Look Beyond the Money for their True Motivators

In PwC Saratoga's latest Global CEO Survey, 65% of CEO's report that they intend to use more non-financial rewards to motivate their staff. This is an admission that the a motivation strategy full of mostly financial reward "carrots" is not enough, especially for their highly skilled and high potential employees. We so easily forget the fact that people are looking for at least some measure of fulfillment from the time they spend on the job. "Fulfillment," of course, can take many forms: … [Read more...]

Stressing Metrics Has a Downside

A client organization of mine has a culture that values measuring everything. This makes good business sense. It enables you to monitor, recalibrate and optimize your processes and results. The downside is that too great an emphasis on numbers at every level breeds compliance,especially at the front line. People complete the required audits and checklists to get management off their back. They push, without enthusiasm, to achieve the prescribed metrics around quality, production, safety, … [Read more...]

Five Engaging Questions about Engagement

The research and consulting firm, BlessingWhite, is currently offering a complimentary 2 1/2 hour session, called "Impacting Engagement in 2011: The Leader's Role," in many major cities around the U.S. Here they reveal an advance peek at the results of their brand new global survey on employee engagement. Check out the time and location in the various cities. I attended the one in Washington, DC. It was well worth the time, in terms of both the information shared and the stimulating discussion … [Read more...]

Behold the Motivational Moose

"Don't they get it?" said the executive, "If we don't generate a good return to our shareholders, there won't be any investment in the company. And, without investments, there won't be any more company to give them their job. What more motivation do they need?" Do you hear a faint echo of your parents here? Here is the reality, the "moose (hey, what can I say, I'm from Canada) in the room" when it comes to the subject of employee motivation. What motivates the C-suite occupants in a … [Read more...]

Oh Yeah, That’s Why We Do This Work

I have been working lately with an organization that serves the homeless population by first finding them a place to live and then attending to their many needs. As with many non-profit enterprises these days, they have their share of frustrations that can tip staff morale down a notch or three: lack of adequate funding, coping with the whims and delays of government funding arms, attracting and keeping good front line people who work effectively with their destitute clients, and so … [Read more...]

We’ll Never Really "Solve" Organizational Life

In his newly revised book on change, Beyond the Wall of Resistance, my colleague Rick Maurer includes an interview with author/consultant Geoffrey Bellman. Bellman's response contains some wisdom that helps us all understand the truth about thriving in organizations (and, for that matter, in life). At the base of it all, we're all a bunch of naked human beings. Down underneath it all, in the game we never talk about–the primary game–we're all down there reaching, grasping, clinging, lifting, … [Read more...]

A Neat Approach to Employee Recognition

In my last post I talked about the remarkable success B.F. Saul's Hotel Division has had internally branding it core operational values. There's one other nifty element in their story that I want to mention. They have come up with an innovative way to reinforce the importance of learning and, at the same time, let their staff do the teaching. It's simple, yet brilliant. It's a desk calendar.   Each year they produce a new calendar with a different theme. For 2010, the theme is … [Read more...]

Book Review – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

  by Daniel H. Pink Riverhead Books, 2009 ISBN #978-1-59448-884-9 In his new book Dan Pink accomplishes two outcomes really well: He consolidates some major social science research around human motivation into clear, straightforward discoveries He challenges the current thinking and practice in the vast majority of our organizations. The Great Debate Am I motivated in my work primarily through what I receive from the organization and the key players around me or through the … [Read more...]

TW 2010 Global Workforce Study-Comment #3

  The final finding from the TowersWatson survey on which I want to shine a light has to do with treating each employee individually with respect to the constellation of attitudes, needs and motivators they bring to their job. Quoting the study, One of the most striking findings from this year's study is the variability in attitudes and expectations across the workforce. We saw differences in why people join or leave organizations, how they define a career, how much risk they are … [Read more...]

Time to Tune Your Radar in to Your Staff

Over the last 18 months you've tried hard to keep as many of your people on the payroll as you could. Perhaps those who were retained felt a measure of gratitude for you heartfelt intention to preserve their jobs. Do they still feel these good feelings? It appears to depend on what you've been demanding from them since. And many organizations have been asking too much for too long. A recent study published by the Employee Engagement Survey company, Modern Survey, has detected a trend that … [Read more...]