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.