Posts Tagged ‘Workplace Motivation’

Progress as Promised!

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Researchers are learning more all the time about the importance of feeling progress toward our workplace goals. It’s called the Progress Principle, and it’s fast becoming a big part of the conversation about employee engagement. In fact, the Harvard Business Reviews research shows it is the most important motivator.

Multiple studies have shown that a feeling of progress in our work is at or near the top in motivation—way ahead of traditional incentives like raises and bonuses.

But not everyone is paying attention. In a survey that asked managers to rank five employee motivators, the feeling of progress came in dead last.

Let your competition pour money into more expensive motivators. A feeling of progress costs little or nothing. Break large projects into smaller benchmarks, and celebrate each step as it’s achieved. It’s as simple as that.

It’s yet another opportunity for those who are paying attention to pull ahead of the pack.

If you had half the resources and a quarter of the time…

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Ask yourself this: If you had half the resources and a quarter of the time to do your job, how would you do it differently?

I know what you’re thinking: “No way. It can’t be done! I’m barely making it as it is!” But humor me for a minute. Imagine that you have absolutely no choice but to do everything you currently do with half the resources and a quarter of the time. No choice at all.

Now…what would you do?

The first shift would be in attitude. It would HAVE to be. Once the shift in attitude is made, you are willing to do whatever it takes. Resentment doesn’t build up and defeat your energy. Suddenly the impossible becomes possible.

The second shift would be in organization. You would be forced to get very organized, very quickly, with daily, weekly, and monthly checklists.

Now imagine what would happen to your productivity if you adopted this attitude now, today, even with all the time and resources you have. Nothing would ever stand in your way again.

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.

Seeing informal agreements

Monday, July 7th, 2014


While my son was in India, he called to say, “Mom, you wouldn’t believe how different it is here. There are cars six deep, all blowing their horns and driving around people who are sleeping in the street, missing them by inches, with cows running up and down the road between all of it. And there are no road signs at all, and no lines on the roads!”

That pattern of behavior describes most workplaces! They have their own traffic jams and people sleeping in the way, right? And they have their own version of cows running up and down the street. And worst of all is that last observation—no instructions, no signs, and no lines.

Imagine if you woke up this morning and the streets on the way to work were like my son described—no lines on the road, no street lights, no stop signs and no laws?

That’s what your workplace would be like if it had no agreements.

Fortunately, there’s no such workplace. Workplaces are filled with agreements, formal and informal, spoken and unspoken. Some are obvious—be on time, don’t steal, don’t divulge confidential information.

Some others are less obvious but just as serious. Don’t undermine others with passive-aggressive behavior, for example. If you don’t have an agreement to disallow those unhealthy behaviors, then you have an agreement to allow them.

Unbore Yourself and Get Out of Your Rut

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012


No matter how you feel today, there was almost certainly a time when you were engaged and excited about your job. It may have lasted for years, or not even made it through the first week. But if you find yourself bored and disengaged on the job now, there might be a reason that has nothing to do with the job itself.

According to Susan Cramm, founder and president of the IT leadership development firm Valuedance, the most likely culprit is right there in the mirror.

Blogging for the Harvard Business Review, Cramm offers three possible causes of your boredom:
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