Written by Dave Gannaway
One of the aspects of employee motivation often neglected by employers, is that their workers are human beings … each of them uniquely individual with all the same basic human requirements as the employer. But sadly, my observations of some management strategies is different, indeed rather antiquated and ineffective. … They are more akin to the chicken farmer’s relationship with his chickens! ‘Keep ‘em in the dark. Feed ‘em what is required to lay eggs and meet our quota. Why feed ‘em more?' If the hens do not respond and lay the required number of eggs per day, get rid of ‘em!
Motivating employees has evolved a great deal from those eighteenth century paradigms and the employer who still thinks that way is sadly way out of touch. He is not aware that the moment he puts his whip aside to take a pee, his workers down tools and production stops dead! This is counterproductive, and it also produces the fertile soil in which employee absenteeism flourishes.
Good employee motivation creates good leadership, and good leadership generates motivated employees. The well informed employer will know that you can only help the employee to be in a place where he is happy and safe. From there, he will motivate himself. It’s an inside job. As I have said many times, ’you can lead a horse to water but you can’t ….’
The object is to create a happy environment of mutual respect. Just like their boss, employees also like to be listened to. They too have valid opinions and common sense that may be of value and productive for the company.
Listening and displaying empathy is prime. Just observe the response after an employee has been encouraged to share his views and opinions, his attitude is greatly elevated. His response will more likely to be an enthusiastic, ‘I can do that…” The man is suddenly alive and feeling good and recognized as a human being.
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