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"The Little Corporation Who Cried Wolf" Part 2
by Molly Luffy

For Part 1 see: "The Little Corporation Who Cried Wolf" Part 1

So...are you guys all revved up and ready to go? Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to motivate your staff and create a super-charged, mega-energized department??

As we discussed last time, 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.

Now I'm not saying all of this to put undue pressure on you. I doubt you need any more of that. I'm just trying to over-emphasize it so that you will never lose sight of the importance you play in all of this. On those days that you find yourself discouraged or un-motivated, remind yourself that YOU are the key to your department's success!!!

Okay, enough of that, let's get onto the fun stuff. Uh, let me re-phrase that...Let's get onto the stuff. Or should I re-phrase it yet again, perhaps a bit more formally this time...Let us proceed with the discussion of employee motivation techniques which, when implemented consistently over a period of time, will significantly enhance the attitude, motivation levels and therefore productivity of one's staff.

Nah, I like let's get onto the stuff better. But what is this stuff? Well, there are six parts to this stuff. So today we'll focus on parts 1 -3, and next issue we'll wrap it up.

#1: Let them know your plans.

As you may have heard me say before, communication is KEY. Especially when you are dealing with a situation like our current one. In our situation we are presuming that employees are de-moralized and de-motivated because Senior Management has been less than truthful or communicative. It's up to you to assure your staff that you DO believe in telling them the truth and that you plan to keep them in the loop as much as you can.

So tell them you are sorry that things have been especially tough and tell them that you are committed to turning things around so that your department can be a functional AND fun place to work.

Announce that you are launching a plan to make your department the BEST and ask for their input. Ask them for ideas as to how you can work together to accomplish your goal of creating the "super-department."

Make sure to impress upon them that you are totally committed to the effort and that it is NOT just some B.S. cheerleading meeting.

#2 Be involved, be visible and be around.

Now more than ever before it's really beneficial for you to be in your department. This shows your staff that you are involved in the daily departmental issues - you're not just a figure-head sitting in your office reading the WSJ.

So get out there. Help your employees out. Walk around and ask them how things are going. Be available for questions or consultation. Show them that you are part of the team and are there to help them be successful.

And while you're out there, spread good vibes. Don't seem to be walking around just looking for problems (although you do want to keep an eye out for those). Be an upbeat, positive role-model for your employees. They need it!!

#3 Clarify your expectations.

To get this ship running smoothly, you'll need to let your crew know exactly what they need to be doing. Now I'm not talking about micro-managing here. You don't need to hover and hand-hold to make sure that things are getting done to your liking. What I do mean is clarifying expectations in a more general manner.

Pull out those job descriptions and review them. Are they current? Are your employees performing functions that aren't really even necessary? Since you are spending more time in your department now, it should be easy for you to get a handle on who's spending their time doing what. Again, ask for their input. Ask them about how they see their role in the department and what they feel their most important responsibilities are.

Action Steps for Success Now that the first three steps, or should I say "stuffs" have been outlined, it's time to make them work for you.

In order to let the team in on your department re-energization plans, schedule a really fun meeting. Put on your best "rah, rah team" hat and write up an outline of the things you are going to discuss and the kinds of questions you are going to ask to get people involved. To set the tone, have food and drinks available. But try to do something unusual. Pizza and donuts are so overdone, don't you think?

Onto the be involved, be visible and be around piece...it's pretty simple in theory, but when it comes to actually making it happen, it will be harder than you think. To get yourself in the groove, schedule lots of time on your calendar for this. Make yourself do it. It is really important!!

Last, but certainly not least and certainly not the most fun, clarifying your expectations of your team. Pretty straightforward this one, but again the kind of a thing you have to force yourself to do. Who wants to review job descriptions, right? Yuck!! But it's got to be done, so just get it over with. You'll be glad when it's over and it's well worth the effort!!

Now don't be overwhelmed. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it is sooooooooooo worth it. Your department will start to run more smoothly, productivity will increase, your employees will be happier and YOUR stress level will radically decrease. So whenever you're discouraged about the plan, remember the outcomes.

Now go out there and be a STAR!!

Related Articles:

"The Little Corporation Who Cried Wolf" Part 1
How do you keep your staff motivated when company officials make bad decisions? Well, it’s really hard! It takes an incredible amount of dedication and hard work to pull it off. But it can be done.

"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.

Molly Luffy, MBA, owner of Work Ethic Wizard, dedicated to helping managers regain their sanity and employees survive and thrive in today’s corporation. Author of “Super-Charge Your Promotion Quotient: 225 Success Strategies for the New Professional.” http://www.workethicwizard.com molly@workethicwizard.com

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