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Friday, April 13, 2007

How To Engage Your Workforce

The Harvard Business School's HBS Working Knowledge published an article "Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation"

Their premise?

Business literature is packed with advice about worker motivation—but sometimes managers are the problem, not the inspiration. Here are eight best-practices to fire up the troops.

1. Instill an inspiring purpose. A critical condition for employee enthusiasm is a clear, credible, and inspiring organizational purpose: in effect, a "reason for being" that translates for workers into a "reason for being there" that goes above and beyond money.

2. Provide recognition. Managers should be certain that all employee contributions, both large and small, are recognized.

3. Be an expediter for your employees. Incorporating a command-and-control style is a sure-fire path to demotivation.

4. Coach your employees for improvement. A major reason so many managers do not assist subordinates in improving their performance is, simply, that they don't know how to do this without irritating or discouraging them.

5. Communicate fully. One of the most counterproductive rules in business is to distribute information on the basis of "need to know."

6. Face up to poor performance. Identify and deal decisively with the 5 percent of your employees who don't want to work.

7. Promote teamwork. Most work requires a team effort in order to be done effectively. Research shows repeatedly that the quality of a group's efforts in areas such as problem solving is usually superior to that of individuals working on their own. In addition, most workers get a motivation boost from working in teams.

8. Listen and involve. Employees are a rich source of information about how to do a job and how to do it better.

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