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Problem Solved: Real People … Real Leadership Solutions, July ’09

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in Best-Practices Leadership,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,People Management

Do they really want a promotion?

"How many times have you promoted an employee to a position of greater responsibility, only to watch him fail miserably? When we see employees striving to do a good job, we naturally assume they want to 'get ahead.' The definition of success isn’t the same for everybody. Just because an employee strives to be the best at what he does, doesn’t mean he wants increased responsibility and duties. Sometimes, he just wants to be good at what he does."

— John Dini, TAB-Certified Facilitator, San Antonio

Turn your employees into heroes

"As a servant leader, you should aim to make your team members (at all levels) heroes—heroes in their own eyes, heroes in the eyes of their peers and heroes in the eyes of their families. To many, being a 'hero' in the eyes of their families is the strongest motivator.

"At the end of a successful company event, write a thank-you note to the employee’s spouse, outlining the contributions their husband/wife made to the effort. Express your appreciation, encouraging the wife/husband to be particularly proud of their spouse’s achievements. And, by all means, make it a handwritten note. For added effect, have it hand-delivered.

"This gesture will create loyalty, respect and appreciation and will aid you the next time you need 'all hands on deck.'”

— Dick Wallace, TAB-Certified Facilitator, Brentwood, Tenn.

Updating job descriptions

"Every year during reviews, I pull out the job descriptions and ask the employees to write down what they started doing that is not on their job descriptions. I then ask them what they stopped doing. This helps me update expectations and job descriptions as we grow and need employees’ jobs to adjust to the changing needs of the company. And, this sets the tone with employees that their job responsibilities may be altered.”

— Lu Cotta, Annapolis Accommodations, Annapolis, Md.

4 simple employee motivators

"Motivating employees is a basic part of leadership that sometimes gets blurred and forgotten in the hectic pace of modern business. Abraham Maslow published the motivation concept in his 'Hierarchy of Motives' in 1954.

"My formula is much simpler: All people want and need a sense of who they are by:

  1. Achieving something worthwhile and important
  2. Growing personally and professionally
  3. Being recognized for their accomplishments or who they are
  4. Feeling they are participating in their organization, department and company’s planning and direction.

"These four basic motivators are simple to remember and can be easily incorporated in your everyday business life with employees, co-workers, customers and vendors. I refer to these four motivators as wrapping paper. Wrap all rewards, recognition, incentives and bonuses in one or more of these motivators, and you will truly have an energetic employee.

"Sincere words are the key. Getting our employees to perform at their best requires that we constantly feed them what they need—recognition, participation, achievement and growth. Use these four simple motivators and watch your human resources grow.”

— Bill Vrettos, TAB-Certified Facilitator, Grand Junction, Colo.


Excerpted from Tips from the Top®, a publication written by business-owner members of The Alternative Board®. To learn how TAB can make a bottom-line difference in your company, visit TheAlternativeBoard.com.

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