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Category Archives: Motivation Tools

Tip #12 for creating motivated employees

In my last video in this series on specific tips to create motivated employees, I outlined the importance and value of listening intently.  Today’s tip also relates to communication, but this time it’s about how you share information.  Strategy #12 is to facilitate lively and informative staff meetings.

Facilitate lively and informative staff meetings

Most employees greatly appreciate being kept in the information loop.  They want to know what is going on, whether it’s the company as a whole, your department, or perhaps most importantly, how decisions and changes affect them.  When employees feel like they’re informed, they’re engaged.  And engaged employees are motivated employees.  One of the easiest, most efficient ways to keep employees in the information loop is to facilitate regular staff meetings.  But beware!  These meetings need to be lively and informative.

You likely have attended the meeting from hell – you know the one – where objectives are undefined, the meeting crawls on for hours, personalities clash, disagreements take over, and progress grinds to a halt. In short, nothing gets accomplished.  Continue reading

When your people feel like they’ve been heard … you get motivated employees

Today is strategy #11 in our continuing series on specific actions you can take as a leader to create productive workplaces characterized by positive, high-performing and motivated employees.  And so what is today’s strategy?  Listen.  Listen intently.

Listen intently

Making the effort and taking the time to listen to your people is a powerful means to an end-result of engaged and motivated employees.  When you listen, really listen, to what your people are telling you, what you’re really telling them is that they are important and their point of view matters.  And by the way, let me be clear, listening, really listening, does not necessarily mean that you need to agree with your employees’ perspective, or act on what they are telling you.  You don’t.  It’s the act of listening that is a powerful motivator.  When you listen, it simply means that you affirm others, and that you respect them.  The amazing thing about respect is that when you offer respect, you get it back.  And when people feel heard … you get motivated employees.

Listening: the gift that keeps on giving

Besides, there is another benefit of listening.  Continue reading

Want motivated employees? Don’t forget to thank their supporters

Today’s blog entry continues with our video series on what it takes to create motivated employees.  Two weeks ago I gave you a simple powerful strategy, yet one that is often forgotten – to say thank you.  Today’s tip is an extension of that idea.  Want motivated employees?  Say thank you to the employee’s support people.  And by support people, I mean their spouses and their families.

Say thank you to the employee’s support people

Saying thank you to an employee’s spouse and family is an important and effective way to show employees that you care. Let’s face it, the reality is that when employees go above and beyond, it usually affects their personal lives and thus their families. Saying thank you to an employee is effective (and that’s what I told you about in my last post in this series), but saying thank you to those who are impacted at home by the employee’s extra effort at work is absolutely brilliant!

It really works!

So let me give you a real-life first-person account of how powerful this strategy is.  Continue reading

Employee motivation 101: Say thank you!

Employee motivation tip #8 was to eat together.  In our continuing series of video blogs on this topic, here is another easy tip on increasing employee motivation on your team.

Say thank you!

Ground-breaking research on employee motivation conducted by Dr. Elton Mayo in the 1930’s gave rise to the Hawthorne Effect.  In essence, the Hawthorne Effect describes a fundamental concept that may seem obvious to us today: that workplaces are social environments and people thrive in positive and respectful surroundings.  And the most (glaringly) obvious way to create a positive and respectful work environment is to say thank you!

You can’t just think it, you have to say it!

It’s what our mothers taught us years ago, and it’s as golden now as it was back then.  Now the important word here is “say”, as in verbalize it, put it into words, don’t just think it, say it.  And say it to the employee, not to others!  Continue reading

Employee motivation can be as simple as eating together!

Last week’s tip on employee motivation was to tell people why.  Today’s strategy: eat together.  Food is a very effective motivator!

Eat together

Yes, I know, this sounds really simple, but it is a very powerful tool in your employee motivation toolkit.  Now don’t just take my word for it, this is actually backed up by study after study in employee motivation research.  In fact, one landmark 2005 study that was conducted by Peluchette and Karl in the health-care industry is particularly illustrative and indicative of the overall research.  In this study, Doctors Peluchette and Karl developed the top ten list of workplace activities that employees consider to be fun and contributing to employee motivation.  The top three had to do with food! Continue reading

Telling people why is a powerful employee motivation tool

Last week, in our continuing series on employee motivation, I shared strategy #6: get to know your people.  Today’s tip: tell people why.

Tell people why

When you tell people why, when you openly share information with your employees, then they will be invested as part of your team.  Let me give you an example.

Several years ago, I was on my way to work with a client in an isolated area of northern Quebec, I was on a flight that made three stops at remote communities before finally arriving at my destination.  I flew out from Montreal, to Val D’Or, then on to Waskaganish, before finally arriving in Chisasibi QC, population 4,500.  This was my stop, but this same plane then continued to Whapmagoostui, before turning around and traveling Chisasibi-Waskaganish-Val D’Or-Montreal again.  Anyway, on my way there, at each stop, we disembarked from the plane for about 20 minutes while it was refueled.  At one of these stops however, Waskaganish to be specific, 20 minutes elapsed and stretched into 40, and all us passengers in the small waiting room began to get more and more restless.  Forty minutes became 60, and the level of frustration audibly increased.

By this point in time, even I wanted to know the reason for the delay.  Continue reading

Highly-motivated employees occur by design: here is strategy #6

What does it take to create highly-motivated employees?  That’s exactly what we’ve been talking about in my current video blog series on specific strategies to inspire, encourage and excite your people – to greater positivity and productivity, to higher performance and greater commitment.  Last week, I discussed the motivational value of celebrating.  Today’s tip is #6 in our series: get to know your people.

Get to know your people

Make it a point to learn more about your employees than just their presence at work.  Find out something new about each of your employees’ experiences, background, hobbies or personal interests.  There are two benefits to this motivator.

The benefits are two-fold

First, the more you learn about your employees, the more you will learn about what it takes to create each specific highly-motivated employee.  Remember that this one fundamental concept in employee motivation which is …. different people are motivated by different things.  So the more you get to know your people, the better you will understand their individual motivators.

I am reminded of a story that is told by Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.  Continue reading

Want highly-motivated employees? Celebrate successes often and unexpectedly

Continuing in our series of video blogs on specific actions leaders can take to create highly-motivated employees, my strategy last week was very specific: offer genuine and sincere (S-S-I) praise.  Today’s tip is simple: celebrate successes frequently and unexpectedly.

Celebrate successes frequently and unexpectedly

This is actually a very powerful motivator, mainly because it’s so rare.  It’s been my experience that in organizations, we don’t stop and take the time to celebrate.  We do good work, we accomplish great things, but then we’re so busy moving on the next thing on our to-do list that we don’t stop to celebrate what we have already done.  And because this happens so rarely, it becomes a very powerful way to create highly-motivated and highly-engaged employees.  So celebrate often and celebrate unexpectedly.

“Unexpected” bumps up the motivational value

Let me talk about “unexpectedly’ a little further, because it is important.  This is best explained with a quick example.  Continue reading

One (foolish) way to create disengaged employees

One of the biggest de-motivators for employees is when their managers can’t (or won’t) exercise flexibility in the application of rules.   I repeatedly blog on how not realizing this leads to disengaged employees – a video blog just last month, and this real-life example about how a talented employee quit – to list just a couple.  Well, it’s happened again!

disengaged employees

I spoke last week to a senior manager at a client organization who oversees a global group of employees who are located in several countries around the world.  In order to keep the lines of communication flowing, she participates in a weekly meeting that is scheduled to fit the working hours of the majority of the attendees.  Unfortunately though, it means that she needs to be online and on the phone at 5 AM in her local time zone.  Not a problem from her perspective, she’d much rather accommodate her staff’s schedules rather than force a meeting time to fit her needs.  Not a problem that is, except for the directive that she has received from her immediate director.

You see, her immediate director insists that she must be present in the company’s offices in order to participate in the meeting.  Yes, that’s right, she can’t dial and log in from her computer in her home office; she must get dressed, drive to work, and sit at her desk in an almost empty office building in order to “work”.  Continue reading

S-S-I praise goes a long way in creating highly-motivated employees

Over the last month, I’ve been posting a series of video blogs on specific actions leaders can take to create highly-motivated employees.  My last strategy was to plan for and organize fun.  Today’s tip: offer genuine and sincere praise.

Offer genuine and sincere praise

I am frequently asked the question – can there be too much praise?  And my answer often surprises people.  My answer is that there can never be too much praise … as long as it is S-S-I praise.  S-S-I is an acronym for Specific, Sincere and Immediate.  There is no such thing as too much praise as long as it is Specific, Sincere and Immediate.

This is sincere

This is easiest to explain if I give you an example.  Let’s say I have an employee, Carter, who is doing good work and I want to praise him.  So I see him standing at the coffee machine, and I stop and say “thanks for doing a great job Carter”. Continue reading