Employees who'd rather tune into their iPod than the needs of your customers are nothing new. But is the problem getting worse? As they text and instant message friends about their discontent, or walk the length of the hallway just to gaze longingly at the parking lot, that's not a bad question to consider. A new report, "The State of Employee Engagement 2008," ...reveals that fewer than one in three North American workers are fully engaged. Moreover, 19 percent are completely disengaged, and a further 13 percent are disillusioned and at risk for becoming disengaged. The study, based on a survey of more than 7,500 employees and interviews with 40 human resource and line managers on four continents, identified five levels of employee engagement in North America. Read the full article from "Inside Training" by clicking here.
"Tomorrow our $50,000 note at the bank is due," answered the husband.
The wife left him pacing, but returned a short while later and said, "Are you still pacing? What are you doing that for?"
"I told you. Tomorrow the note for $50,000 is due to the banker", he snarled
"Oh, sweetheart, "she replied," Come to bed. Let the banker pace."
Unfortunately, bankers are not the only ones pacing today. The very mention of the word “recession” is sending shudders of worry throughout workplaces.
Examine your expectations
Explore your options & keep them open
Recently, a client needed to reschedule a seminar I was supposed to deliver in San Diego. The new date my client needed would put me back-to-back with a previously scheduled speaking engagement for the Illinois State Police in Chicago. I worried how I would deliver one speech after another halfway across the nation. After spending an entire afternoon exploring options with five different airlines, I panicked.
Live in the present
An ironic factor in the stuggle to make things happen!
Check out this interesting article in Sales and Marketing Management Magazine.
To read the article click here.
Her sales director wore a Chicago Cubs T-shirt to the company’s weekly sales team meeting. He opened the meeting by stating, “As you know the Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. They lost the World Series in 1906, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945. The Cubs are a losing ball club because they don’t work together as team. And, you guys aren’t working together either…”
To make matters worse, this incident took place shortly after the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2006 World Series while fans were still relishing their team’s victory.
Perhaps the director was trying to be clever and get his team’s attention, but the salespeople only heard, “We’re losers!” The director got their attention, but lost their respect.
Given everything that has been written about effective management, it’s difficult to imagine that some leaders still employ the old “Carrot and Stick” motivational practice in the 21st Century.
Still, this incident provides some lessons:
First, the saleswoman should gently tell the director that his Cub’s analogy really hurt people and rippled wave of anger and apathy throughout the organization. As a senior staff member, she not only has the clout to speak with her boss, others look to her for leadership as well. If someone like her doesn’t speak up, the director will think his tactics are tolerable, and he will continue to practice intimidation.
Secondly, I suspect an underlying fear is stoking the sales director’s angry and pessimistic demeanor. He is probably under pressure to meet his revenue goals. Rather than wearing his anxiety on his sleeve, the director needs to learn how to positively deal with his stress. He needs to recognize that his ill-temper only spawns fear. His people need leadership, not condescending and concealed threats.
Finally, the director should understand that he doesn’t need to try so hard to motivate his people. The very concept of motivation is internal or self-starting. You can't motivate people. A person must choose to motivate himself. (For example, only I could choose to take initiative with my handicap.) This director’s job is to create the circumstances in which his peoples’ inherit motivation—their intrinsic commitment and initiative—is released and focused on achievable goals. Currently, he is just de-motivating his people.
What's The Problem Here?
How to find and fix the causes of workplace apathy
The department responsible for maintaining shipping supplies at a mid-sized telecommunications company had done its job — at least, from a numbers standpoint. There were plenty of boxes in the warehouse for shipping the phone systems the company sold. The trouble was: some boxes were white, and some were brown. A minor concern, you’d think. Unfortunately, the discrepancy caused quite a stir.
In the white corner stood the Western-region sales and marketing team. In the brown corner stood the Eastern-region sales and marketing team. Both felt their color preference was best, and both had their reasons. On the floor, there was little sign of unrest. Orders were coming in, paperwork processed and phones shipped as usual. Around the water cooler, though, it was a different story...Read the full article here.