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Pushing harder

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Brad, a manager at a large insurance company in Connecticut, discusses his efforts to motivate entry-level workers.

Last month seems like so long ago. I was concerned about how to motivate my employees given their incredibly dull, repetitive jobs.

Today, I’m not so sure it’s that big of a problem—at least not now. The economy is getting so bad that people seem happy just to have the work. And our benefit package is about as good as anywhere.

What’s weird is people seem to be working harder and making sacrifices to help us become more productive. I’m not doing anything differently, so I don’t deserve any credit. My hunch is that everyone is so thankful to be here that they’re giving extra effort that reflects their appreciation for what they have.

It’s striking how much enthusiasm some of them are showing for their work. A file clerk came up with a better way to organize our records—and seemed genuinely excited about implementing it. I was thrilled to give the go-ahead, especially since it wouldn’t cost us anything.

My boss appreciates my staff’s improved performance. He recently met with all of us and said there are more than 11 million unemployed people in the U.S. He assured us that no layoffs are planned and that the more we can go beyond the call of duty to contribute to the company’s success, the more secure our jobs for the foreseeable future.

I’m not sure reminding them of how many people are unemployed was particularly uplifting. But I’m glad he sees what I see—that our employees are more than pulling their weight and eager to make a lasting impact. 


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