Posts Taged relationships

Motivation Part 3 – Your role in keeping your staff motivated!

Keeping your staff motivated

This blog is the third of three examining motivation in the work place. The first examined why we go to work? The second looked at what makes us work willingly and well and discussed Hertzberg’s work on true motivators, whilst this blog  examines what demotivates us in the workplace.

What irritates you at work is likely to be similar to things that irritate others.   In this blog I hope to show what these feelings are based on, and will refer to Hertzberg’s work again, and crucially examine how the manager can stop staff  feeling this way.

Keeping your staff motivated – Understanding what makes them unwell.

My favourite analogy of Hertzberg’s “Hygiene Factors” is as follows: Picture a small isolated town in a warm area. The local authority have a sewerage plant to cater for the needs of the townsfolk. When it works the townsfolk pay it absolutely no attention, they just flush the loo. They remain healthy because there is no chance of contamination from the sewerage works. If the local authority spend millions on the works, new bells and whistles etc, the population DON’T get any healthier, they just carry on flushing the loo! However if the works starts to malfunction the population can become really ill very quickly, and will complain.

That’s the crux of the concept behind the hygiene factors.  There are some things that need to be in place, at a satisfactory level, so that people don’t become demotivated. Hertzberg’s study suggests that these are listed in order of importance:

1 Policies and administration

2 Technical supervision

3 Relationsip with your boss

4 Work conditions

5 Salary

6 Relationships with your peers

Which of these can managers control? At first glance many say that the hygiene factors are “out of their control”, but a closer examination can quickly dispel this notion. Whilst most of us don’t set work based policies and administration procedures, as managers we CAN let others have access to these areas.  We can make staff aware of what is there to protect and enhance their prospects. For example, how many of your colleagues will know that there are paternity rights and what they really are?  How do your colleagues access these? There may be some information around certain polices or procedures around the workplace, much of it may be gossip, rather than based on fact, and this can alienate staff, before the true facts are known. Shouldn’t your job as the manager be to inform them of this information, or how they could access the relevant documents?

Technical supervision usually falls into two camps, either you am the expert, and feel you should know everything about the task, as the company employed you for the role! Or OMG the staff know more than I do, so I’ll have to blag it! Why not be honest and open?  Share your expertise and recognise innovation can come from innocent questions like “Why do we do this?”

Hertzberg identifies having a work based relationship with your boss, as being necessary and expected. This is not about pub time (but that can be good),  but it’s about being  listened to, being spoken to, being allowed to contribute. Even if the person is consistently wrong, killing of ideas, kills off business and can alienate staff.

Work conditions are important.  Mangers don’t usually paint the office, control air conditioning, or sort out car parking. However, the best ones will make sure that everyone knows why the office hasn’t been painted, why it’s a bit too warm and why the car park is flooded. Sharing information is vital to building up good working relationships, and for staff to see the manager as honest and trustworthy.

Similarly, mere mortals in companies  do not get to set the level of staff salary, BUT as a manager you can make sure that people are paid accurately, paid on time and that their holiday leave is booked properly etc.

If people are having a difficult time with their colleagues, but still trying to  do a good job, they need support.   How long can you really expect them to keep going if the office atmosphere is fraught with tension? Mangers must keep an eye on work place relationships. Ignore them at your peril.

The previous blog looked at true motivators, such as achieving at work, being recognised for your contribution, as well as experiencing a sense of personal growth, and it’s pretty obvious that a lack of these things are not great for staff motivation.  What brilliant managers need to think about, is what is within their sphere of influence?  What will keep the sewage plant working so that the population will stay well!  It may seem a thankless task, but it’s necessary.

 

 

Self Esteem, Self Confidence, Assertiveness. What are they? Do you have them? Are they important?

Today I tweeted and asked what is the difference between self esteem, self confidence and assertiveness.  These are key attributes that everyone needs in order to feel positive about themselves and to allow you to establish and maintain good working relationships with others, regardless of whether these are business or personal relationships.

Self esteem is “a realistic respect for, or favourable impression of oneself, or self-respect” , and at times could be “an inordinately or exaggeratedly favourable impression of oneself” @Dictionary.com.

Do you have a healthy respect for yourself?  Do you recognise your favourable qualities?  If you do, you can refer to these qualities when you are feeling low, rejected or when someone has made a negative comment about you.  The problem occurs if you have a negative self-image and so low self esteem.   If you think you’re unattractive, too fat, too thin, aren’t very clever etc, then you have no positive reserves to fall back on, and this can stop you taking risks or pushing yourself forward, whether in a job or a relationship.      self-confidence

In my career of teaching, training and coaching, I have used an idea of   Jenny Mosley’s (Quality Circle Time), to get people to really think about   how they see themselves.  Take a moment now, and think of all the positive things about you and imagine each one as a gold coin.  Do you have a hefty pile in your hand or only one or two to fall back on. If the latter is the case, why would you take a risk and possibly fail?  All it would do, is confirm that you were unattractive, s/he wouldn’t like you etc.  If it was the former, then you would most probably say oh well, it was worth a try and dust yourself off and move on!

Self confidence is “realistic confidence in one’s own judgement, ability, power etc” or “an excessive or inflated confidence ” in oneself @Dictionary.com.  I was discussing the ability to come across as confident, yet still have low self esteem, and low self-confidence in some areas of life, with a group of people the other day, and each outlined an area where they felt they wouldn’t succeed in, including having an intimate relationship with someone.  From an outsiders’ perspective, these women appeared confident and assertive in their ability to take on challenges, most had well paid jobs, and made sound judgements regarding work and areas of their personal life.  However, each was quick to point out that “I’ve never been very good at…”, or “I can’t…”.  and quickly became irritated or despondent when questioned further and encouraged to see beyond this potential stumbling block.  confidence

 

You may have low self esteem in the area of relationships, but be very self confident in other things such as your ability to organise a house move, or to negotiate the best price when buying a new car.  You KNOW and TRUST in your ability and judgment in these areas, and will appear confident to others and they will assume this confidence applies to all areas of your life.  Where are you less confident?  Do others know about this?  If not, how do you mask it and is it to your detriment?
assetivenessAssertiveness focuses on your actions, words and interaction with another person. Do others see you as confident, self-assured, or bordering on being aggressive.  There is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression and often it is down to the other person’s perception of you as to which type of behaviour they think they have seen.  It is very subjective and is a key skill that can be taught and is often a component of company management training programmes, as well as individual coaching.

Assertiveness is knowing your rights and responsibilities and standing up for them.  This means understanding the potential consequences of your actions, and in my next blog, I will explore some of the rights and responsibilities we all have. Crucially, assertiveness is also about understanding that other people have rights and making sure you don’t violate those.