Sunday, October 2, 2011

How do you MOTIVATE your employees?

Consider this statement made by Lee Iacocca, the American businessman who is best known for reviving Ford and re-inventing Chrysler, “When I must criticize somebody, I do it orally; when I praise somebody, I put it in writing.”

Now ask yourself, when was the last time you recognized an employee for doing great work – not at a scheduled review – and put your comments in writing? You probably can’t remember the last time. Instead, supervisors spend a great deal of time criticizing employees for missing deadlines, making mistakes, or not performing according to undefined standards. But the problem is, most supervisors don’t take the time to train their employees to meet their expectations.

The secret to solving this conflict is training. Sharlyn J. Lauby wrote a primer for Motivating Employees, published by Infoline/ASTD Press. Sharlyn is president of ITM Group, Inc., and has held senior-level HR positions in the hospitality, transportation, entertainment, and business services industries. She has designed and implemented successful employee retention programs and was named one of the “2004 Heavy Hitters in Human Resources” by the South Florida Business Journal.

According to Sharlyn, “If you aren’t getting the motivational mileage that you should as a manager, you may be making one of the five management mistakes.” These mistakes are:
  1. Misplacing ownership: motivation doesn’t belong to the HR Department – employees find that informal recognition from their managers for a job well done means more to them than a formal company program.
  2. Misaligning incentives: don’t give all employees the same incentives – since each employee is unique, determine the unique motivators for each employee.
  3. Saving recognition: Since it’s inappropriate to save recognition for special occasions, recognize employee success when it happens.
  4. Playing favorites: Managers lose credibility when they play favorites or give recognition when it isn’t warranted.
  5. Misspeaking praise: The words “good job” are insufficient – always be specific so that employees know exactly what they did to earn recognition and praise.
There are numerous ways to show employees that they are appreciated and valued. Here are a few ideas to motivate your employees:
  1. Provide time off for attendance at professional industry conferences or seminars.
  2. Provide one-on-one time with company leader.
  3. Provide time off for family events during the holiday season.
  4. Give a subscription to an industry publication.
  5. Provide a starring role – or leading role – in an important project.
For more inspiring ideas to motivate your employees:

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