Just watch one episode of the television show “Undercover Boss´ and you´ll see what successful (and unsuccessful) team motivation looks like. Executives on the program go undercover in their own companies to learn more about their employees, the challenges they face and what motivates them. As we all do, the bosses on the show encounter different types of employees during their journey–a few stars and still others who may be less motivated or engaged in their jobs.
Gallup says an astonishing 53% of today´s employees aren´t engaged in their jobs at a cost to U.S. business of $300 billion per year. Consider what it costs to replace an employee, attract a new customer, or bring in another client. What you want is a turbocharged team: engaged, involved, and motivated. Even if you´re not planning to be on the next episode of “Undercover Boss”, here are three mistakes you won´t want to make:
Not listening: Technology is great, isn´t it? Not always. Think about the last time an employee or a peer came into your office. If you were able to focus on the conversation, you can skip to the next paragraph of this blog. If you´re like many of us, you were probably tempted to glance at your email-you know, just to check. Next time, put away the temptation and really listen to what your employee or your counterpart has to say. You might be pleasantly surprised
Ignoring employees´ primary motivators: Face it, we´re all inspired by different things. Money, for example, is a good motivator-for people who are motivated by it. For some employees, the chance to take on new or different assignments is the spark that ignites excitement. For others, recognition for what they do encourages loyalty. It´s our job to find out what works.
Focusing on problems: It´s natural to focus on the problems at hand when a project goes sideways. The trouble is, sometimes we forget that once the problem is resolved, it´s a good idea to inject a little bit of optimism: let employees know how they can improve, and how you can facilitate their success the next time around.
Smart employers recognize the value in having-and keeping– motivated employees: it´s the key to business success. Stay tuned for our next blog on motivation and find out what matters most.
Be sure to visit our new Quick Tips on Facebook!
©2012 Shannon Alter