An insightful article from an anonymous tip. I really love this so much that I wanted to share with you.


Managers are good at having meetings to “motivate” their workers. In my professional career, I’ve been through all sorts of “team building” exercises. All geared at getting employees to work better, harder, faster, together for the company.

I’d like to offer some advice to managers, and I mean no disrespect by what I’m about to say. Just unsolicited advice.

The one thing that will get your employees to work harder? It isn’t threats, it isn’t higher pay (though that doesn’t hurt), it isn’t even a pat on the back.

The best thing you can do to motivate your employees is to get dirty with them.

Get down in the muck and mire of everyday work and set an example. I’m not talking about “role-playing.” I’m talking about letting your employees SEE you working.

I had a boss who would come in late, leave by 10am to go to the gym at least until noon. He’d come back for a few hours and be out the door by 3pm. True, I didn’t see all the behind the scenes work, and that was the problem. He would throw his employees to the wolves when customers called to complain. And when the employees’ hands were tied on what they could do to make a customer happy, then he would jump in and bend ALL the rules, making his employees look like chumps. He would save the day EVERY TIME at the expense of his employees.

Needless to say, I wasn’t there very long.

On the contrary, I’ve also worked for companies where if something needed to be swept up, cleaned up, set up or picked up, I had a manager that was right there in the thick of it all. Mad respect for her.

Here’s the thing: employees want to see their managers working just as hard as they are. It motivates us. Honest…it really does.

I once had an excellent manager who put in the time that his employees did (and more). What was the effect on the employees? When faced with the option of staying home because you felt sick, the employees would remember that the manager made it through the day with a migraine that put him on the edge of being sick in bed, because things had to get done. Because of that example, nine times out of ten, employees would come to work, or stay at work, if they were having a bad day (ie. The edge of illness). If their manager was willing to stick it out, then they felt obligated to also.

Don’t get me wrong, Managers. I get it. You worked hard to get where you are. Maybe you own the company. Maybe you work at night. Maybe you deserve to take off work to go to the gym.

But there needs to be a balance. And for goodness sake, don’t rub your three-week European vacation in our face, or that you just bought your third Mercedes. Remember, you didn’t get those things on your own. A lot of times, if it weren’t for your employees, those things wouldn’t even be an option for you.

Just don’t let the Great Divide between Management and Employee get wider and wider. Get in there and get your hands dirty. And, hey, maybe offer your employee a free pass to the gym some time.

Just my two cents.

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12 replies on “Guest Post: A Letter to Management

  1. Wow!
    This is so spot on accurate!
    Personally, I’ve seen how managers and team leads in my company put on their efforts to meet the deadline. They are hard working individuals, no doubt about that.
    But (a very BIG BUT that is), they don’t put up their own sleeves when things get dirty. Demanding constant updates about task’s progress on regular basis, becomes their #1 priority during crucial times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kally, I respectfully disagreed with the author of this article. The manager’s job is to lead and manage the human resource. Plus a mountain of other things that managers do. It is unfair to expect the manager to be down and dirty in the muck with the workers. Of course, he should have some experience of what the workers do. And rolling up his sleeves every now and again wouldn’t do any harm. But that should not be an expectation. The workers should find other ways to motivate themselves. After all, they are getting paid to do the job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Noel for sharing your perspective. 🙂

      Actually, it really depends on the concept of down and dirty. Sure, managers have plenty of our hands but it does benefit the manager if he get down to his team level and “feel” the ground for himself.

      I know plenty of bosses and managers get their head stuck in the cloud and couldn’t / refuse to hear what the bottom feeders have to say. A manager is a team player too. He is the rope that holds the whole team together.

      I do agree with you that manager’s job is to lead and manage the human resource. One of the best way to do it is to motivate and inspire your employees. Sure, they are paid to do the job but they are also easily lure away by other competitors. There is almost no loyalty in the corporate world unless you create and manifest loyalty. This has actually worked for me for all my jobs as a manager.

      But for an employee to expect or demand that I get down and dirty with them? I don’t want them to expect that from me because I want to see the surprise look on their faces when I do it with them. 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Having been a manager (school administrator), I see the need for doing whatever is needed, to get the entity’s mission accomplished. Most of the time, people expected me to be in or around the office. The keys, though, are visibility and accessibility. As long as the workers know that the manager has their backs, things run well.

    Liked by 1 person

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