Blog: Trading on Employee Motivation

Blog: Trading on Employee Motivation

Ever found yourself wondering what more you can do to motivate your employees? Is your quest for high-performing staffers being stymied by the fact that the best of them are already working elsewhere? Maybe you've seen one too many project overruns or reviewed too many massively expensive project extension requests?

Perhaps everything you've tried - from motivational seminars, leadership and mentoring training, team building training, hiring bonuses, project review boards through to centralized purchasing - is getting you nowhere?

What more can be done? In a new e-book Minneapolis-based Business Coach Alan Hill says little is needed apart from gaining a different perspective. And he claims to have just the perspective to offer: one that he guarantees will help CIOs achieve desired results.

Hill's premise is that most employees are playing by different rules to the business. Employees get paid for showing up, putting in time and going home, and unless they're salespeople, they don't get paid for producing more. Worse, getting a promotion means competing with potentially every other employee, risking their personal reputation if they really 'pull out all the stops'.

"This means that many qualified employees never apply for promotions because it's too great a personal risk. This is obvious to any casual observer in any large organization today," Hill says.

By contrast the business gets 'paid more' by serving more customers, knows full well it must directly compete with other companies for prospects but relies for its success on employee support.

The trick, Hill says, is to change the rules and the game for employees so they will not only play by the same rules as the company but thank you for it.

And you can do that, he argues, by first recognizing that if your employees are playing by different rules you have no-one else to blame than yourself.

"...remember, you set the rules of the game for them. Even if you didn't set any rules, you allowed them to bring the rules they used from their last company. Imagine for a second football players showing up to play a golf game. As the football players tackle their opponents, how well do you think the golfers will do? I doubt they'd be able to get off the first tee," Hill writes.

Your company is required to offer compelling value to your customers but your employees are not required to offer compelling value to your company. Especially if they're salaried, they really get paid for showing up. It's a wonder we've all put up with this for so long, Hill says. Our systems for employee management are left over from an industrial age where employees needed to show up each day and run the production lines. Unless you are a manufacturing organization your employees should not be paid for showing up, they should be rewarded the same way as your company, for offering compelling value. This is the way it works in a free market economy and there's no reason it can't be the same on the inside of these organizations.

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