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    1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 4, 2008 12:43 AM by iventures

    Motivate Your Employees

    tscheer Wayfarer

      Motivate Your Employees

      a dedicated and motivated workplace isn't just about giving raises.
      Learn how the best employers bring the best out of their employees.

      Carl La Mell, the president of Clearbrook, a nonprofit organization
      based in Arlington Heights, Illinois that specializes in helping
      children with developmental disabilities, spends his time among a staff
      that loves him. Last year, they nominated him for the Best Boss Award
      given out every year by Winning Workplaces, an organization that honors
      small-to-midsize business leaders who inspire intensely dedicated
      workforces. When a spokesman from Winning Workplaces called to inform
      him that he had won along with 17 others, La Mell's humble manner had
      actually prevented him from learning that he had even made the
      finalists. "I thought the notification e-mail was spam," La Mell says
      with a smile. "I deleted it."

      Mell's advice for small business owners seeking to keep their own
      employees motivated is simple: "I think it comes down to one
      word-respect," La Mell says. "You have to respect everyone's job in
      your organization." It's easy to see that La Mell puts his own advice
      into constant practice. As he makes his way through the Clearbrook
      offices, he takes the time to talk to each person he passes.

      he jokes that he's sometimes too open with his staff, La Mell believes
      that listening to the advice of employees and acting on it is one of
      the best ways to keep a staff motivated. "Even if an idea is bad, you'd
      rather have staff give you an idea than not give you one," La Mell
      says. "If you create an environment in which you can't come up with an
      idea, you stifle people. It doesn't matter if the idea's off the wall.
      You could even tell them, ‘You're off the wall' and they'll laugh if
      you do it with respect and in the right way."

      Realizing that it
      was difficult to recognize his employees' exceptional efforts off-site,
      La Mell began giving customer service awards to employees who went
      above and beyond their job description. Some nominations come from the
      families they serve; others come from the staff themselves. "One of the
      things that I think is missing in other places is the idea that
      customer service isn't just about the customer," La Mell says. "It's
      also the other departments you deal with."

      In addition, he hosts
      a staff recognition dinner every year in which he gives out awards
      based on years of service. At the dinner, each department puts on a
      skit and the best skit wins a small award like a free pizza. There are
      also holiday parties where employees can win prizes. La Mell has also
      added financial incentives for performing well as determined by a
      performance-based measurement system.

      Leaders such as La Mell
      demonstrate that money is far from the only means of motivating your
      employees. In fact, he believes that giving raises is one of the least
      effective methods. Above all, La Mell believes that a properly
      motivated workplace must begin with an enthusiastic and motivated

      "It starts at the top," he says. "If you show respect and keep an open environment, then people will follow your lead."


      Set Goals

      important to help your employees set goals for themselves. These can
      include both long-term and short-term goals and they can be both
      work-related and personal in nature. Often, goals are set on a weekly,
      monthly, quarterly, or even yearly basis. Many companies use
      "performance management systems," which get every employee on the same
      page, regardless of his or her position. If they understand the
      relationship between their specific job and the company's success,
      they'll often approach their work with a sense of belonging.
      Frequently, that sense is all it takes to get that individual to finish
      a given task. And, of course, rewarding your employees for achieving
      their goals goes a long way toward creating a consistently motivated

      Encourage Creative Thinking

      companies promote an environment in which creative thinking by the
      employees is allowed, if not encouraged. If you've been successful in
      explaining your company's overall objectives in detail, employees will
      often come up with their own creative strategies for achieving these
      goals. In the case of the sales force that I help manage, I usually
      tell them the successful tactics that I used while making sales but I
      also add that there's no one correct way. Everyone has a unique
      personality that might translate into an effective method of making
      sales. The challenge of figuring out an effective method on their own
      can be liberating and much more fulfilling. Plus, employees are more
      apt to listen to future advice if you let them figure out that you are
      right on their own.

      Devise a System of Teamwork and Trust

      are never going to produce the way you expect them to if they think you
      don't care about them. Start off by learning about your employees'
      personal lives. This will give you insights into how to deal with them
      in certain situations. Your relationship with your workers should seem
      like one between partners as opposed to one between employee and boss.
      Also, spread specific assignments around among your workers. By giving
      employees special tasks, you make them feel more important. When your
      employees feel like they are being trusted with added responsibilities,
      they are motivated to work even harder so they won't let the company

      Foster an Environment of Fun

      Studies have
      shown that employees are more dependable and productive when they think
      their workplace is a fun place to come to every day. I've found that
      one of the most effective methods of doing this is simply engaging my
      sales reps in conversations about topics that we both find interesting.
      It's not necessary to talk to them all day long, but a few minutes here
      and there throughout the day can work wonders. Little talks like these
      allow the employee to see you as a regular person, and when your
      employees like you as a person, they are more likely to listen to you
      when you need them to get something done.
        • Re: Motivate Your Employees
          iventures Adventurer
          Effectively rewarding globally dispersed teams is also critical. In multinational corporations with teams drawing on resources from numerous countries and in companies that may have extensive global supplier or outsourced networks, managers must step carefully to get the best effort from all team members while honoring and respecting cultural norms in work styles. Today's recognition must cut across geographic boundaries - both unifying employees worldwide around specific goals, while also rewarding employees with personalized award options that are both culturally relevant, appropriate and desirable.