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Tag Archives: workplace motivators

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

Tip #3 to motivate employees – organize fun!

Last week I gave you Tip #2 in my new ongoing series on specific tips and strategies to motivate employees – cut out the red tape.  Here now is idea #3: organize fun.

Organize fun

The key word here is “organize”.  Fun workplaces can be powerful motivators, but many managers and supervisors I work with assume that fun workplaces just magically occur.  You can’t just assume that it will just happen, creating a fun workplace actually takes effort.  It’s worth it – it’s a powerful way to motivate employees – but you have to consciously and deliberately plan and organize for it.

Here’s one practical idea!

One of the easiest ways to organize fun is to appoint a rotating Fun Committee (or what I used to call a rotating Vice President of Fun).  Continue reading

To motivate employees, cut out the red tape

Last month, I started a brand-new video series offering specific ideas on how leaders can motivate employees.  The first tip in this series was to be flexible.  You all told me that this was a subject that you would find immensely helpful.  So here is today’s strategy to motivate employees: cut out the red tape.

Eliminate red tape

Red tape is excessive bureaucracy or over-the-top adherence to rules and formalities.  Research shows, over and over again, that one of the biggest de-motivators for employees is perceived bureaucracy.  So anything that you can do to reduce or remove red tape will be a huge motivator to most of your staff.  Now I know that some of you watching this video come from organizations that are so large that they have policy manuals that probably cover just about every situation you could possibly think of.  And so … you might think there is no way you can reduce red tape.  Don’t underestimate what you can do!

Buffer your people from bureaucracy

True, you might not be able to get rid of the bureaucracy, but you CAN buffer your employees from it.  Continue reading