Management Information

Employee Motivation: Make Everyone A Cheerleader For Your Company

Do you manage by walking around? What do you see? People excited about their job or people just going through the motions? Here are seven ways, that do not cost much if anything, to turn the "it's just a job" employee into one that is powered up and willing to give their best every day.

Spend time out in the field. Ask your employees how you can help make their jobs easier. Work alongside them and even let them teach you what they do. Southwest Airlines has a mandate that every manager must spend 1/3 of his or her time in direct contact with employees and customers to create a stronger feeling of teamwork.

Hold a voluntary good news hour. Set aside time once a week so that everyone can share good things that have happened in their lives and work during the last week.

Celebrate everything you can. For example, meeting of short term goals, the end of the budget process, winning grants or new customers, extraordinary work, safety successes.

Surprise with spontaneous treats. Rent an ice cream cart or a popcorn machine. Take coffee and donuts to each person's work station. How about a package of Lifesavers? during a stressful time?

Praise frequently. A pat on the back, a short note of thanks, or a voice mail message from a manager can refill employees' emotional bank accounts for weeks.

Hold informal "grapevine sessions" to control the flow of the rumor mill. Managers must be prepared to listen and to be completely truthful and open. Even when they can't share specific information, they can honestly explain why and when it will be available.

Let people know what they do is important. Help your workers focus not only on a job description but also on how they fit into the big picture. That new sense of purpose will boost their self-esteem and motivation.

If someone asked your staff or frontline workers a few general questions about the company or your department, would they describe it in terms like 'they' and 'them,' or in terms like 'we' or 'us'? What can you do, in your position, to move your people to feel engaged and part of your team?

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management. Subscribe by going to and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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