|Here Is A Quick Way To Motivate Employees Without Writing A Bigger Pay Check|
If you are like most other small business owners, your primary measures of success weekly, monthly and annually are in the numbers like these:
summer campers enrolled
and most important, profits earned.
Business owners are drawn to numbers because profit is the primary reward for business ownership. But wait, we both know it's not about the money, only.
Doing work you enjoy around people you like to work with is of great importance, too. However, the nature of business focuses the owner's thoughts on money much of the time.
Does this mean your employees' primary focus is money, too? I'll be the first to testify I've heard many employees complain about low wages and too much work.
But, is money the great motivator?
Studies over the last sixty years (see source note below) have asked employers what they think employees want. Here are their answers ranked by importance:
1. Good wages
2. Job security
3. Promotion/growth opportunities
4. Good working conditions
5. Interesting work
This is what employees answered about what is important to them:
1. Full appreciation for work done
2. Feeling "in" on things
3. Sympathetic help on personal problems
4. Job security
5. Good wages
If you are self employed now, take some time to remember what it was like working hard in the past for your boss and getting no recognition or respect for your efforts above and beyond expectations. There is no getting around the fact that employees, family and friends, too, have a need to feel appreciated.
It's important to all to feel appreciated and respected; Rodney Dangerfield kept people laughing for decades as they identified internally with his classic line, "I don't get no respect."
To keep your employees happy, motivated and productive, make an effort to offer praise and appreciation whenever you see a job well done. Even the small stuff is worthy of praise since much of work in general is the sum of many small tasks. A few examples:
"Terrific work on getting the morning chores done on time, short handed."
"Thanks for fixing that broken fence rail right away on your own."
"You sure put that angry boarder at ease by explaining why her horse wasn't turned out today due to a loose shoe."
Showing employee appreciation by your spoken comments or in writing is low monetary cost and high yield in business benefit. And all business owners appreciate low cost with high yields.
The information above is a partial list of ten factors surveyed from both employers and employees. This survey first came out in 1946 in Foreman Facts, from the Labor Relations Institute of NY and was produced again by Lawrence Lindahl in Personnel magazine, in 1949. This study has since been replicated with similar results by Ken Kovach (1980) Valerie Wilson, Achievers International (1988) Bob Nelson, Blanchard Training & Development (1991) and Sheryl & Don Grimme, GHR Training Solutions (1997-2001).
|Others Have Said |
"Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune." --Sam Walton
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."-- Albert Schweitzer
"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."--William James
Back At The Barn
I did some traveling by car for business this week and enjoyed the view of freshly worked fields planted in corn by hustling farmers. I suppose my opinion that the machined perfection of a newly fitted field is a type of art would be greeted with laughter by true artists.
But, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and I refuse to listen to critics.
One farmer I met was so fond of the look of freshly worked quality soil, he would comment,
"Look at that ground will you; it looks good enough to eat!"
Appropriately, as I was driving and thinking about the content of this newsletter about employee appreciation
, a National Public Radio news story
about the Fleetwood Trailer Plant in Edgerton, Ohio was airing on my radio.
Fleetwood built trailers for FEMA emergency housing for Katrina victims. Formaldehyde used in the components of the trailers has been the subject of complaints from some of the occupants.
One employee interviewed about the formaldehyde problem experienced no health problems from cutting materials containing formaldehyde daily. What she noted was her fellow workers had heard only complaints from the folks living in the temporary housing. It would be nice, she expressed, if she heard just one positive comment like thanks for building us a nice home.
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Until next week,