Motivation

October 10, 2015

Managers make or break employee engagement

Gallup tells us that one in two employees leave their jobs to get away from their manager. That’s right, 50% of the people who leave their jobs aren’t really leaving the job at all — they are leaving their managers.

Pie chart showing level of manager engagementNow let’s add in a scary statistic: 51% of managers have basically stopped caring about their job or the company they work for. (State of the American Manager, Gallup)

What’s going on?  To be engaged, managers need from their bosses exactly what engaged workers need from their managers.  Let’s look at three specific things that can reverse these statistics.

  1. Ongoing communication. For managers, that means ensuring that your employees feel you care about them personally and professionally.  You can’t do that if the only way you connect with your employees is through the Annual Performance Review (which everyone dreads).  It takes periodic and regular meetings individually and in small groups, to develop the kind of face-to-face communication that engages workers.Similarly, managers need ongoing communication from leadership to ensure that they remain connected to the company, and so that they can keep their employees connected.  Open dialogue is important to both groups. However, if your managers are shut out of ongoing progress on the mission, goals, and objectives, they aren’t unable to honestly communicate with their teams.
  2. Ability to motivate. This is one of those “soft skills” that many task-oriented managers have difficulty with. But being a motivator doesn’t mean just being able to “rah rah” the troops. Instead, it is about understanding both the external and internal motivational forces of each employee.  It’s about understanding the perspectives and values of team members so you can “see through their eyes.”
  3. Play to their strengths. Equally important as #1 and #2, teams, employees, and companies all benefit when the right person is in the right job, using their natural talents and skills. When managers coach and train and otherwise help employees to develop their strengths, those employees are twice as likely to be engaged team members.

So if you are a manager, take a moment to assess yourself.  How are you doing with these three things?

If you have a manager, assess them.  If you aren’t getting these things from them, perhaps it is time for a chat so you can share what’s missing for you.  Don’t be afraid, just do it.

September 30, 2015

The Magic of Motivation

The things that motivate us AND de-motivate us show up in the workplace a lot more than we may realize. Gallup’s most recent employee engagement survey tells us that 63% of employees worldwide are not engaged and only 13% are actively engaged. That makes it critical for leaders to pay attention to employee motivation.

Have you ever worked on a huge project and the project manager promised you major reward at the end? Problem was, the reward was just didn’t get your motor running! Why not? Most likely, the reward was something that the project manager found motivating, so he or she assumed just figured that everybody else would want it, too. MagicOfMotivation1
For example, maybe this time, the reward was a big fat chunk of money, but money isn’t your motivator. You are one of those people who is constantly seeking knowledge and you have been begging for some extra time off to take some training. That would have been a stellar reward for you.

Think about that big project that they offered special recognition by the CEO, but you remember thinking “a whole lot of good that’s going to do me!” You were wishing for, actually had been begging for, the team work space to be painted and brightened up, but no one was listening. Having a pleasant work environment means so much more to you than lots of “atta girls.” Errr, so frustrating.

What’s going on here? In these situation, the leaders are offering carrots based on their own personal motivators. They haven’t taken the time to understand what motivates the employees. Just as important, they don’t know what de-motivates their employees.

How about you? Are you looking outside yourself when you look for those carrots to motivate your team?

September 25, 2015

Avenger Motivators: Who is missing from your team?

Understanding what motivates members of your team can be a powerful tool. From childhood, we’ve been building our values filters, what I call our Motivators.

These are the external things that incentivize us or de-incentivize us. They are the things we will strive for or be irritated by.

Your team becomes stronger when you as the leader understand the values filters or motivators of the members. Your team is strongest when everyone begins to recognize these and can see through their colleagues’ eyes.

from dosdepantalla.biz/

from dosdepantalla.biz/

Let’s take a look at how this plays out on a very popular team. Bear in mind that of the six motivators, generally speaking we are each strong in two of them, we respond to two based on the situation, and we are actually indifferent (turned off, irritated by, etc.) to two.

See if any of these surprise you.

The Hulk: He loves to smash and he loves small glass figurines.  In Hulk form, he is very different to Bruce Banner. As a scientist, Bruce has a strong Theoretical Motivator, searching for knowledge. But the big guy, Hulk, appears to have strong Aesthetic (form and balance, artistic experiences) and Traditional (system of beliefs, rule of law) Motivators.

Thor: Our Asgardian Avenger was raised to be a ruler and has come to Earth to protect its people.  He is also very competitive with Hulk and other team members. With Thor, we see a strong Individualistic (power and position) Motivator that plays out through his Social (selfless, helping others achieve potential) Motivator as he works to keep a world not his own safe and prosperous.

Captain America: As team leader, Captain America has strong Traditional and Individualistic Motivators. From his Traditional Motivator, the Captain is strategic and very focused on doing the right thing, and is not happy when others challenge what he perceives as “right.” His Individualistic Motivator gives him the assurance that he the right one to lead the team.

Iron Man: What can we say about Tony Stark, the inventor? His strong Theoretical Motivator keeps him searching for more and better ways to be Iron Man, better suits, better tech, better everything. Both as Iron Man and as Tony Stark, he constantly strives to positions of prominence, which is driven, of course, by his Individualistic Motivator. He must be the best!

Black Widow: A powerful example of Traditional and Theoretical Motivators. The Black Widow is law and order motivated, Traditional. She is excellent with strategy and tactics for the big picture and in the moment. Her Theoretical Motivator drives her to be better and to learn more, which we see in her vast array of martial arts and fighting skills and her knowledge of weaponry.

Hawkeye: Last, but certainly never least, is Hawkeye. His strong Motivators are Aesthetic and Social. Hawkeye is all about the experience (Aesthetic), bringing wit and sarcasm to every encounter. He has perfected his archery to an art form. He is one of the most empathetic members of the team (Social) and is their encourager, seeking to have everyone achieve their best.

What’s missing from the team? As a unit, they cover all the Motivators. However, they could be stronger still by learning to see through each other’s value filters (Motivators).

September 18, 2015

EQ at its best: The Colbert/Biden Interview

We expected that the death of Vice President Biden’s son Beau would at least be mentioned during the VP’s recent appearance on the new rendition of The Late Show. What I, for one, hadn’t expected to see was these two very public men show such high levels of emotional intelligence.

As the interview played out, among great speculation that Biden is considering a presidential run, we saw so much more there than perhaps either of them had expected.

There are two dimensions of emotional intelligence (EI):

  • Intrapersonal (happening inside you)
  • Interpersonal (happening between you and others).

Our intrapersonal EI encompasses self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation, all coming from within. Interpersonal EI is our empathy (understanding others) and our social skills (building and managing relationships).

As we watched the Vice President talk first about the death of his son, and later respond to whether he will run for the Democratic nomination, we saw a man display great self-regulation as he responded to these issues while obviously still fighting deep emotional distress over his loss.

His answer about whether he would run for the highest office in the land showed us how very self-aware he is: “Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they’re willing to give it 110% of who they are,” he said, adding that he just wasn’t there yet.

We watched great self-regulation as the emotions played out on Biden’s face when he discussed his late son.  He was able to keep it together and complete the interview, and display empathy.  During the same conversation, Biden noted that Stephen Colbert had his own experience with family loss due to the deaths of Colbert’s father and three brothers. There was a deep sense of empathy between the two men.

The internal motivation of Biden was also on display, as we watched a man who has buried a young wife and now two of his three children, continue to fulfill his responsibilities. That’s internal motivation: continuing to get up and work to fulfill your purpose despite the obstacles that life metes out.

What a superb lesson in emotional intelligence they unknowingly taught!

March 9, 2015

The Magic to Motivation

The things that motivate us AND de-motivate us show up in the workplace a lot more than we may realize.  Gallup’s most recent employee engagement survey tells us that 63% of employees worldwide are not engaged and only 13% are actively engaged.  That makes it critical for leaders to pay attention to employee motivation.employeeengagement

Have you ever worked on a huge project and the project manager promised you major reward at the end?  Problem was, the reward was just didn’t get your motor running!  Why not?  Most likely, the reward was something that the project manager found motivating, so he or she assumed just figured that everybody else would want it, too.  For example, maybe this time, the reward was a big fat chunk of money, but money isn’t your motivator.  You are one of those people who is constantly seeking knowledge and you have been begging for some extra time off to take some training.  That would have been a stellar reward for you.

Think about that big project that they offered special recognition by the CEO, but you remember thinking “a whole lot of good that’s going to do me!” You were wishing for, actually had been begging for, the team work space to be painted and brightened up, but no one was listening. Having a pleasant work environment means so much more to you than lots of “atta girls.”  Errr, so frustrating.

What’s going on here?  In these situation, the leaders are offering carrots based on their own personal motivators.  They haven’t taken the time to understand what motivates the employees.  Just as important, they don’t know what de-motivates their employees.

How about you?  Are you looking outside yourself when you look for those carrots to motivate your team?

 

 

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