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THE MANAGER’S POCKET GUIDE TO Motivating Employees Shawn Doyle HRD PRESS, Inc. Amherst, Massachusetts

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Motivating Employees
Shawn Doyle
HRD PRESS, Inc. Amherst, Massachusetts
Copyright © 2005, HRD Press, Inc.
All rights reserved. Any reproduction in any media of the materials that appear in this book without written permission from HRD Press is a violation of copyright law.
Published by: HRD Press 22 Amherst Road Amherst, MA 01002
1-800-822-2801 (U.S. and Canada) 1-413-253-3490 (Fax)
http://www.hrdpress.com
ISBN 0-87425-846-4
Production services by Wordstop Editorial services by Sally Farnham Cover design by Eileen Klockars
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 2 HHiirriinngg aanndd KKeeeeppiinngg MMoottiivvaatteedd PPeeooppllee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Chapter 3 MMoottiivvaattiinngg EEmmppllooyyeeeess ttoo AAcchhiieevvee tthhee OOrrggaanniizzaattiioonn’’ss GGooaallss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Chapter 4 TThhee IImmppoorrttaannccee ooff EEnntthhuussiiaassmm ffoorr MMoottiivvaattiioonn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Chapter 5 PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee DDeevveellooppmmeenntt aass aa MMoottiivvaattiinngg TTooooll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Chapter 6 CCooaacchhiinngg ttoo MMoottiivvaattee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Chapter 7 WWhhaatt RReeaallllyy MMoottiivvaatteess PPeeooppllee?? . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Chapter 8 MMoottiivvaattiinngg wwiitthh RReewwaarrddss aanndd RReeccooggnniittiioonn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Chapter 9 TThhee IImmppoorrttaannccee ooff BBaallaannccee iinn aa WWeellll--MMoottiivvaatteedd WWoorrkkffoorrccee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Chapter 10 PPuuttttiinngg IItt AAllll TTooggeetthheerr ((AAccttiioonn PPllaannnniinngg)) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
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CHAPTER 1 The Importance of Motivation The purpose of this book is to provide managers with helpful tools and techniques for creating and maintaining an environ- ment where employees can perform at their highest level of motivation. Motivated employees are significantly more productive than discouraged employees, and productive employees are essential to management success. Doesn’t everyone want to work in a place that is fun, energized, and motivating?
Let’s define motivation for the sake of clarity. In the diction- ary, motivation is a word that seems to defy definition. Webster’s defines motivation as: The act or process of moti- vating; the condition of being motivated. In order to get a bet- ter understanding of the word, we need to define the word motivate: To provide an incentive, move to action; impel. As a manager, one of the most important functions is to provide incentive. It is also essential in our role to move employees to action. Lastly, it is critical that our teams are impelled to do the work, and that they want to do the work.
Creating a Motivating Environment
First, let’s clear up one misconception: It is not possible for one person to motivate another. It is impossible for me to motivate you and for you to motivate me. Motivation is an internal mech- anism that is generated from within. For someone to be moti- vated, they have to a make a conscious decision to be motivated about a particular situation. Going back to the definition, they have to have incentive and be moved or impelled to act.
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Managers can’t motivate people, but they can create a posi- tive environment where people can be motivated. As leg- endary college football coach Lou Holtz once said, “Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Everyone agrees that a great manager can have a significant impact on a team. Look at the coaches in the NFL: Many times we see teams that are doing poorly and have a losing attitude; then a new coach comes in and creates a new environment, and sud- denly the team performs and starts winning games.
Complete the quick assessment below to get a pulse of your environment.
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For each statement, check the appropriate box.
Statement Yes No
2. The work space is visually appealing.
3. Employees know the purpose of their work.
4. Employees know the purpose of the team’s work.
5. The environment is positive and upbeat.
6. Employees are excited about their work.
7. The work place is considered fun.
8. Our team has fun on the job.
9. The company is committed to employee development.
10. As a manager, I am committed to develop- ment of each team member.
Now that the assessment has been completed, analyze the results:
• What did the results indicate? • What elements were surprises? • What elements stand out? • Which elements are the most obvious areas for improvement? • Which elements are the most positive? • What could you as a manager do differently? • What could the team do differently?
The Importance of Motivation
11. I know each team member by name.
12. I know the short- and long-term goals of team members.
13. Employees are rewarded for good performance.
14. I use different kinds of rewards to incite motivation.
15. Communication takes place frequently.
16. Communication takes place in groups and individually.
17. Hiring is done to ensure a fit with the group.
18. People who don’t fit are let go quickly.
19. I mirror the behaviors I value all the time.
20. I mirror the attitudes I value all the time.
Now that you have looked at some of your own feedback, let’s talk about your role.
It is a manager’s responsibility to create and continuously maintain the right environment. Here are ten tips to creating an environment that fosters motivation:
1. CCoonnttrrooll tthhee pphhyyssiiccaall eennvviirroonnmmeenntt.. The work space itself must be at least well lit and clean. I once worked at a company that was poorly lit, had dirty carpets, and needed painting. Employee morale was low, and the employees were very unmotivated: They could have been mistaken for dead! If I took over that com- pany, I would have hired a painting crew to repaint the place in one weekend. Imagine the response on Monday from the employees when they came back to a new environment. Take time to attend to the visual aspects of the environment, because people believe what they see.
2. CCoommmmuunniiccaattee tthhee ppuurrppoossee.. Each employee must under- stand the reasons why he or she does their job and why it is important. Most people are more motivated when they know the reasons behind a procedure, process, or policy. The manager must be a master communicator and continually reinforce the important messages. As Tim Sanders of Yahoo said, “Knowledge sharing is the basis of everything. Share knowledge with reckless abandon.”
3. CCrreeaattee aa ppoossiittiivvee ppllaaccee.. A positive work environment is contagious. When employees are excited and passionate about the job, team, and company, it is apparent to cus- tomers, vendors, and other employees. More importantly, this level of enthusiasm will make people want to work for that particular department or team. To be the
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department that everyone wants to be part of builds pride for those who are there. This also builds and enhances the reputation of the manager.
4. HHaavvee ffuunn.. In the world of business, the word fun is often overlooked, but rest assured, if the team is having fun at work, they are more motivated and productive. Companies such as Southwest Airlines have institutional- ized fun, and they have employees who work harder, don’t leave, and provide a better experience for their cus- tomers. The idea of a fun environment is so rare that it actually becomes a factor in hiring and retaining employ- ees. Most people want to work in that kind of environ- ment and will stay longer and work harder.
5. EEmmbbrraaccee ddeevveellooppmmeenntt.. Managers must commit to each team member’s development. If team members are grow- ing and developing, they will be more motivated because they will feel more valued. Everyone who is a member of the human race wants to feel a sense of value. Writer and orator Sidney Madwed said, “It has been estimated about 90 to 95 percent of all people work at jobs which are unfulfilling and which they dislike….” The manager’s role is to provide an environment where the employees can be fulfilled, and development plays a role in feeling fulfilled.
6. KKnnooww tthhee tteeaamm.. A manager has to know what team members want in the short and long term in order to provide an environment where they can be motivated. Some managers don’t know their employees’ names. How can a manager in that situation adapt to the employees’ needs? In some companies, upper-level man- agers patronize their employees. These upper-level managers don’t even try to get to know their employees. This is an old-school practice that is archaic. By today’s
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standards, managers who know their employees will have a competitive advantage.
7. PPrroovviiddee rreewwaarrdd.. The purpose of reward is to provide incentive for team members so that they want to work and work harder. I once worked for a manager who said, “I am not going to compliment you for work you are sup- posed to be doing.” That manager did not understand the impact of reward and the negative impact of lack of reward. It is truly amazing on a daily basis how man- agers apparently don’t think about the impact of their actions. The savvy manager realizes the value of reward and uses it as a tool.
8. EEnnggaaggee iinn ccoonnssttaanntt ccoommmmuunniiccaattiioonn.. The manager’s job is to constantly communicate: to communicate formally and informally to groups and individuals. Communication eliminates doubt, ends rumors, instills confidence (employees feel they are important enough to be told about certain information), and builds trust and loyalty. A large part of motivation is how people feel about their work. When people are “in the loop” and are provided communication on a regular basis, they feel validated and acknowledged. Most managers under-communicate.
9. BBee ccaarreeffuull iinn hhiirriinngg.. Hiring the right people with the right attitude and skills is critical for a motivating environment to exist. On the other hand, keeping people on who are unproductive and difficult or who have negative attitudes can be very detrimental. Don’t rush the hiring process, but do act swiftly with documentation to terminate people who aren’t making a contribution.
10. BBee ““tthhee mmiirrrroorr..”” The manager is the mirror of the team; the behaviors and attitudes that the employees see in their managers are what they emulate. I once visited an office where all the employees were grumpy, cold, and
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sullen. When I met the manager, he was grumpy, cold, and sullen. As secretary of state Colin Powell once said, “All employees are boss watchers. The rank and file will always take clues from their leader.” So the manager must at all times emulate the qualities, attitudes, and behaviors that they want the team to exhibit.
The Benefits of a Motivating Environment
Many managers are hard driving and very practical. They will say, “Give me a business reason to do this motivation stuff.” The reality is that motivation is the absolute key to driving productivity and increasing profit. Just ask compa- nies like Southwest Airlines.
Consider these facts as outlined in a survey of the nonmana- gerial workforce in the United States, conducted in 1983 by the Public Agenda Forum:
• Less than one in four U.S. workers is working at full potential.
• Half of the workers surveyed said they did not put any effort into their job beyond what was required to hold it.
• Seventy-five percent responded that they could be signifi- cantly more effective in their jobs than they are.
• Sixty percent responded that they don’t work as hard as they used to.
There is every indication to believe that since 1983, things have not gotten better—they have gotten worse. The reasons are very simple: Corporate America has not given employees a reason to believe in their companies or in their leadership. Employees are promoted into management roles and don’t know how to lead.
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The blame must then be placed squarely on the shoulders of leadership. Employees are obviously not being provided a work environment that encourages them to want to work. In looking at the results of this survey, a smart manager could increase effectiveness 75 percent and get 60 percent of the workers to work harder. The results could be a staggering increase in productivity.
There is clear and compelling evidence that a motivating environment pays huge dividends. In a study on training investment and impact, conducted in September of 2000 by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), it was proven that investment in training had a significant impact on financial performance. Two thousand five hundred companies were surveyed, and the companies that invested the most in training had a total shareholder return that was 86 percent higher than those companies on the lower half of the training investment list, and a 45 percent better return than the market average.
There are hundreds of reports and statistics that prove a motivating environment is essential to the success of an organization. Promoting this kind of environment will have the following impacts:
• Productivity will increase • Employee turnover will decrease • Absenteeism will decrease • Sales will increase • Customer service will be improved • Employee litigation claims will decrease • The quality of candidates will improve • Cash flow will improve • Efficiency will go up • Profits will be increased
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I have interviewed hundreds of job candidates throughout my career, and I am always amazed at what interviewees say about their current managers. They tell me their manager has never had a conversation with them, they don’t get develop- ment, or they feel unneeded, undervalued, ignored. This is typical and common in the workplaces of America. How many negative comments do we hear from friends and family about their horrible bosses? It is a sad commentary on the state of management in today’s work world. However, there is good news: As managers, we have the ability to be an impetus for change.
Below and on the next two pages is an assessment you can complete to determine the aspects of motivation that currently exist on your team, and to what degree they are developed.
The Importance of Motivation
Motivating Environment Assessment
Using the scale below, circle the number that best describes your situation with regards to each statement on pages 10 and 11. Be honest and don’t think about the answers for too long.
1—Disagree
10
Statements
1. Employees feel good about the work area because it is clean and comfortable.
1 2 3 4
2. Each employee has a work area that is appropriate and suited for their work.
1 2 3 4
3. The work environment is clean, well lit, and well maintained. 1 2 3 4
4. Employees know the purpose of their work. 1 2 3 4
5. Employees understand the purpose of the company’s work. 1 2 3 4
6. Employees are excited about coming to work every day. 1 2 3 4
7. Employees are excited about their work. 1 2 3 4
8. We occasionally have fun activi- ties as a group. 1 2 3 4
9. Employees would describe our work place as “fun.” 1 2 3 4
10. We are committed to employee development. 1 2 3 4
11. The majority of employees are getting individual development. 1 2 3 4
12. I know every employee. 1 2 3 4
13. I know every employee’s short- and long-term professional goals.
1 2 3 4
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Statements
14. Employees are rewarded with financial incentives. 1 2 3 4
15. Employees receive formal and informal types of recognition. 1 2 3 4
16. Team meetings are held regularly for communication with the team. 1 2 3 4
17. Individual meetings occur regu- larly with each employee. 1 2 3 4
18. When needed, communication is quick and efficient. 1 2 3 4
19. Communication is both formal and informal. 1 2 3 4
20. We are very careful about who we hire.
1 2 3 4
21. Our hiring practices have a good track record of success. 1 2 3 4
22. When we have employees who have attitude problems, we settle it quickly.
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
24. On a daily basis, I emulate the qualities I expect employees to exhibit.
1 2 3 4
25. I am aware of my behavior at all times. 1 2 3 4
Grand total of all numbers (add up num- ber from each question) + + + =
Interpreting the Results
Once the assessment is complete, total the numbers from each column. The total score will then be a number between 1 and 100. The perfect score would be 100. Here is an analysis of the scoring:
110000––9900 Excellent score, and it means the motivating envi- ronment is solid.
9900––8800 Good score, and there is some work to be done. 8800––7700 OK score, and it is time to get to work on making
it better. BBeellooww 7700 This book will help you get started on the efforts
that are needed.
Now take a look at the statements that had the lowest and highest scores. The statements are grouped into the ten cate- gories that were mentioned in the beginning of this chapter that are critical for having a motivated workforce.
TThhee pphhyyssiiccaall eennvviirroonnmmeenntt:: Statements 1–3 TThhee ppuurrppoossee ooff tthheeiirr wwoorrkk:: Statements 4–5 PPoossiittiivvee eennvviirroonnmmeenntt:: Statements 6–7 FFuunn wwoorrkkppllaaccee:: Statements 8–9 EEmmppllooyyeeee ddeevveellooppmmeenntt:: Statements 10–11 KKnnoowwiinngg tthhee eemmppllooyyeeee:: Statements 12–13 RReewwaarrddss:: Statements 14–15 CCoommmmuunniiccaattiioonn:: Statements 16–19 HHiirriinngg:: Statements 20–22 MMiirrrroorriinngg tthhee mmeessssaaggee:: Statements 23–25
Determine which areas have the lowest scores and this will indicate which areas need attention first. In addition, take a look at the higher scores and make sure these areas continue
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to be addressed in order to maintain the strengths of the envi- ronment.
Knowledge is the first step in growth as a manager. The sec- ond and most important step is applying the knowledge in order to get results.
A Business Case for Motivation
The business case for a motivating environment is irrefutable.
It is not an easy task to create and manage a motivating work place; it takes planning, hard work, and persistence. Now that you know why it is important and have analyzed the level of motivation in your environment through the assess- ment, it is time to talk about how to work toward the envi- ronment that you want.
The Key Principles in Motivation
In this book, we will take you through the various aspects of motivating employees. There are ten key areas that if ignored will have a negative impact. If they are addressed, they will have a powerful and lasting impact on the team. A chapter has been dedicated to each of these areas as follows:
• CChhaapptteerr 11:: TThhee IImmppoorrttaannccee ooff MMoottiivvaattiioonn——As a manager, it is essential that you buy into and accept that motivation is not a soft skill and is necessary for the success of any business.
• CChhaapptteerr 22:: HHiirriinngg aanndd KKeeeeppiinngg MMoottiivvaatteedd PPeeooppllee—As a manager, the environment is only as good as the quality of the people you hire. Great leaders use care and selectivity in hiring employees, and then when they are hired, make sure the stage is set for their growth.
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• CChhaapptteerr 33:: MMoottiivvaattiinngg EEmmppllooyyeeeess ttoo AAcchhiieevvee tthhee OOrrggaanniizzaattiioonn’’ss GGooaallss—When employees know the goals of the organization and how they fit into the big picture, they are typically motivated to help drive those goals forward. Unfortunately in many organizations, the employees don’t know the goals of the company or the department.
• CChhaapptteerr 44:: TThhee IImmppoorrttaannccee ooff EEnntthhuussiiaassmm ffoorr MMoottiivvaattiioonn— The comic strip Dilbert has certainly had fun with the lack of enthusiasm in the work place and has put the blame jus- tifiably on leadership. It is up to the manager to build an environment where enthusiasm is fostered.
• CChhaapptteerr 55:: PPeerrffoorrmmaannccee DDeevveellooppmmeenntt aass aa MMoottiivvaattiinngg TTooooll—One of the ways a manager can create a motivating environment for an employee is to set expectations and provide opportunities for growth. Many managers don’t think about or plan for an employee’s development, which is key to motivation.
• CChhaapptteerr 66:: CCooaacchhiinngg ttoo MMoottiivvaattee—Employees are moti- vated by being directed and knowing where they are headed both in the short and long term. This is a skill that is essential for keeping employees fired up and retaining them as employees.
• CChhaapptteerr 77: WWhhaatt RReeaallllyy MMoottiivvaatteess PPeeooppllee??—This seems to be a mystery to many managers, but it really isn’t all that mysterious. Once the knowledge of what motivates people is gained and turned into tangible action, the manager will have a team that is unstoppable.
• CChhaapptteerr 88:: MMoottiivvaattiinngg wwiitthh RReewwaarrddss aanndd RReeccooggnniittiioonn— Most people long for their company and more importantly their managers to recognize and reward their efforts. Many managers say they are too busy to reward and recognize the employees.
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• CChhaapptteerr 99:: TThhee IImmppoorrttaannccee ooff BBaallaannccee iinn aa WWeellll-MMoottiivvaatteedd WWoorrkkffoorrccee——The importance of balance is being discussed endlessly in the business press yet seems to be a problem that is getting worse not better. The leader of a team needs to be aware of the issue and use techniques to help relieve pressure.
• CChhaapptteerr 1100: PPuuttttiinngg IItt AAllll TTooggeetthheerr——If managers want to see a difference in the work place and employees who are more motivated, then all the concepts have to be put into action. This means a commitment to execution of action plans for each area. There are several tools and worksheets to assist with that throughout the book. Avoid the tempta- tion to skip over them. They will help identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.
Make a decision today that no matter where you are as a manager, you are going to commit to making the work place better for you and your team. As Dale Carnegie once said, “There is only one way to get anybody to do anything, and that is by making the other person want to do it.”
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CHAPTER 2: Hiring and Keeping Motivated People In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg conducted a landmark study on how human relations relate to motivation in the work place. He concluded that there were two factors relat- ing to motivation in the work place and came up with two resulting theories: the hygiene theory and the motivation theory.
The first part of his findings relate to the work environment. The elements of hygiene involve
• The company • Policies and their administration • The supervision people receive on the job • Working conditions • Interpersonal relations • Salary • Status • Security
This theory suggests that the hygiene elements will not moti- vate an employee, but if they are not met, there will be job dissatisfaction.
The second part of Herzberg’s findings relate to the motivat- ing factors
• Achievement • Recognition
• Growth/advancement • Interest in the job
The hygiene and motivating factors relate to employees’ understanding of the purpose of their jobs. It is the manager’s role to make sure employees are well-informed and clear on the purpose of their work, the team’s work, and the com- pany’s work. When employees know why they are doing the work, they are much more motivated and satisfied with their jobs. So how does a manager ensure that this happens?
Begin in the Beginning
To create a work place that is energized and motivated, the company must first hire well. Hiring well is the foundation upon which a motivating environment is built. As Lou Holtz once said, “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” If we consider the opposite of that—it is adding people who are motivated. Hiring can be the most positive or the most destructive influence on the team’s moti- vation. Do not underestimate the impact on the rest of the team when a poor hire is made.
I have met managers from a variety of organizations who were not skilled in interviewing and hiring. An organization is only as good as the quality of the candidates and the qual- ity of the hiring process. If an environment is going to be one where employees are motivated, then the quality of the peo- ple hired is critical. Here are a few tips for making sure the “right” candidates get hired:
• CCoonndduucctt mmuullttiippllee iinntteerrvviieewwss.. The process of interviewing should consist of several interviews:
1. A screening interview over the phone 2. An initial interview
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3. A second interview 4. A final interview
By conducting multiple interviews, you end up knowing the candidate better and finding out what they are really like as a person. The candidate should also be interviewed by several people in the organization so that the manager gets different perspectives about them.
• LLooookk ffoorr aa ccuullttuurraall ffiitt.. There absolutely must be a cultural fit in addition to the competency fit. Research has shown that lack of cultural fit causes more employees to not last in a job than their inability to do the job. Managers must overlook the temptation to hire on the basis of competency and ignore the cultural aspects. For example, an IT expert who is a technical genius, but treats people with disre- spect, is not a good trade-off.
• GGeett HHuummaann RReessoouurrcceess iinnvvoollvveedd.. It is important to have Human Resources involvement, but they should not make the final hiring decision. The final decision should be up to the hiring manager. I have worked with organizations in the past where HR did the interviewing and the hiring, and managers were then “stuck” with an employee who didn’t fit their needs. Managers should insist on having the final say in the process.
• AAllwwaayyss rreeccrruuiitt.. Managers should always network and should always be on the look out for viable candidates both inside and outside the organization. The best approach is to make a file of viable candidates before they are needed. Then when the need arises, the manager con- tacts the people in the file who are viable.
• KKnnooww tthheeyy aarree tthhee bbeesstt tthheeyy wwiillll bbee.. When candidates are being interviewed, they are at their very best. They are the best they will ever be dressed, and the best they will ever
Hiring and Keeping Motivated People
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present themselves. A common mistake made by hiring managers is that they think they can change the negative characteristics of a candidate after they are hired. This is as absurd as someone changing their spouse after they get married.
• HHaavvee kknnoocckk--oouutt qquueessttiioonnss.. It is advisable to have knock- out questions—questions that would eliminate the candi- date if they gave a “no” answer to a question. For example, I was the hiring manager for a corporate university, and one of my knock-out questions was about continuous learning. I felt very strongly that we shouldn’t hire a candi- date as a training manager if they weren’t willing to learn themselves. I would ask a few questions about reading, training, classes, etc. This gave me the ability to determine if they were a learner or not. Managers must decide on the qualities that are absolutely not negotiable and use these qualities as the basis of knock-out questions. These ques- tions should be woven into the interview. The candidate should never know that these are knock-out questions; knowing the nature of the questions could influence their answers.
To find candidates who are a good fit in terms of enthusiasm, use open-ended interview questions as listed below:
• So tell me about yourself . . . • What is the best job you have ever had and why? • What is important to you in the work place? • Who has had an influence on your career? Why? • Do you do any reading? What do you read? • What book has had the most influence on you in the last
five years? • Who has been the best boss you have reported to? Why? • The worst boss? Why?
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• What motivates you? Why? • How would you describe yourself? • How would the team of people you work with
describe you? • What do you stand for? • Who are your role models? • What have you learned in the past year? • What professional organizations do you belong to? Why? • What does enthusiasm mean to you? • Describe your personality. • How do you get along with others?
This list of questions should provide managers with a base- line for determining the candidate’s level of enthusiasm. These questions should obviously be mixed with questions about experience and job skills. The idea is to look for both competency and culture.
The New Hire
The best way to ensure that employees understand the pur- pose of what they do is to start from the beginning, when they are hired. This is an overlooked and underused concept. Many managers I have worked with in the past used the “fry- ing pan into the fire” concept: throw them into the work with no explanation, training, understanding, or concept of what they are doing and why. Most people reading this book have had similar experiences.
We should not overlook the critical first days of a new employee’s work life when we can lay the foundation of their belief and have a huge impact on their perception of us and the company. Keep this in mind: If we want them to be moti- vated, we have to create an environment from day one that
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does that. The first and most important element once a new employee starts is orientation.
Orientation
Orientation is when a new employee is first exposed to the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Orientation should be delivered by a professional who can convey the values of the company’s vision. I am sure there are small organizations that might say, “Well, we are small, and we don’t conduct ori- entation.” I think small companies become successful by act- ing like big companies. It is crucial for new employees to be properly oriented, and this is especially important in small companies because each employee can have a meaningful direct impact. Orientation sets the stage.
There might be organizations that don’t have mission, value, or vision statements. If that is the case, how does the organi- zation know where it is going? How will it know when it gets there? Is there a long-term plan that can be shared instead of mission, vision, and values? Not having a written cohesive statement of what your company stands for and where it is going is dangerous.
At orientation, the employee should learn all about the com- pany, what it stands for, and what kinds of qualities and actions are valued. There is no doubt that oriented employees are more knowledgeable, and knowledgeable employees are more motivated.
Orientation also has several advantages. It
• Gets employees motivated • Helps employees feel appreciated early in their first week • Converts belief in favor of the company
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• Builds excitement about the company • Gets everyone on the same page • Instills values and culture
Once the formal general orientation is complete, it is up to the manager to give them a specific overview to help them understand the purpose of their individual work. There are several factors in making sure that new employees under- stand the purpose of their work:
1. PPrroovviiddee jjoobb ddeessccrriippttiioonnss.. Managers and supervisors should make sure there is a job description for every job. I have worked with and for many organizations that didn’t have job descriptions or if they did they were never shared. It is amazing that companies can succeed without the employees knowing the tasks they are expected to perform. If there are no job descriptions, there can be no accountability, measurement, or sense of knowing if the employee is doing what they are “supposed to do.” If the organization doesn’t have job descriptions, then it is the manager’s responsibility to write them for each job under him/her. The task is onerous and very time consuming, but the results in productivity can be significant and the employees feel better about their work. If job descriptions need to be created, it is always good policy to partner with the Human Resources Department, but if the organi- zation is small, a manager can build the job descriptions. I once had an employee who met with me on her first day. We reviewed the job description and discussed it at length. She said, “It is so nice to know exactly what I am supposed to do from day one.” She went on to explain that she had worked at several companies and had never been provided with a job description. The motivating value of people knowing what they are supposed to do is tremendous.
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2. PPrroovviiddee iitt iinn wwrriittiinngg.. All job descriptions should be in writing and available to everyone. There are certain legal reasons why this makes sense, but I am not a lawyer. From a clarity perspective, it makes sense to have a writ- ten description because it helps eliminate any ambiguity. There is no question that when details are given verbally, there is too much room for interpretation. People in gen- eral are bad listeners or have perceptions in their minds that are so strong that they hear what they want to hear. Written job descriptions will eliminate problems and mis- communication.
3. EExxppllaaiinn tthhee ppuurrppoossee.. Every employee should have their job explained to them by their supervisor verbally as part of detailed discussions during the interview, orientation, and periodic reviews. It is tremendously motivating to employees when they understand the purpose of their role. Let’s take the example of a receptionist at a firm. Some would say the role of a receptionist is not that important. It would be possible for a receptionist to start feeling that their job was not important and to feel less motivated. A skilled manager would explain the role of the receptionist. They would also make sure that the receptionist understood that their role was vitally impor- tant to the firm because they were the first contact with the client—what a truly important role! Many managers don’t explain the roles to each employee because they don’t have time, they are busy, and a whole host of other “reasons.” As the old Fram oil filter ad campaign used to proclaim: “You can pay me now or pay me later.” An investment in communication up front will save the manager significant time and trouble later.
4. TTaallkk aabboouutt tthhee iinntteerrrreellaattiioonn.. Each employee should understand how their job relates to the other jobs on the team. In many organizations, employees have no idea
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what the other employees in their department actually do on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, employees should understand how their work interrelates with the other departments in the company. I have attended many meet- ings where Customer Service was blaming Sales, Sales was blaming Marketing, Marketing was blaming Order Entry, and the blame went on and on. Clearly this was a case of one department not understanding the purpose of the other departments. This results in classic “we versus them” scenarios in the same organization—which in theory has the same objectives. At times, employees need to be reminded that the same logo is on all their checks. A good analogy that can work well is that of a wagon wheel: The round part of the wheel is the entire company and the spokes are each department. Clearly each spoke on that wheel is equally important. What happens if one spoke breaks in a wagon wheel? Probably not much, but if more than one breaks or starts to malfunction, the entire wheel falls apart. Most employees find that analogy useful.
5. RReevviieeww tthhee mmiissssiioonn//ccrreeddoo//vvaalluueess,, eettcc.. If a company has a mission statement, credo, or values statement, it should be known by every employee and should be in writing and posted everywhere. A good example of this working well is the Ritz Carlton. At Ritz Carlton, every employee understands the mission of Ritz Carlton. I was walking in a downtown area and stopped in a Ritz Carlton because it was in a beautifully restored building. The door was opened for me, and as I was looking around, one of the door men greeted me warmly and said, “Hello sir. Have you seen our ballroom?” I told him that I wasn’t even a guest at the hotel. He smiled and said, “Well you must see our ballroom because you will come back and someday will be a guest.” He was
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practicing one of the key tenants of Ritz Carlton’s overall philosophy: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Companies like Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, and Jet Blue Airlines inherently understand that the power of the employees knowing and understanding the mission/credo is that they provide better customer serv- ice because they are more motivated: They feel like they are part of a greater good. It gets back to Herzberg’s hygiene factors; one of them is policy administration and the company. When they are not met, it leads to job dis- satisfaction, but when they are met, it leads to increased satisfaction. There are many companies where they have a mission/credo, but no one knows that it exists. What is the sense of having a mission/credo if it is under lock and key? It is the manager’s job to make sure that all employees in their department know the mission/credo of the company and that it is given in writing and posted proudly where all can see it on display. It answers the question: why are we doing this work every day?
The company you are working for might be new or small- to mid-sized. It is possible that your company doesn’t have a mission statement. One word of caution: This can be a very arduous task and requires some expertise. If the task seems too overwhelming, contact a local professional who can help sort through the development of a mission statement for the firm.
6. EExxppllaaiinn tthhee tteeaamm mmiissssiioonn.. If the company has a mission/credo, then the manager of each department should have a way of translating the mission to the team. Let’s take an example: Starbucks’ mission statement is “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncom- promising principles while we grow.” They then go on to outline six guiding principles: (1) Provide a great work
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environment and treat each other with respect and dig- nity, (2) embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business, (3) apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting, and fresh deliv- ery of our coffee, (4) develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all the time, (5) contribute positively to our communities and our environment, (6) recognize prof- itability is essential to our future success. A savvy mana- ger will lay the six principles out on the table and say to the team, “How can our team drive these principles? How can we contribute to number one? Number two?” Once all these questions are discussed, a team mission statement can be crafted. Then the members of the team will understand their purpose and more importantly how their purpose relates to the larger picture.
7. DDooccuummeenntt tthhee tteeaamm mmiissssiioonn.. Once the team mission is crafted, it should be in writing and posted proudly. On a regular basis, behaviors that are aligned with the company and team mission should be recognized and reinforced.
8. CCoommmmuunniiccaattee tthhee mmiissssiioonn.. The mission/credo of the company and the team should be part of communications verbally, in writing, and in meetings. At meetings, the agenda should include a portion of that meeting to high- light the mission credo. I once worked for a company that had a credo. At every meeting, the credo was read out loud and with reverence. The repetition of the message is essential to ensure that people understand it, but more importantly start applying it to their daily work. Make the mission/credo so ingrained in the employees’ minds that they get excited about it and start articulating the message.
Taking these steps with each new employee will have an incredible impact on that employee’s motivation. They will
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feel valued, appreciated, informed, and more confident. The most important aspect is this: because they are more moti- vated, they will be more productive and more enthusiastic, and stay with the organization longer.
Act Early
If the manager has made a hiring mistake, it is important to act early and quickly. If that person who was hired is clearly a hiring error and will never fit with the team’s culture and compatibility, the manager needs to let that person go as soon as possible. If the new hire error is not let go, the situation will
• Create tension on the team • De-motivate employees who are doing a good job • Make the team wonder about the manager’s abilities • Make the team wonder about the company’s standards • Contribute to an overall negative environment
Too many organizations make hiring mistakes and hold onto that person for far too long. This is a double mistake: (1) hiring them and (2) keeping them. When this happens, the impact on the team’s motivation is devastating. Lastly—let- ting that employee go is doing them a favor because they already intuitively know they are not doing well and no one likes to fail.
Current Employees
Here is a question that every manager should ask themselves: If this is how we are communicating to new hires, do we also communicate to existing employees the same way? Do they know the purpose of their work? Do they know the mission of the company? The team? Go back over the key points of
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this chapter and ask yourself if your existing employees know this information. If the answer is a resounding “no,” then put a plan together to start communicating all these con- cepts over time.
This is a way of ensuring that you as a manager hire and keep the best, most-motivated employees.
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CHAPTER 3: Motivating Employees to Achieve the Organization’s Goals The world is a very ambiguous place. There are many aspects of our professional and personal lives that are confusing. We are often bombarded with many confusing rules, laws, and regulations with no explanations given. This should not hap- pen in the work place. Managers should provide clarity and direction.
An employee’s understanding the purpose of what they do relates to the hygiene and the motivating factors mentioned in Chapter 2. It is the manager’s role to make sure that employees are well informed and clear on the purpose of their work, the team’s work, and the company’s work. When employees know why they are doing the work, they are much more motivated and satisfied with their jobs.
I recently overheard a conversation with two employees on an elevator. They were both furious at their supervisor. The one person said, “What is his problem? He doesn’t ever tell us what is going on and then expects us to do the work!” The other employee sighed and said, “I don’t know, I guess he thinks we are mind readers—but I don’t understand why we have to do it that way.” Obviously these employees were frustrated and angry, and were being managed by someone who didn’t communicate the employees’ roles and how those roles relate to the organization.
In another example, I once heard employees talking in the company cafeteria. One employee said to her lunch mate,
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“So, what is the plan this week? I know it is different than last week.” The other employee sighed and said, “I have no idea; no one tells me anything around here and the plan, if there is one, changes every other day. I’ll tell you what: I am out of here soon.” Keep in mind this conversation was being held in the company lunchroom. This was a very disturbing conversation to hear. Obviously the employees were very frustrated, and management was not sharing any informa- tion with them.
I once had a manager who answered a question I asked with “I can’t share that with you.” It is on a “need-to-know basis.” I said that I needed to know, because I was constantly being asked the question by others. I didn’t know the answer, and I felt foolish. He said he still could not tell me.
Managers should be sharing as much as possible with employees within the limits of legality. It is understood that some issues are confidential, but if managers want motivated and excited employees, they must keep them informed. Yet many managers do not. It is the equivalent of a military leader in the old days saying “Charge!” but not saying why or when or how.
If managers expect employees to follow the charge, the employees must know where the charge is headed. They must know the goals and mission of the company (as out- lined in Chapter 2) and where the company is headed in the short, mid, and long term. This is not being done at many companies across the world. Then they wonder why employ- ees are not motivated.
Managers should share with their teams the short-, mid-, and long-term goals of the organization. More importantly, they should also share the short-, mid-, and long-term goals of the
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department, and how they relate to the employees. The ideal is to paint a picture for the team members of the future that is clear and understandable. The pictures that many managers paint are abstract art! Make your picture clear and unambiguous.
A manager can do this in several areas:
• Orientation • Meetings • Annual reviews • Communication • Repetition • One-on-one reinforcement • Actions
We have already discussed orientation in Chapter 2, and the other concepts will be covered in this and subsequent chapters.
Once the employee has conceptualized the mission and vision, they should learn about the short-, mid-, and long- term plans for the company and for the team. This helps answer the questions What? How? and Why? for the employee. People are much more likely to follow when they know why they are doing what they are doing.
Next they should learn about the long-term plans for the department. This is where managers struggle, because they don’t have a clear picture themselves of where they want their department to be in the short, mid, and long term. That might sound shocking, but in many cases and many clients I have worked with, the managers didn’t know what their short-, mid-, and long-term plans were and wouldn’t admit this fact. If a manager does not have a long-term vision, they can’t articulate it. If the manager can’t articulate it, there will
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be employees who are confused and frustrated and ulti- mately employees who lack motivation.
Below and on the next few page is a worksheet for develop- ing and clarifying the short-, mid-, and long-term goals of the department. It is important to take time to complete the worksheet in order to help crystallize and articulate the plans.
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What is the purpose of your department/team?
How does your department contribute to the company’s objectives?
Long-Term Planning Worksheet
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1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
4. 4. 4.
1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
4. 4. 4.
1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
4. 4. 4.
Can all the goals be measured?
If these goals are achieved, how will it benefit the team?
How can you as the leader paint a picture of the long-term future?
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(continued)
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Motivating Employees to Achieve the Goals
I was out driving one day, and by the road, I saw a large piece of plywood, cut in the shape of a thermometer and painted in bright colors. At the top it said, “HELP us Raise $100,000 for the Fire Department.” It had a mark for each level of donation received. There it was: the goal, the visual representation of the goal, and the measurement. Managers need to do the same. I am not saying have a plywood sign in the lobby (although it wouldn’t be bad!). Teams need a visual map of the goal and how they are performing against the goal. It is the manager’s responsibility to keep the team “in the loop” as to how the objectives for the year are going. If they can check it themselves visually, all the better. Nothing motivates a team more than everyone pulling toward a clear and tangible goal. I was recently in Wal-Mart and noticed
they had all the store performance goals and metrics posted on the wall in large letters. That’s tangible!
Managers should constantly communicate to the team where they are, where they are going, and how far they have to go. Some managers assume that repeating the goals and objec- tives too often is detrimental, but the opposite is actually true. The team must be reminded constantly about the goals, because they will get distracted and lose site of them over a full-year period. This can be done using several methods:
• Staff meetings • E-mails • Voice mails • Memos • Newsletters • Handwritten cards or notes • Conference calls
Once the manager has painted a picture for the team, it is time to develop specific strategies behind the long-term plans. Those strategies should be shared with the entire team and then be broken down into specific action items or tasks. This should be done on a regular basis at department and team meetings.
For example, at a team meeting, a manager says, “In the next three years, we want to increase sales 150 percent.” The group will say they understand, then they will want to know how. The manager can brainstorm with the team to develop strategies for getting the 150 percent increase. Then those strategies can be turned into actions-to-implement to meet the goals. The advantage of this approach is that there won’t be any employees in the lunchroom saying they don’t know what the plan is or the reason for the plan. The team—even in the absence of the manager—will move forward to the short-,
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mid-, and long-term goals that everyone understands. Then each time the team meets, the manager should give an update as to how they are doing based on the goals that have been set. This is the motivating fuel.
The manager should then meet with each person and explain to them how the plan will benefit them professionally and personally. As strange as it sounds, this is a very important aspect because there are often employees who:
• Don’t understand the plan. • Don’t like or support the plan, but wouldn’t say so at a
meeting. • Don’t understand how the plan applies to them. • Have certain negative thoughts or feelings about the plan. • Have questions they won’t ask in front of a group.
The opportunity to have one-on-one dialogue can give the manager a chance to answer all these questions. When the doubts and questions are answered, and the employee knows how the plan relates to them, the effect is like lighting a match under a bottle rocket—the employee is motivated to implement the plan.
This approach takes a great deal of thought, planning, and strategizing on the manager’s part. Unfortunately, many managers don’t take the time and have results that reflect that. When they do take the time, the motivation level on the team’s part is obvious and tangible.
Twice a year, it is a good idea for the manager to give a “state of the union” presentation. This presentation should be detailed and get into the specifics of the performance of the team versus the goals. This will help team members to get in the loop, and they will feel acknowledged and respected.
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CHAPTER 4 The Importance of Enthusiasm for Motivation To establish and maintain an environment where employees can be motivated, it is essential to use enthusiasm as a tool. Companies with a noticeable feeling of enthusiasm are typi- cally most successful in achieving a motivating environment. Og Mandino, author of several books said, “Every memo- rable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusi- asm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how fright- ening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accom- plish miracles.”
A positive impact on the business will result when the man- ager and the team are enthusiastic:
• Employees will be more productive. • They will be more creative. • They will be willing to work harder and stay longer. • They will want to come to work. • Other employees in the company will want to work in that
department. • Absenteeism will decrease.
So how does a manager ensure that the work place is one that would be described as enthusiastic? First, hire, keep, develop, and grow people who are enthusiastic. Second, be a model of enthusiasm yourself.
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Process of Building an Enthusiastic Team
People want to be part of something special and exciting. At a picnic, I met a man and asked him what he did for a living. He shrugged and said, “I pick up change from vending machines.” I smiled and said, “Well, that sounds like an honest day’s work.” He responded by saying it was just a job. If that gentleman had worked at a company that had a positive, upbeat environment, a great enthusiastic leader, and other employees who were enthusiastic, then he would have had a different story to tell. Note that it is not the kind of work an employee is doing, it is the environment of the work that counts. This is the element that the manager can greatly influ- ence.
The first step in the process is to do an analysis of each employee in the department. This applies to all managers, whether they are taking over a new team or have an existing team. This is important because the people are the environ- ment. If there are negative, unmotivated employees, then that is what the environment will be: negative and unmotivated. A department is not made up of desks and chairs and com- puters; it’s made up of people, and the savvy manager real- izes that results come from people.
I have worked in many organizations and have seen the incredible negative impact one person can have on a depart- ment. This should not be tolerated under any circumstances and action should be taken.
The manager needs to fully evaluate each employee in the department or team to determine their level of enthusiasm and make some important decisions. This can be difficult because enthusiasm is not easy to define. The only way to define enthusiasm is in behaviors that the employee exhibits.
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Enthusiasm Rating Sheet
Fill out one sheet for each employee by rating the fol- lowing statements on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being the MOST and 1 being the LEAST. Completed worksheets should be kept completely confidential.
Employee Name
The employee:
is visibly enthusiastic most of the time. 1 2 3 4 5
speaks positively about his/her work. 1 2 3 4 5
speaks positively about the team. 1 2 3 4 5
seems excited based on body language and voice.
1 2 3 4 5
speaks positively about the company. 1 2 3 4 5
gets along well with the other team members.
1 2 3 4 5
reacts positively under pressure. 1 2 3 4 5
is responsive to suggestions and takes action.
1 2 3 4 5
(continued)
Complete the worksheet below and on the next page to help sort through the thought process.
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The employee:
is consistent in terms of attendance. 1 2 3 4 5
seems to have a “good attitude.” 1 2 3 4 5
Total Overall Score (add total from each line) + + + + =
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Rating Interpretation
4400––5500 PPooiinnttss:: The individual is very enthusiastic and is an asset to the team.
3300––4499 PPooiinnttss:: This is a solid employee who can be positive most of the time.
2200––2299 PPooiinnttss:: The level of enthusiasm might be a problem. 00––2200 PPooiinnttss:: Red alert! There are and will be problems.
Once the analysis has been done for each employee, the man- ager must ask him- or herself several questions:
1. HHooww ddooeess tthhiiss eemmppllooyyeeee ssccoorree oonn eenntthhuussiiaassmm?? It is important for a manager to think through how enthusias- tic an employee is on a daily basis.
2. IIff tthhee ssccoorree iiss llooww,, ddooeess tthhiiss hhaavvee aa nneeggaattiivvee iimmppaacctt oonn tthheeiirr aabbiilliittyy ttoo ddoo tthhee jjoobb?? There are people who are very skilled at the technical aspects of their work, but lack the social and diplomatic skills in order to get along with other team members. The manager must determine in each circumstance the level of importance in weighing technical skills versus attitude issues.
3. IIff tthhee ssccoorree iiss llooww,, hhooww ddooeess tthhiiss aaffffeecctt tthhee rreesstt ooff tthhee tteeaamm?? If the employee has a low level of enthusiasm, is that having a negative impact on the rest of the team? Have problems occurred as a result?
4. IIff tthhee ssccoorree iiss llooww,, hhooww ddooeess tthhiiss aaffffeecctt tthhee ccoommppaannyy?? If the employee has contact with the public as part of his/her job responsibilities, is that a situation that could negatively impact the company’s perception with the public at large? Could it result in complaints or problems with customer satisfaction?
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Once the questions have been answered and considered, then there are two actions that are possible regarding an employee who is ranked low on the enthusiasm ranking: (1) coach the employee on behaviors that are appropriate and/or (2) take steps to start the process of terminating that employee. As a word of caution, an employee can’t be let go without proba- ble cause, and the issue of enthusiasm and attitude can be dif- ficult to use as a reason for termination, because it could be construed as not being performance related. Make sure to get the Human Resources Department involved if you decide to sever employment ties with an employee for this reason.
Setting Expectations
The positive or negative influence one employee can have on the entire team is greater than most managers realize. The manager must decide which employees will stay and which ones will go. Once the team is assembled of the remaining employees, it is time to set or reset expectations. The manager should have a meeting with the team and talk about the expectations for the “new” team from that day forward. It is essential that the expectations be clear and specific. It is also important to eliminate any ambiguity. For example, a manager could say, “I expect everyone to have a good atti- tude.” This is a poorly articulated expectation because every- one’s idea of a good attitude is different. The expectation should be put into behavioral terms that can be measured and be documented in writing. The team will then under- stand exactly what is expected.
Expectations need to be reinforced by ongoing coaching. If an employee is exhibiting positive behaviors, then that behavior needs to be reinforced. A manager might say, “Cindy, I know that you were under tons of pressure on the Acme account, but you did a nice job of staying calm, cool, and collected—
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good work!” The positive reinforcement will motivate the employee to want to continue the behavior because it was noticed.
If negative behaviors are noticed, then the manager needs to inform the employee that the behavior is not acceptable and coach them for improvement.
I once worked in an organization where there was an employee on the team who was rude, vicious, and just plain mean. “Rita” (not her real name) was rude to employees, customers, and management. She had been there for three years and was tolerated by everyone. The main topic at lunch was almost always Rita and why management allowed her behavior to go on for years. This had a very bad impact on employee motivation and morale. An organization must not allow one person who a manager doesn’t have the guts to fire to be a disruption to creating a motivating environment.
Once the team has been culled of negative-thinking people who lack enthusiasm, then it is essential for managers to master the next phase: modeling enthusiasm.
Modeling Enthusiasm
A lack of enthusiasm in the world today makes meeting someone who is enthusiastic a pleasant surprise. As man- agers, we must role model the enthusiasm that we want our team to project. American clergyman and writer Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Your enthusiasm will be infec- tiously stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go with you and for you.”
Managers set the tone at all times in the organization.
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Ten Tips for Modeling Enthusiasm
1. BBee eenntthhuussiiaassttiicc. Maintain a level of enthusiasm that is contagious. This has to be an authentic enthusiasm; most people can tell when you are being insincere.
2. BBee hhoonneesstt.. Be honest at all times. Preach it, talk about it, coach it, do it! This is where it gets tough—sometimes it is not easy to be honest. It is difficult to tell someone, for example, that the project they worked on is not accept- able, after they put a great deal of effort into the project. You must, however, be willing to be honest, because that is what you want your team to do. You want them to come to you when they have made a mistake, are con- fused, or don’t agree. At some companies I have worked with, I have seen employees agree in public, but disagree privately with their team members. This happens because they don’t feel comfortable being honest. They found that honesty didn’t get them anywhere and, in fact, was a punishable offense. That can have a huge impact on employee motivation.
3. WWoorrkk hhaarrdd.. When Michael Eisner took over Disney many years ago, he decided that Disney was in a crisis mode. He came in early and left the office very, very late. He parked his car right up front where every employee could see it. As employees came in every day, they saw that Eisner’s car was already in its spot. As a result, employ- ees started coming in earlier. This is a great illustration of modeling the behavior. If you come in late and leave early, that is what the team will do. As Cardinal J. Gibbons said, “There are no office hours for leaders.”
4. BBee eetthhiiccaall.. As a manager, it is critical to be ethical at all times. There are courses that mention the term situational ethics. I am very much against that thought. Are people
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ethical only in certain situations? Managers must model the highest level of ethics at all times, particularly in today’s time of corporate scandal.
5. BBee rreessppeeccttffuull.. Every employee should be treated with respect at all times. The pride and feeling of motivation this builds is phenomenal. I had an employee once who did a fine job on a project, and when I gave her a compli- ment, she turned about five shades of red. I asked her what was wrong, and she proceeded to tell me that she had never been given a compliment at work. In 15 years in the work place, not one supervisor had given her a compliment. Respect includes not yelling, demeaning, or criticizing employees in public. I have known and heard of executives who treat employees like they are invisible. Respect pays huge dividends and builds loyalty, espe- cially if employees have never been treated respectfully. Lastly, it is just the right thing to do.
6. HHaavvee ffuunn.. If you want the team to have fun at work, you have to have fun. Use good-natured humor and tell funny stories. Be willing to laugh at yourself. As a caution: The humor should never obviously be at someone else’s expense and should not be offensive. A good rule of thumb is that if you would say it in front of your grand- mother, it is probably safe humor.
7. BBee wwiilllliinngg ttoo bbee wwrroonngg.. Sometimes managers get a little too egocentric and too arrogant. Sincere humility is a valuable quality that employees will admire and respect. When you are wrong, just simply say “I was wrong. I was thinking at the time that (fill in the reason why), but now I realize I made an error. Let’s move forward and talk about what we can do to fix this.” I have seen managers who absolutely refuse to ever admit they were wrong
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under any circumstances, even when it was blatantly obvious.
8. SSttaayy ccaallmm.. In the middle of havoc, you must always stay calm. You must be the calm captain of the ship who stays focused in times of crisis. During the horrible time of September 11th, Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, stayed calm in the middle of all heck breaking loose. The result of his actions was that New Yorkers were calmer. As a manager, if you want your team members to stay calm, cool, and collected, then you need to model that behavior. They will be watching your every move, espe- cially during those times. If you want to be upset and “vent,” wait until you leave the office and call a friend to tell them about it.
9. CCoommmmuunniiccaattee ffrreeqquueennttllyy.. Most managers think they are communicating frequently, but the reality is most employ- ees feel that managers don’t communicate enough and they feel under-informed. The result? Employees feel “out of the loop.” If you want employees to communicate fre- quently, do so yourself, both formally and informally.
10. SSuuppppoorrtt tthhee ccoommppaannyy.. Managers should always support the company. As officers of the company, that is what they are paid to do. A manager in very real terms is the company. Managers must support company procedures and policies, even when they disagree with them person- ally. Why? Because not supporting company policy sends mixed messages, which is very confusing to employees. Under no circumstance should a manager express any negative comments about the company to employees such as the following: I am telling you to do this, but I disagree with it. Or I work for the company and I support the company, but don’t agree with its policies. Making negative comments about other departments is ill
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advised, as well. I have heard managers say, “Well you know how those knuckleheads are in Marketing.” This sends a message to the entire team that it is okay to criti- cize and talk negatively about other departments. After all, those departments are part of the company. Savvy managers should set a “no whining policy.” Employees are not allowed to whine or complain, but they are allowed to point out issues and solutions. This sets an entirely different tone.
Model the behaviors that the team is expected to emulate.
Team Meetings
One other method for building and maintaining enthusiasm is having regular team meetings. The word meeting in corporate America seems to be a word that almost always has a negative connotation. Why? Meetings are typically not properly organ- ized and managed by the manager. Meetings that are properly organized, well planned, and efficient are appreciated by employees and can help reinforce a motivating environment.
Assuming that you already know how to organize and run a team meeting, there is no point in covering those details. The question is a much bigger one: How can you jazz up meet- ings to make them more exciting and more motivating?
15 Tips for Making Meetings More Exciting and Motivating
1. PPrroovviiddee ffoooodd.. It is a good idea to have meetings around breakfast or lunch.. Food helps people bond and feel more connected. If it is not breakfast or lunch, snacks can still be provided. Food is a form of appreciation. I once worked for a company that was so cheap, they would have a team meeting at lunch from 12:00 to 1:00, but
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everyone would have to bring their own food. The employees were giving up their lunch hour, and they had to bring their own food. This had a very negative impact. There were ten people at the meeting; sixty dollars worth of pizzas and drinks once a month could have made a positive impact. So build some enthusiasm by having good food for meetings. Here is another important point: Explain why you are providing food. The manager might say, “Well everyone, we have all been working real hard and we are right now ahead of our goal for the year. This lunch is a special token of my appreciation for your hard work.”
2. PPllaayy mmuussiicc.. Have high-energy music playing when par- ticipants enter the meeting room. Now some people would say, “Well that is silly.” But remember the goal is to make the meeting more exciting and motivating, and music can play a big part in that. When you go to a Broadway show or any venue where there is entertain- ment, they have music and it is there for a reason: to build excitement and anticipation!
3. SShhooww vviiddeeooss.. Use videos on occasion to open or close a meeting. They can be on various inspirational and moti- vating topics. This is a way to get people thinking about motivation and a positive attitude on a regular basis, which can have an amazing impact on the team. A video that is well produced can really have an impact on the team.
4. CCoonndduucctt ttrraaiinniinngg.. Have a fun, interactive training session during each meeting. It can be on communication, prod- uct knowledge, operational knowledge, motivating, etc. There are many great training programs on the market, which can be purchased with a video, learners’ guide, and facilitator’s guide. The other option is to take advan-
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tage of the corporate Training Department if your com- pany has one. In addition, you can assign team members to do training on their various areas of expertise.
5. PPllaayy ggaammeess.. There are all sorts of games on the market designed for training that can be used during team meet- ings. They can help a team learn more about each other, learn how to communicate better, and many other topics. They can be found in the various books that are pub- lished that have games for training. If people feel better about the team they work with, it can be very motivating.
6. BBrriinngg iinn aa gguueesstt.. Have a guest speaker at your meeting who is an executive in the company. To give it an extra “kick,” make it a surprise. Have the guest talk about the company as a whole and the contributions that your team is making to the efforts of the company. You can also have a vendor, supplier, or large account come in and speak to the group. This can be a way of bringing some energy and impact to a meeting.
7. CChhaannggee tthhee llooccaattiioonn.. Have the meeting off site at a fun location and have a group activity afterward. I once worked for a manager who had a meeting off site: We had lunch and then went bowling that afternoon as a team-building activity. Everyone felt appreciated and had fun. Talk about motivating!
8. GGiivvee ffuunn aawwaarrddss.. On occasion, give out fun awards to team members for small accomplishments. This might be for achieving smaller goals or going above and beyond the call of duty that month. The awards can be movie tickets, gift certificates, or a simple paper certificate. The idea is just to recognize a team member’s achievement publicly in front of their peers.
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9. CCoonndduucctt aa bbrraaiinnssttoorrmmiinngg sseessssiioonn.. It is very motivating to employees when you ask for their ideas, and asking the group to brainstorm is just that. Brainstorming can be fun and stimulating, and great ideas can come from the process.
10. HHaavvee aa tthheemmee.. At certain times, such as holidays or sea- sons, it is fun to use a theme for a meeting and have that theme woven into the agenda, topics, etc.
11. RReeaadd aa bbooookk.. Have all team members read a book or an article and have a facilitated discussion around the topic. The manager should pick a topic that is particularly rele- vant to the current situations going on in the department or team.
12. UUssee aa pprroopp.. As part of the meeting, give each person a handout item such as a rock, a box of sparklers, or any other item. Then have a discussion as to why you gave each one of them that item. Let’s say the manager has set a sales goal of increasing sales 150 percent. The manager can say, “I want you to rock our sales goal and I want everyone to leave this rock on their desk to remind them of the goal.” This technique can be used with any item. It’s different and it gets them thinking.
13. DDeelleeggaattee aa sseeggmmeenntt ooff tthhee mmeeeettiinngg.. Have a team member work on research about a particular topic and have them present it to their team at a staff meeting. It could be a topic about the industry, competitors, or any topic that is relevant to the group. By tapping into people’s expertise, they will be flattered and motivated.
14. HHaavvee aa ccoonntteesstt.. Break the group into smaller teams and have a contest in between the meetings. The rules should be outlined and in writing. The prizes can be small. The
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team will be excited and fired up about winning the com- petition.
15. HHiigghhlliigghhtt aa tteeaamm mmeemmbbeerr.. Have a team member give a presentation about themselves and what they do. They will be flattered that they were asked and will be moti- vated that other people know the contribution they make to the team.
There are many ways to make meetings more fun and moti- vating, and the 15 above are just a few. The payoff is that a manager can make a meeting interesting and motivating instead of mundane.
The environment doesn’t just exist in the work place. It is created by the manager—or just allowed to happen by acci- dent. As Ken Gilbert once said, “The mechanics of industry is easy. The real engine is people—their motivation and direction.”
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CHAPTER 5 Performance Development as a Motivating Tool I was talking to an employee of a company, which shall remain nameless, about her developmental needs. She said she wanted to go to a specific one-day seminar. I asked her if she was going, and she rolled her eyes and said, “They won’t pay for me to get better.” I was shocked and I said that it was job related, and she said it would have to be on her “own time and own dime.” Needless to say, her level of motivation was very low.
As a manager, a commitment to continuous learning for your team will help create an environment where employees will feel valued and motivated.
Setting the Stage Up Front for Growth
Set the stage up front for growth for both existing and new employees. One of the best leaders I ever worked for had a saying and it was “growth is not optional.” This sent a very clear message of expectations for the entire team.
Each team member has to understand that the expectation each year is to grow. The manager has to back up that philos- ophy with money, time, and energy in order to constantly reinforce the message. It is also up to the manager to define what growth is in terms of expectations, which will be cov- ered later in this chapter.
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When interviewing candidates for positions in the depart- ment, the manager needs to first determine how they feel about learning by asking questions: (1) What have they learned in the past? (2) What are they currently learning? (3) What would they like to learn in the future? (4) How do they feel about learning in general? Careful attention should be given to the candidate’s responses to the questions. Are they enthusiastic about learning? Do they want to develop? Do they ask additional questions?
In addition, the manager should explain the expectations around development. The list could be similar to the one below:
• Each year, you and each member of the team are expected to grow.
• This is not an optional activity. • The development has been budgeted and it is a priority. • Each team member will have an individual development
plan. • The plan will be developed by the team member and their
manager. • There will be periodic developmental meetings. • Every employee will have a review every six months.
The manager should then try to get a handle on how the employee feels about the expectations. How do they feel about the expectations? How do they feel about developing every year? How do they feel about an individual develop- ment plan? What do they think of having a review every six months? If the response to the questions is less than enthusi- astic or is lukewarm, then the manager needs to find out more about the employee.
During orientation, the manager should make sure that a new employee is reminded about the expectation and the commitment to learning. Keep in mind that learning doesn’t
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necessarily have to be in a class. There are many different learn- ing methodologies and a list of them is provided in this chapter.
It is interesting to note what noted business guru and author Peter F. Drucker had to say about development of employees: “Leadership is not magnetic personality—that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing peo- ple—that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
The Growth and Development Meeting
For all employees on the team, the growth and development meeting should be the cornerstone of commitment to their development. The meeting is a minimum of one hour every year in order to discuss the employee’s areas of strengths and areas for improvement. This is not to be confused with the annual review. The annual review is a meeting with a report stating how the employee performed; the growth and devel- opment meeting is a dialogue where four areas are discussed at length: (1) strengths from the employee’s and the manager’s views, (2) areas to improve from the employee’s and the manager’s view, (3) career goals short, mid, and long term, (4) how they can get there using the tool called the growth and develop- ment plan created by the employee and manager. There are several advantages to holding such a discussion:
• It is very motivating because the employee gets to talk about their favorite subject—themself!
• If the manager handles it well, it can result in very meaningful dialogue.
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• It encourages the employee to step back and think about his/her career.
• It builds a track for the manager and the employee to run on for the year.
The manager and the employee will each need to prepare for the meeting. The manager should ask the employee to do a self-assessment that will help the employee and the manager structure the discussion and focus on the employee’s future
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contributions to the company. A sample self-assessment form is below and on the next few pages. Name________________________ Date ______________
Department _____________________________
Strengths
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
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How would you describe your overall attitude toward the job and company right now? Why?
Areas for Improvement What are three areas you would like to work on improving? Why?
1.
2.
3.
What are your career goals? 1. The position I aspire to next is _________________.
2. The work I want to do is ______________________.
Short-term career goals (the next one to two years):
Mid-term career goals (the next two to three years):
(continued)
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Individual Growth/Development Plan:
What do you need to know to reach the short-term goal?
How can you gain this knowledge?
Action Plan:
The growth and development meeting is the most important meeting of the year relating to employee development. The manager should give the meeting his/her full and undivided attention. That means the meeting should be private and unin- terrupted, and the manager should not be multi-tasking out of respect for the employee. If the work environment makes that impossible, then the manager should set up the meeting off site. If the meeting is a commitment to the employee’s devel- opment, then the logistics should indicate the importance of the commitment. The manager should set the stage for the meeting by properly positioning it for the employee and help- ing him/her to understand the purpose of the meeting.
Here is an example:
“Well, Jim, I am glad we could meet today and this is the most important meeting we will have because it is about your development. The purpose of today’s meeting is to
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talk about your strengths, areas for improvement, and then your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. Then we will discuss what we can do to help get you there. I want to make sure that we have plenty of open and honest dia- logue, so please feel free to tell me your thoughts.”
The manager will then go through all the elements of the meeting:
• DDiissccuussss tthhee eemmppllooyyeeee’’ss ssttrreennggtthhss.. Ask the employee to review their strengths first. This sets the stage psychologi- cally, because the information is coming from the employee first. It also gives the manager a chance to get the employee’s views on strengths first. The manager should then review what they think the strengths are for that employee. The idea is to have a valuable dialogue and to provide plenty of specific examples. Once both parties reach mutual agreement, the next topic can be covered.
• DDiissccuussss aarreeaass ffoorr iimmpprroovveemmeenntt.. The discussion then turns to areas for improvement. Just as on the strengths section, the manager should have the employee review his/her areas for improvement. This should be a constructive discussion, and the manager should avoid being critical. The tone set will allow for increased understanding and dialogue.
• RReevviieeww ccaarreeeerr ggooaallss.. The employee should next review his/her career goals. In the ideal world, the employee will always know what he/she wants. However, there are many employees who don’t know what they want. In that case, the manager should try to have dialogue to get the employee to start to think about what they want. The man- ager should not under any circumstances try to steer the employee toward any conclusion. Let’s say a manager thinks that an employee would be great for management. In the opening discussion of the career goals section, the
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Checklist of Development Resources and Opportunities
Review the list and indicate with a check mark possible options.
Internal Training Department
External training company Meet with company executive
Off-site seminar Identify company subject- matter expert
E-learning course Vendor and suppliers Training Department
Reading a book and discussion
Community college class
External coach Community service activity
Assessment tools Becoming a mentor
Working at another location
Coaching from manager
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employee indicates an intense desire not to be in manage- ment. It would be counterproductive then for a manager to try