6 dumb ways to kill employee morale

Smart managers spend time practicing techniques to improve employee morale. And that’s hard work. But many more managers do things that kill morale. Or more accurately, they FAIL to do things and that ends up killing morale. Here are the six dumb mistakes managers often make that kill morale. No. 1 is the failure to set clear expectations. Most people want to do well in a job. As long as … [Read more...]

Pssst! Your best people really are needy

Contrary to conventional wisdom, your best people really ARE needy people! Now hang on, it's true. They are. And what they need is to be a part of something special. Worthwhile employees – people worth having – need to feel wanted. To remain engaged, these employees must feel like they are an important part of an organization and that what they do contributes in an essential way to a … [Read more...]

Write it 100 times: Good employees leave bad managers

You are probably familiar with the expression that people are only as good as the company they keep. Well, the reverse is also true. A company is only as good as the people it keeps. And while the workplace has changed dramatically in the past 50 years, this hasn’t: Good employees don’t leave companies. Good employees leave bad managers. And they probably leave them more than we care to … [Read more...]

Want to make your employees miserable?

Unfortunately, there are far too many ways for managers to make employees miserable. So says researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer — she’s a Harvard business professor, he’s a psychologist — who have been studying workplace dynamics for the past 15 years. They outline their findings in a recent book, The Progress Principle. Among the things they commonly found in the workplace is … [Read more...]

Another day in paradise? It’s all in how you spin it

Let’s face it, we all spin – if just a little. If it’s already good, we put a better spin on it. If it’s bad, we spin it back to good, or as close as we can make it. We spin at work, rest, or play. It's all in how you spin it. We fine tune our communication to make things appear as we want them to be perceived, or to make our decisions seem somewhat more valuable, even when they are … [Read more...]

6 motivating skills every good manager needs

Managers have an enormous impact on the success - or failure - of an organization, and the most successful are those who have mastered key motivating skills. Great motivating skills can cover for a lot of other shortcomings. But, motivation may be the most misunderstood of all the skills. First, a person’s motivation doesn't really come from external factors. People are either motivated … [Read more...]

The 4 things all good employees want from work

“You give people what they want, and they’ll come out for it.” -- Harry Cohn, Founder, Columbia Pictures It's great advice. Same goes for the workplace. Give employees what they want, and they’ll work hard for it. But do you know what employees want? Here are some things employees say they want - along with some ideas on how to make it happen. Clear Direction People hate when  someone is … [Read more...]

It’s easy for managers to fall back into these 4 bad habits

When you boil it down, a manager’s job requirements are pretty straightforward: Be aware of everything at all times, and improve upon those things you find need improving. Just don’t over-manage. Or under-manage. Or micro-manage. Or what have you. Good luck! I have a friend who is smart as all get-out and I always thought she would make a great manager. But over the years I came to learn … [Read more...]

Employee motivation: Do you make these 5 mistakes?

There was a time, some years ago, that managers didn’t really worry about employee motivation - or even how employees felt about their jobs for that matter. The approach went kind of like this: “They’re getting a paycheck, so they’ll do what I tell them to do.” We all know that kind of leadership won’t cut it any more, not if what you want is an engaged, vibrant and most importantly - … [Read more...]

Transformational leadership: Key to motivation and performance

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” -- John D. Rockefeller Now there’s a guy who knew what he was talking about. And for anyone interested in this Rockefeller-style approach of raising people up to higher performance, consider putting the words “transformational leadership” on your to-do list. Transformational leadership boosts … [Read more...]