Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2013 Contents B17
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
From Page B16
• Address individual dysfunctional behav-
iours on a "need-to" basis with counseling,
progressive discipline, and performance
• Clearly communicate work place expec-
tations and guidelines for professional behav-
Helpful hints for employee motivation
• Solicit employee feedback on potential
policies, areas in which policies are needed,
and so on. (Do not, as one company did
recently, announce a new attendance policy
by posting it on a bulletin board.)
• If you decide to adhere to and hold
employees accountable for an existing policy,
don t ambush your company members. If
you have not enforced the policy in the past,
meet with employees and explain the policy,
the intent of the policy, why the policy is
necessary, and why it was not enforced in
the past. Then, tell everyone that following
the meeting, everyone is accountable for
adherence to the policy.
You ll be surprised how much support for
legitimate policies and rules you receive from
the people in your organisation. People like
a well-organised work place in which expec-
tations are clear. People thrive in a work place
in which all employees live by the same rules.
If you create an environment that is viewed
as fair and consistent, you give people little
to push against.
You open up a space in which people are
focused on contribution and productive activ-
ities rather than gossip, unrest, and unhap-
Which workplace would you choose?
In one university department, a committee of ten
people met for several months and then recommended
space use to their dean. He had formed the committee,
provided guidelines, and requested their feedback.
Talking to a committee member several months after
they submitted their recommendations, I was informed
they had never received any feedback about their work.
They had repeatedly asked for feedback and decisions
but received none. They felt as if their recommendations
had gone into a dark hole, never to be seen again.
Demotivated? You bet. These staff members are loath
to volunteer for another committee in the future, as
well. Fool me once, poor me; fool me twice ...
Most people want involvement in decisions that
affect their work. Some may not want the final account-
ability. Ask why. Have people been punished for deci-
sions they made in the past? Have organisation leaders
provided the time, tools, and information needed to
make good decisions? Or have people made decisions
that were over-ridden by their managers?
Does the clear expectation for employee involvement
exist in your workplace? Are the people who make
decisions and contribute ideas rewarded and recog-
nized? These are critical questions if you want involved,
Make employee involvement a plus in
Too often employee involvement is a bad word.
People think of employee involvement as something
that is done aside from their "real" work in your organ-
isation. The best employee involvement does not
require teams, special committees, and suggestion
It is the expectation that people are competent to
make decisions about their work every single day on
the job. Teams and committees allow broad partic-
ipation from all people who may "own" a particular
work process or procedure. They are not the backbone
of employee involvement in your organisation.
• Express the expectation that people make decisions
that will improve their work.
• Reward and recognise the people who make deci-
sions about and improvements in their work as heroes.
• Make certain employees know and understand
your organisation s mission, vision, values, goals, and
guidelines so they can funnel their involvement in
appropriate directions. Education, communication,
measurement feedback and coaching keep employee
involvement from becoming a free-for-all.
• Never punish a thoughtful decision. You can coach
and counsel and provide training and information fol-
lowing the decision. Don t undermine the employee s
confidence that you are truly supportive of her involve-
• If you are a supervisor and people come to you
continually to ask permission and receive instructions
about their work, ask yourself this question. What
am I doing that makes people believe they must come
to me for each decision or permission? You are probably
communicating a mixed message which confuses peo-
ple about your real intentions.
• When an employee comes to you, ask him what
he thinks he should do in the situation. Assuming his
response is reasonable, tell him his approach sounds
fine and that he doesn t need to consult with you
about this type of decision in the future.
• If you can assist the employee to find a better
answer, act as a consultant without taking the monkey
onto your own shoulders. You will reinforce his belief
in his own decision making ability. You also reinforce
his belief that you are telling the truth about trusting
• If you see an employee embark on a course of
action you know will fail or cause a problem for a
customer, intervene as a coach. Ask good questions
that help the individual find a better approach. Never
allow a person to fail to "teach her a lesson."
Remove the barriers that discourage work place
motivation. Consequent actions and motivation dis-
played by ordinary people will amaze and gratify you.
Can it get any better than this?
Set them free
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