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Entries in engagement (6)


What Drives Your Performers To Fully Engage?

Do you know... or do you just think you know? Some interesting research compiled by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Their results found 4 key things that caused individuals to give their best effort at work. They were:
  • Reviewing and guiding
  • Feedback, praise and recognition
  • Autonomy and empowerment
  • Level of interest the manager shows in the employees as individuals

Now you know. How are you doing?


Just Like Kindergarten

I laughed out loud while reading Telis Demos article in Fortune entitled, Motivate Without Spending Millions. Not from the absurdity-but just how right the author is about rewarding employees.

They cite an employee at Intuit who works on a massive assignment requiring lots of overtime hours-only to be given a gift certificate worth a few hundred dollars. Listen to the words of the recipient: "The fact that somebody took the time to recognize the effort made the long hours just melt away." WOW! Are you listening managers, CEOs and anyone else who works with people. Taking the time to recognize the effort is the key-not necessarily the amount.

And according to Globoforce, a source for part of the article, "The average prize should be just $110. I love one of their comments in the article: "Even billionaires appreciate a Christmas sweater from their mom." Here are some other keen insights from Eric Mosley, Globoforce's CEO:

  • About 80-90% of employees should get some reward every year... When you are trying to reinforce certain behaviors, you need to constantly recognize them.
  • Every week, 5% of employees should get an award. Any less frequent and people will forget about the program.
  • Small awards all the time are a way to constantly touch people.

His most revealing quote-the one that got me laughing in approval was "What really works... are the things you might dismiss as the stuff of Kindergarten: small awards, all the time, to almost everyone. Even high earners can appreciate a small award if it's unexpected."

So... how are you doing keeping your people motivated? Maybe you are trying to make things a little too complex and predictable. Kindergarten would be no fun like that, and maybe the workplace isn't either.


Jada stopped Juggling Elephants

While waiting in the doctor's office with my dad this week I was perusing through the collection of magazines on the table. It's amazing where you can find stories and examples of people who literally have been juggling elephants and made the conscious decision to stop. Today's nugget comes courtesy of the June 2009 Oprah Magazine (Hey! It's a doctor's office-you didn't expect March 2010 did you?).

Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress, producer, writer and mother. She is also the wife of the actor Will Smith. In the article she writes, One day I was so overwhelmed I thought I might be crushed under the weight of all the responsibilities I'd taken on. Her solution came to her in a moment of meditation-The less I do, the better things will go.

She then offered two bits of advice on how she stopped juggling elephants (my words-not hers). They were:

  • Being present. Whether at work or with your family, do what it takes to really BE in the moment.
  • Trust that the people around her could do their jobs. A powerful insight in the article was When I was trying to control the people around me, they felt suffocated and invalidated. When I let go, they felt empowered, which created an atmosphere of harmony and there was peace within the everyday chaos.

In the closing of the article she writes, Since then [since she stopped juggling elephants], it's been a year of bliss. I don't have to go around trying to save everybody anymore. That's not my job. I took off the control freak crown, and now my headaches are over. To me, that sounds like a pretty good reason to stop juggling elephants.


The Ringmaster And Managing Different Ages In The Workplace

I came across an article in Ladies Home Journal (I was in a doctor's office and needed something to read) that gives a good overview of understanding the multiple generations that are now in the workplace. Carol Mithers article got my attention with the overview that reads:

In offices around the country, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers are trying to figure out how to get along. Sure, they all feel lucky to have a job in a bad economy, but that doesn't make the culture clash any easier.

Click here to see the article.


Identifying Toxic Performers In Your Circus

I came across a list of toxic personalities compiled by Brett Blumenthal of Sheer Balance. While the list is not closely based on any personality styles inventories, it does offer several opportunities to evaluate your personal style and how it impacts the creativity, cooperation and productivity of those around you. You can also use the list to have some interesting team or group discussions about the negative influence these personalities can have on the success of your team's performance-and how to deal with them.

Granted, you need some people to keep you grounded and insure that a choice is the right one. But as you will see, too much of one of these personalities or a day filled with several of them could have you running for the door!

Get the article to see the full list, their descriptions and their toxicity, but here's a sampling:

  • Manipulative Mary
  • Narcissistic Nancy
  • Judgmental Jims
  • Dream-Killer Keiths
  • Insincere Illissas
  • Disrespectful Dannys
  • Never Enought Nellies