Inspire Your Staff With The Ultimate Holiday Card

Inspire Your Staff With The Ultimate Holiday Card

Holidays are coming and you know it is customary for you as a manager to send greeting cards to your staff. The problem is you hate the whole process. I am going to show you how to create a holiday greeting card like they have never laid eyes on before. In our virtual world of email and text messaging, the hand written card has been placed on the endangered species list. The good news is that with rarity comes great value. I want to encourage you as a manager to redefine the holiday greeting card. I want you to create something that will actually move your staff emotionally. What we want to get away from are the usual cards everyone writes each year; the one’s where we sign our name and maybe write the words “Seasons Greetings” if they are not already included on the card. It’s time to raise the standards. I’m talking about a human resources work of art. Imagine for a minute that this year, your employees will actually keep the card you write them. Imagine that they actually take it home and show their family, and that they even bring it back to work in January and keep it in their desk to read every time they are feeling discouraged. Imagine that they auction it off on eBay for a ton of money as “Best Card Ever Written…” Ok, now we are getting carried away. We have become numb to the mechanical expectation of exchanging cards, and the good news for you and me is expectations are at an all time low. Employees do not...
The Two Sides of Staff Motivation

The Two Sides of Staff Motivation

  Imagine trying to get someone to run fast while attached to an open parachute. Its hard.  So how do we motivate this person to run faster? If you said “Get rid of the parachute” you would be wrong. While eliminating the obstacle will make the job easier and they probably will be able to run faster, but it does not mean we have increased the motivation of the runner. A very common misconception is that in order to motivate employees you need to identify the de-motivators and then eliminate them. While this is always helpful, it does not always lead to a motivated workforce. A better way to think of de-motivators is to imagine them as rocks in everyone’s shoes when they are climbing a mountain. The pebbles make the journey a lot more difficult. Removing them will definitely create a more satisfying environment but does it increase your motivation to climb the mountain? Probably not. The first person to make this distinction between motivators and de-motivators is a psychologist by the name of Frederick Herzberg. By studying workplace motivation, he made a profound discovery that is still talked about more than 40 years later. Herzberg found that the things which satisfied and motivated people at work, are different in kind from the things that make them dissatisfied. Things like low salaries, uncomfortable workspaces, stupid processes, annoying bosses, and dysfunctional teams, lead to job dissatisfaction. Herzberg called these Hygiene Factors as they were mostly related to the environmental factors surrounding a job, rather than the work itself. Herzberg’s research also found that people are more motivated by achievement,...
Laughing Your Way to the Top

Laughing Your Way to the Top

by Canadian business speaker and author Michael Kerr. “Did you hear the one about the manager who got a bigger bonus because he had a great sense of humour?”       You probably haven’t heard this one making the rounds at the water cooler, because it’s not a joke. It’s actually one finding from a study by researcher Fabio Sala—a consultant with the Hay Group’s McClelland Centre for Research and Innovation—who found a positive correlation between the size of executives’ bonuses and their use of humour. The study also found that outstanding executives use humour more than twice as often as the so-called average executives. Studies like this point to a growing consensus that if you are serious about your career, then sometimes it pays to not be serious. At least, not too serious. Not when a healthy sense of humour can help you manage stress, spark creativity, build relationships, communicate more effectively, and stand out from the herd (not to mention earn you a bigger bonus). This may explain why some workplaces even hire for a sense of humour, and why, if you’re in the job market, you may want to hone your humour skills. In fact, a survey of 737 CEO’s by Hodge Cronin and Associates found that a whopping 98% of them would rather hire someone with a good sense of humour than someone with a more serious demeanor. Barry Williams, the manager of Barney’s Motel (“Rooms So Clean Even Our Mothers Are Proud!”), in Brandon, Manitoba, believes in the power of humour. So much so, that while a wing of his motel was burning to the ground,...
What does this image have to do with excellence?

What does this image have to do with excellence?

A lot… I recently began writing another book. Not wanting to embark on this adventure alone, I contacted a few friends who I knew wanted to do the same thing. The agreement was simple; spend one hour a day, five days a week working on your book and be accountable to the group for time spent. So far we have already had one person drop out and the hardest part is yet to come. This is part of the email I sent the group yesterday: “Greetings Authors,  I trust last week was inspiring for you as you spent time crafting your masterpiece. Just a note of caution; things are about to get difficult. While we seem to be off to a good start, the real test lay ahead. This is to be expected; after all, it’s not easy carving out an hour per day to work on something new. All new initiatives begin easy enough, but later they test our resolve. Knowing this is part of the secret to pushing beyond our own unwillingness to sit and write. But after a time, as we continue to plod along, you will notice a shift in your motivation as each step takes you closer and closer to your goal. The key is to not give up.” All great efforts to do something new go through a predictable cycle. Understanding this cycle is the key to creating sustainable long-term behavioral change, and it can be summed up by the image below. In fact, this might be one of the most important images when it comes to leading change. Change Is Not Linear...
How To Stop A Complainer

How To Stop A Complainer

Don’t you hate it when you work around someone who always sees the glass as half empty? Nothing can sap your mood like a complainer. And when you try to help them see that the world (or office) is not as bad as they think, it only leads to more complaining. So what’s a person supposed to do? Believe it or not one of the best ways to stop a complainer from complaining is to validate them.  This involves finding some kernel of truth in what they are saying and empathizing with them about it. This is counter intuitive because our natural fear is that if we agree with them, the floodgates for more complaining are going to open, but in reality the opposite is true. Many times a complainer is simply trying to voice a frustration. They are not looking for the bright side, but rather to be listened to and understood. Once they feel like you understand what they’re frustrated about their complaining begins to die out. So the next time you work around, (or live with) someone who is on a complaint spree, avoid trying to shift their thinking to the positive. Simply listen and try to acknowledge the frustration they must be...

Three Things to Inspire Your Staff

I hope today finds you living and leading with excellence and passion. I want to give you three big things that will only take you three minutes to execute and will make a difference in the lives of your staff. Thing  #1 Your Enthusiasm is on Display Regardless of what industry you are in, people want to be part of something larger than themselves. This is one of the reasons why we have things like Mission and Vision statements so together we can be strive to achieve some goal that excites us. But your staff will take their cue from you. If you are not enthusiastic about what you are doing, they will sense it. I know we can all go through our periods of not liking our job but recommitting to enthusiasm is essential. A leader’s enthusiasm is not only contagious, its comforting. It tells your people that they are working toward a worthy goal. So take a moment and check your enthusiasm. How passionate have you been lately about your work and your team? Regardless of the answer, what small thing can you do today to demonstrate your enthusiasm for your organization and your people. Thing # 2 One of your staff want their efforts to be noticed. When one of your staff pours their heart and soul into a task or project, there is a part of them that wonders if anybody noticed.Often as leaders we can get so busy that we forget to stop, look around, and recognize those who are working hard among us. This can be especially true of our best employees. It’s...