Tough Talks Book Series

Motivating Employees

Credible leaders know how to tap into the hearts and minds of their employees.  That involves constant communication.  Sometimes those discussions are friendly; other times, they are tough talks about issues and circumstances that weigh heavily on all involved.

Even though employment statistics seem to be improving, times are still tough. Moving employees forward during these times is the result of a proper balance of realistic expectations, inspiring goals, and … as I always preach…constant communication.

People want to be part of a cause bigger than themselves.  If they can find that in the workplace, they will be more engaged in the company’s mission. That’s your job as boss to make sure they understand the cause.

This entry was posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations, Motivating people. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

2 Responses to Motivating Employees

  1. Ford says:

    How do you motivate 20 somethings? They don’t seem to have the same work ethic as those over 35…

    • Your comment brings to mind 2 common questions when it comes to employee work ethics:
      1–What motivates workers to excel?
      2–Why don’t 20 somethings have a good work habits?

      I’d like to address the 2nd part first. Ron Culp, retired public relations guru and current professor and director at DePaul University’s graduate school, has found that employees who are younger Millennials (less than 24 years old) seem to have the work ethics of the Boomers. They are willing to work longer hours, ask if they can be of further assistance when finishing a task, and are more eager to put in extra time to make their work stand out.

      When Ron and I recently discussed this phenomenon, he noted the economy has made younger Millennials “hungry.” The older Millennials, those who entered their first working years during a robust economy, are characterized as having a “balanced” approach toward their personal and professional hours. They have no trouble leaving work at the office in time to have their evenings free for fun, family, food and frolicking! That’s frequently interpreted as “They don’t seem to have the same work ethic as those over 35…”

      Thus, I gather your comment stems from experience with those in the older segment of Millennial workers.

      Communication is the key for all your interactions with employees, no matter what the generation. If you are the boss and expect your employees to produce well for your company, they need to be fully engaged in your business.

      True leaders continuously tap into the hearts and minds of their employees.

      Consider these proven best-practices:
      There must be frequent, meaningful conversations between bosses and workers about the state of the business. You know what you are thinking. Do they?
      There must be a well stated mission of the organization with which employees feel in sync. All millennials are drawn to a cause. What is yours?
      Employees should fully understand–and be respected for–what their roles mean, collectively and individually, to the success of the company. Everyone wants to feel important.
      Professional development and training should take place on a regular basis. This is a perk that pays off tenfold.
      Supervisors must communicate up and down the chain and actively seek their employees’s input on most aspects of the business. Do you ask for their thoughts and opinions?

      If these ideas seem like too much effort, think about research done by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm specializing in human resources and financial issues.
      According to their studies, “Companies that take steps to improve engagement levels can expect to experience higher subsequent financial returns.”

      Tomorrow, I’ll share with you the 5 things that great employees (those with great work ethics) seek from their bosses.nn1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *