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Employee Training, Team building, Motivation, Change Management

An Organization’s Greatest (Human Resource) Challenge

June 30, 2012

Help the employee make a difference.

Managing Conflict? Wrestling with Change? Employee Retention? Turnover? Training and Development? Goal setting and achievement?

Our experience is there is a good chance it is employee motivation. The cost of lower productivity due to a poorly motivated workforce can be devasting.

The cost of replacing an employee because they are not challenged and motivated, at our last check, is approximately one half of that person’s annual salary. As organizations continue to experience change such as restructurings and lay-offs the direct effect on the employee is that of uncertainty and a loss of employee morale and motivation.

With sufficient motivation we can overcome continually changing environments. Turnover can be reduced as inspired employees are more committed to their employer; and evidence suggest that motivated employees are more apt to take greater initiative to learn new skills and develop their talents. On the other side of the ledger, highly motivated employees are inspired to develop new ideas that relate to new products, services, and perhaps new means of operations. (Managers might ask themselves, when the last new product, service or cost saving idea came from a discontented employee).

Organizations are finding that inspired employees are more simply more productive employees. Such productivity may be measured in less sick time, higher levels of production, reliability, etc.

One key to furthering motivation and creating a more inspired workforce is for management to focus on developing a greater sense of pride and ownership in the organization. Our experience derived in some part with having worked with client employees and teams for numerous years highlights the following items as critical in furthering such pride and ownership in an organization:

Management focus on accountability – Avoid the “do as I say, not as I do” mode of operation; in other words, follow through on your commitments – i.e. to read a report, to return a phone call or meet with an employee, arrive punctually at meetings etc.  Management must make every effort to avoid creating differing behavioral standards. The objective is in part to avoid the creation of separate expectations that produce a “we” vs “them” – management vs employee environment.

Provide for honest and open communication:  Make every effort to communicate expectations and when organizational changes are necessary, get out in front and communicate these changes, the new expectations and the freshly developed vision.

Provide for employee recognition and reward programs. Our experience continues to dictate that employees are motivated perhaps initially by compensation, however, longer term, motivation results from an environment in which employees feel like they are making a difference, and when they are, someone is around acknowledging their contributions. Establishing reward and recognition programs can go far in motivating and inspiring a workforce.

Help the employee make a difference. Assist the employee through communication and guidance in understanding the organization’s goals and objectives. Further, help the employee relate their personal goals to those of the organization. For example, if an employee’s goal is to further their education, help the employee realize that the opportunity to work with their employer makes such a goal very realistic, perhaps through education reimbursement or flex-time. In the process, the employee develops a deeper understanding of how helping their organization achieve its’ goals the employee moves closer to achieving their personal goals.

Charlie SelcerAbout the author: Charlie Selcer has provided organizations with employee training and development through Strictly Success Inc. for over 15 years. Strictly Success is a U.S. based employee training company for both the public and private sectors including some of America’s Fortune 1000 companies. Strictly Success specializes in high performance teams and teambuilding, employee motivation, employee accountability and change management.

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