by Molly Luffy
Recently I was working with a client, Bob, on a problem he was experiencing at work. Heís a VP for a high-tech company who has gone through more re-orgs, mergers, acquisitions and other corporate changes than I could possibly begin to remember. But Bob is quite a guy. In fact heís managed to survive quite nicely through all of the insanity.
Bob came to a recent session with a big problem. His troops are getting restless (and unmotivated and disgruntled) because they havenít received their usual yearly performance increase. It was supposed to happen in January. Oops...
Itís true - lots of companies are holding off on raises these days. At least salary freezes are better than layoffs, right? And if this salary freeze stuff is communicated clearly and honestly by company officials, most employees really do understand. They understand whatís going on with our economy. So they get it - times are tough all around. They donít like it, but they get it.
But Bobís company made a critical error...they cried wolf. And more than once. You see Bobís company told employees in January that the raises would come in March. And in March officials claimed the raises were coming in May. And in May...you can guess what happened. May came and left - no raises. But the employees did get another empty promise. Just two more months, guys. But alas, itís November 1 and still no raises.
These days the company officials have stopped crying wolf. In fact, they arenít saying anything at all. First make a bunch of empty promises and then clam up. Brilliant strategy.
So what does this stroke of management communication genius mean for Bob? It means that heís stuck with an apathetic staff who really doesnít want to work hard for a company run by a bunch of liars.
Bobís problem is a common one - how do you keep your staff motivated when company officials make such bad decisions? Well, itís really hard! It takes an incredible amount of dedication and hard work to pull it off. But it can be done. It has to be done. And as a manager itís up to you to re-energize your staff and create a department where communication, teamwork and fun are seamlessly integrated into daily life.
And itís so worth it. Not only does doing this impact your success in your own job and the companyís bottom line, it helps you have an impact on other peopleís lives. Just think about the difference your employees will feel going from working for a company that they donít really trust to working for a manager who is creating a fun, productive fulfilling environment. Big difference, huh?
So whatís the plan of attack? Well, itís a going to be a lot of hard work, so it wouldnít be a bad idea for you to start off this adventure with a declaration of commitment. I mean there will be times when you just want to throw in the towel and manage your staff like everyone else does. So to ensure that this wonít happen, you must stand firm in your beliefs that your new energized department is worth the effort.
Make this commitment to yourself in whatever way is meaningful for you. Some of you need to simply tell yourself that you are committed to doing this. Others may need to write it down or tell a friend. Whatever the case is, make a formal commitment and youíll have a better chance of sticking to the program.
Action Step for Success Are you feeling somewhat un-motivated yourself? Work through any issues you may be personally experiencing that are keeping you from committing to this department re-energization plan. Donít lose sight of the fact that you control your own attitude. No-one else. So choose to get committed to the plan! Youíll be glad you did!
Now go out there and be a star!!
"The Little Corporation Who Cried Wolf" Part 2
Your attitude and motivation level is absolutely critical to the success of your department re-energization plan. This plan just cannot work if you are anything less that 100% committed and motivated to make it happen. It's up to you to model your work ethic and attitude to your staff.
"The Little Corporation Who Cried Wolf" Part 3
Never lose sight of your goals for having a super-motivated, productive, happy staff - the envy of the company. Your boss will thank you because of the increased productivity and contribution to the bottom line.
Your spouse and kids will thank you because running a department like this does wonders to your stress level and quality of your personal life!!!
The Elements of a Great Manager
An article describing four elements of great managers: selecting the right people, setting clear expectations, knowing your staff and developing your staff.
The Hawthorne Effect and Low, Lying Fruit
Compliment people who deserve it. Always
individualize the compliment with specifics. When the same
compliment is given repeatedly to several different people,
it rings false--even when it isn't.