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Thread: What works to motivate your staff?

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    What works to motivate your staff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    In respect of "labour don't give a damn already" - not a good sign. Part of the responsibility of the business leadership role is to motivate staff. We can't rely on staff being consistently self-motivated.
    This came up in another thread, and I'd like to hear your ideas, so please post away!

    Obviously different type of staff are motivated by different things, but how does one manage that effectively to get productive and compliant people? (read compliant as working towards the goals of the company)
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    Give some attention

    The simple act of greeting staff in the morning in a warm and welcoming way can go a long way. Asking after family. Remembering they were going away for the weekend and asking how it went. Wishing them well for an exam.

    It's a bit of a fine line managing it into a short exchange. You don't want to get sucked into a half hour blow-by-blow.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Remove distractions

    This always stuck in my mind from an article that I read on managing your creative staff -

    Remove distractions

    In the context of the article they mean don't put a load of admin work on your best sales person, get them an assistant so they can do what they're best at. I've attached the article
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Use their name.

    Great article. I think this bit applies to every business leader:
    SAS recognizes that 95% of its assets drive out the front gate every evening. Leaders consider it their job to bring them back the next morning.
    As for the rest, I can really relate. I absolutely hate interruptions when I'm in creative mode.

    My next tip is to know every staff member's name, and use it when talking to them. Don't just say "hello", say "Hello {username}". (And for guests visiting, you're just not going to get that personal touch unless you register).

    I've heard it said that the sweetest sound for any person is to hear someone else saying their name.

    My biggest challenge with this is that I'm really bad with names. I have to work very hard at it to get a new name stuck in my head. And even then I go blank sometimes.
    Last edited by Dave A; 07-Oct-06 at 06:24 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    My biggest challenge with this is that I'm really bad with names. I have to work very hard at it to get a new name stuck in my head. And even then I go blank sometimes.
    I find what works for me is to say the person's name when I meet them - basically a form of active listening.

    So the conversation would be, "Hi I'm Duncan", "Hi I'm Dave", "Nice to meet you Dave"

    It helps me cement the name in just a little bit more.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You set the mood.

    You set the mood.

    Your mood is contagious. If you're down and depressed, it'll infect everyone else. If you're up and chipper, the mood will spread.

    Have you ever walked into a room and everyone is feeling down? Notice that pretty soon you're feeling down too?

    Be aware of it. Mood is contagious. And if you buck the flow, smile and be upbeat, pretty soon everyone else will be too.

    Don't underestimate the power of a happy, supportive workplace environment.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Create a no-blame environment.

    When something goes wrong, somebody made a mistake, what happens in your organisation?

    Quite often there's a witch hunt to find who's to blame.

    It is far better to focus on what went wrong rather than who went wrong. For a number of reasons.

    The primary goals should be to fix the problem and prevent it happening again.

    The "need" to apportion blame is only relevant in preventing the problem from happening again. But it is more important to understand what went wrong in the first place. What you need now is for the folk who might have contributed to the mess to give all the information that they know, not desperately hide the evidence of their part in the fiasco.

    This can only happen in a no-blame environment.

    I'm not saying ignore who made the mistake completely. Yes, you need to know and track who messed up when, and how often. But do it with cool wisdom, not out of emotional retribution.

    It's a pretty good tactic to give people the opportunity to redeem themselves. They know they messed up - they'll try their best to make it right if given the opportunity. You don't even need to use guilt. People can be pretty hard on themselves....

    Punishment brings with it a sense of absolution for the guilty party. "I messed up but it's OK now because I was punished". How does that help?

    Rather "I messed up but I fixed the problem and more than made up for the mistake". They feel good and the organisation gets the problem solved. You'll probably have an improved employee as well.
    Last edited by Dave A; 09-Oct-06 at 12:36 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    That's the worst "Someone must be blamed and anyone will do". Oh dear.

    Whilst I can still cover some broad concepts on this, I think we need to open this up a bit. As in get specific. Everyone has got something that gets them going - and things that definitely don't!

    For example, does competition turn you on or turn you off?
    Have you been motivated by something different - out of the mainstream?
    What definitely demotivates you?

    C'mon {username}, what gets you going?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    C'mon {username}, what gets you going?
    I think sometimes it is easier to start with what does not motivate, and then work towards what does, I'll try to mention a few I've noticed in my few years of working.

    Do nots
    • Micro and/or crisis management (as an general style)
    • Money (yes to a certain point it does, beyond that other things become more important)
    • Not being able to see potential in the future
    • Lack of learning


    Dos
    • Money (see above)
    • Recognition (i.e. wow, you did a good job on that)
    • Self-pride (I want to make sure I do things well, but that is all internal)
    • Potential to learn
    • Helps me reach my own personal goals


    Just on this, what I did find interesting was how much my self-motivation declined the longer I worked under conditions that didn't offer me potential to further myself and head towards the goals that I was setting. I became distractable, and had to work hard to stay focussed.
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