Archive for the ‘Motivating Employees’ Category

Jack Welch on employee engagement

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The legendary Jack Welch once named three keys to business success: cash flow, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. And guess where he put engagement?

Right on top.

He said, “No company, small or large, can win in the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

All the shiny products and dazzling services in the world fade into the background in comparison to a workforce that is engaged and fully on board with the company’s mission and vision.

As a member of your workplace community, you can’t assume that smiles in the hallway mean your colleagues are engaged. Companies need to measure employee engagement through regular anonymous surveys in which people feel completely safe to speak their minds.

Our clients show definitive improvement in the culture scores using our assessment every year without exception.

An anomaly? I don’t think so.

It’s because they use their assessment as an action plan to make things better the next year and to get all team members to understand that THEY create the culture and own the improvement of that situation.

Motivation is a racket

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Motivation is a racket! Let me tell you what I mean by that. We say, “I’m not feeling motivated right now” because of this or that outside circumstance.

If motivation is something that relies on the circumstances around you, it’s not worth a nickel. You become a slave to things you can’t control, a puppet of your environment. If all you want is an excuse, you’ll be all set.

But if you want a happier, more productive life, you need a better way of meeting the world.

What you need is not motivation but inspiration. If I choose to make things happen, regardless of circumstances, that’s when transformative results begin to happen.

I saw this in action a few weeks ago when I was going through airport security. There were two guys from TSA working next to each other. One was like a surly robot. He was completely unmotivated, entirely in the control of his circumstances, counting the hours and minutes until the end of his shift, and making sure that everyone around him suffered right along with him.

But the other guy, wow! Same circumstances, same number of hours until the end of the shift, and he was blowing me away with his decision to be extraordinary. He greeted each person like a long-lost friend, joked, laughed, and still got his job done. But in the process, he managed to make airport security the best part of my day.

At some point this man had decided, “I’m gonna have a hoot every day, and at the end of every day I’ll know I made a huge difference in people’s lives.”

So forget motivation. Find the inspiration to make that difference, every day.

Normalize the Impossible

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Many had deemed it impossible. But on May 6th, 1954, Roger Bannister proved the world wrong, breaking the elusive four-minute mile and establishing a new world record that had stood for nine years!

Even more interesting than the achievement was the world’s reaction. What had been thought impossible was suddenly just a starting point for even greater achievements. In less than two months, John Landy also broke the four-minute mile, besting Bannister by a full two seconds. Within three years, a total of 16 runners had joined the club.

Had the human body changed? Nope. Had the track shrunk in size? Nope. You see…a mile was still a mile.

So what changed? Runners believed it was possible! A limiting belief—a psychological barrier—had held others back for years. But one after another, runners began to believe.

The world record currently stands at three minutes, 43 seconds. Fancy that.

What barriers have you constructed in your life? What have you deemed impossible? Imagine infinite possibility. Disallow psychological barriers. Normalize the impossible.

How can you break the four-minute mile in YOUR life?

Put the Progress Principle to Work

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

You know that employee engagement is what it’s all about. But how do you make that happen?

You could stand on a chair and yell, “Hey everybody! Become engaged!” (Don’t laugh – I’ve seen approaches that are almost that silly.)

Engagement has more to do with something researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer call the “inner work life” of employees. The best managers and colleagues help those around them build great inner work lives, including positive attitudes about themselves, their situation, their colleagues and their company.

Some of the simplest everyday events, especially when repeated, can have a big impact on employees’ inner work lives. Poor leaders can wear it down day by day, often without knowing it. But good leaders and colleagues alike make it a priority to enrich the inner work lives of those around them for everyone’s benefit.

Research is showing that one of the most powerful ways to improve the quality of that inner work life is by giving employees a feeling of progress—of forward momentum in meaningful work. (more…)

Get Your Mojo Back! Make the Crucial Decision to Engage

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life. I didn’t love them all the same, and I didn’t love them all completely. But I loved them all.

Loving your job is a DECISION. Some jobs were a better fit with my skills and values, but regardless of where I was, I always found things to celebrate and be joyful about. It starts with feeling gratitude for having a job at all—something we tend to forget more and more as the time increases since we didn’t have one. Then you go from there.

Now a big part of my job is recommending that others do the same.

It’s like a marriage. Anyone who has been married more than a day knows that there are delightful, wonderful things about your spouse—as well as a few areas for improvement. (Look in the mirror and realize that your spouse can say the same.) So where do you put your focus? When we focus on the positives, the delightfuls and the wonderfuls, our marriage works much, much better.

If on the other hand we focus on all of those things that aren’t so hot, we’ll start accumulating baggage, bit by bit, until the marriage is crushed under the weight of it. Happens all the time.

The same is true for the marriage of employee and employer. No employer ever hires the perfect human being—but how would you like it if your employer chose to focus relentlessly on your imperfections? Likewise, an employee marinating in grievances about the employer will make him or herself miserable—a misery that spreads quickly to everyone around.

Roxanne Emmerich