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Posts for tag: Motivation


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How To: Motivate your team ready for the New Year

It can take several days for your team to really get back into the full swing of things after the Christmas break so it’s imperative that you are already thinking of novel employee motivation ideas to kick start 2010.

Snow Scene

January is a great time to motivate the workforce

Although the right attitude, application and work ethic are important throughout the year, we’ve assembled some employee motivational events that will inspire and invigorate your personnel during a gloomy January….

Fresh or Foolish? – A motivated workforce the Ricardo Semler way

The idea that staff set their own pay, come and go from the office as they please, all within a business that has no written strategy sounds like a recipe for disaster. Not the story of a company that’s gone from $4m to $160m.

Ricardo Semler

Is this man a management genius?

Semco is no ordinary workplace, despite the fact that it operates in an industry as ordinary as engineering….

Volunteam – team building from a different angle

Its not a real word I know but the principle of a ‘volunteam’ is an interesting one.

What can we learn from Moroccan builders?

What can we learn from Moroccan builders?

I’ve been visiting a relief project in Morocco that is building new homes for widows and the very poor following the earthquake in 2004.  Incredibly over 5 years after 12,000 homes were destroyed an enormous number of people are still trying to survive without a home in the hills around Al Hoceima….

Don’t forget motivation

What do organisations need to do to be able to bounce back once this economically gloomy period is over?

Check text

Is your team motivated to grow?

A discussion on the radio this morning was about whether the first green shoots of recovery from recession were appearing. The discussion was inconclusive and extended the green metaphor to suggest that we could also expect a lot of weeds, but highlighted once again the fact that no-one really knows how or when things are going to pick up.

The thing is that once things do get start to turn around, recovery is probably going to take as many by surprise as did the speed of the downturn last year, and a lot of organisations may be caught on the hop. Having cut back, streamlined, pruned, and cut down again to make do with fewer resources, for many it will be tough to keep up once things start to speed up again if the organisation hasn’t kept its remaining staff motivated and its systems up to date….

Teams have competitive advantage

When Southwest Airlines said that it’s important to them that staff have fun at work did anybody believe them or did it just sound like more corporate mission statement jargon?

Our people are our single greatest strength - Gary Kelly

It’s easier to put a mission statement on the wall than it is to put it into action. We know of organisations who have spent months of meetings carefully crafting and re-wording their corporate mission statements, only to find the life sapped from them soon after they’re finished. Or sometimes mission statements work for a while, but then turnover takes a toll and the new people never seem to really get on board.

It’s great to see the video, above, of David, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, keeping some of their mission statement alive.  He and his colleagues make a great team because they’re committed to the same vision and they support each other.  There is no doubt that team work benefits everybody – customers and colleagues alike.  But sometimes people within an organisation forget they’re part of a team.  One department regards another as a thorn in its side and sometimes colleagues just don’t like each other.

A key factor to success during these hard economic times was summed up by Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, when he said “Our people are our single greatest strength and our most enduring longterm competitive advantage.” Long may it last.

What motivates your staff?

Corporate values could be a determining factor for staff as they choose to join, stay or leave your organisation.

Does charity begin at work?

Does charity begin at work?

Friday was Comic Relief Day and this year it seemed to bring relief in a number of ways.  The record total raised of £57m will undoubtedly help those in need in Africa and closer to home.  This year, perhaps more than in previous, years the opportunity to laugh and give seemed  also to bring some relief to those watching and giving.

Two examples stand out in my memory of generous giving.  One was the anonymous donor of an incredible £6m; the other the little girl who gave up a whole month’s pocket money.  I wonder if now that it’s no longer ‘cool’ to splash out on flat screen TVs and designer gear the public at large is discovering that a greater sense of satisfaction comes from giving rather than getting. 

If my hunch is correct, then what does this mean for employers?  …

Does strike action undermine employers trust in staff?

As the industrial dispute spreads over the use of foreign labour at the Lindsey Oil Refinery we should reflect on how this action might affect our own workforce.

Industrial desputes if not managed carefully can erode trust between employees and employers

Industrial desputes if not managed carefully can erode trust between employees and employers

The absence of strikes in recent years has given employers an opportunity to regain their employees trust.  Most employees don’t believe their employer is simply out to exploit them with no regard for them as a person.  Initiatives such as employee engagement surveys, team building days and employee incentives have all helped to strengthen the relationship between the worker and the company.

Action like wildcat strikes can begin to erode the Psychological Contract that is so important.  Especially in an era when many roles rely largely on the individual to choose to serve the businesses best interests, without close supervision.  And of course it can work both ways, the millitant soundbites from striking workers do little to support the diligent work ethic that most of us take to the office every day.

Let’s not forget that just because one employer is in a dispute with its workforce, its not to say that all staff are work shy and all employers are exploitative.

An organisation’s most valuable resource is its staff

As the recession begins to bite, it is going to be vital for organisations to optimise their resources. And surely any organisation’s most valuable resource is its staff.

Nurturing talent will be a key tool in combating the recession

Nurturing talent will be a key tool in combating the recession

For example, one option is to use this period to promote young talent rather than take on the cost and risk of recruiting externally, a tactic backed up by Dr Emma Parry’s recent report, Nurturing Talent, published by Cranfield School of Management. Another report from Cranfield suggests that initiatives such as Investors
In People can have a positive impact on financial performance.

In these leaner times it is going to be increasingly important to draw a distinction between financial capital and human capital. Whilst there’s little doubt that finances are restricted, now is not the time to constrain your people. In fact this climate of change offers the perfect opportunity to unleash new talent within your organisation, encourage innovation and allow the next generation of leaders to identify themselves….

Royal Mail Discord

Unrealistic demands in the workplace?

Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?
Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?

The Communication Workers Union has recently claimed that postmen are being bullied by Royal Mail managers because they do not walk quickly enough whilst making deliveries. 

A BBC News report says that union officials claim that a new softaware system, Pegasus, requires delivery staff to walk at four miles an hour. They claim that the demands of this system pressure postmen into completing “unrealistic” rounds in order to gain financial savings.

So how can Royal Mail managers motivate and inspire their staff, rather than stand accused of bullying them, to allow the organisation to cope with its busiest time of the year? …


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