated when they think they are doing more than expected – based on what they perceive this to mean.
Going above and beyond in this context will always result in positive reputational and professional outcomes.
Going above and beyond in your relationships
I would like to leave a quick disclaimer here – I am not a counsellor (surprise!). What I do know however, is that adopting this attitude is important in romantic or non-romantic relationships.
Relationships deteriorate for several reasons. According to M Louw and F du Plooy-Cilliers, one of these reasons is unrealistic expectations. At some stage, we form beliefs and expectations about relationships through stereotypes and from the media. Many of these are unrealistic. For example, we can thank John Cusack and his boombox gesture in Say Anything for making grand gestures of affection the norm.
Thanks to Hollywood – unrealistic expectations are part of our DNA. By keeping this in mind you have the power to meet these expectations every now and then and prevent any relationship from deteriorating.
Where to start? Try Harold from Netflorist.
Going above and beyond in your community
We live in an individualistic society where each person looks after themselves and their own interests. Values such as harmony, unity and collectivism are rare.
It doesn’t take much to go above and beyond in a community. Just one person adopting this attitude creates a ‘pay-it-forward’ ripple effect that could change the entire culture of the area.
Start small with things like:
- Offering for the neighbor’s dog to join you on your walks when you know they don’t have the time.
- Organising lift clubs with the single parent whose children attend the same school as yours.
- Giving up some of your free time to help tutor a struggling student.
Go above and beyond for yourself
Only once you look after yourself can you truly focus on going above and beyond for your community, in your relationships and in your working environment.
Neglecting yourself in this equation is dangerous. Once you have tended to your mental and physical health the rest will follow suit. Going above and beyond for yourself is more than just fulfilling your basic needs.
Now, I am not suggesting that to exceed expectations at work or in your relationships you need to visit the spa every two weeks. Instead, you owe it to yourself to discover your true self-worth, learn more about yourself, get that body you always wanted and then reward your intense workouts with cappuccino and a chocolate. You can go above and beyond for yourself by learning to say no and occasionally putting your own needs before others.
By going above and beyond for yourself you are in the position to go above and beyond, exceeding all expectations in any situation.
- Vbra, M., 2016. Workforce Motivation. In: M. V. T Brevis, ed. Contemporary Management Principles. Cape Town: Juta, pp. 468-486.
- M Louw, F. d. P.-C., 2014. Let’s Talk About Interpersonal Communication. 4th ed. Cape Town: Pearson.