Sticky notes of to do list on wall.

Making Employee Motivation Matter

In a recent online Forbes article, a start up CEO shares how he gets things done.  He explains the mechanics of creating his master to-do list each week and how he transforms his many big projects into smaller to-dos on his daily action plan. He says that the process he uses keeps the projects moving forward…

Aligned Wheels

5 Ways to Help Improve an Employee Alignment Problem

My discussions with managers about employee motivation often center on getting employees to be more motivated for their work.  Managers then describe the reasons they need employees to be “more motivated.”   Usually it is to achieve the important goals (or tasks) for which they are responsible. But discussing motivation in terms of how much someone…

Taking Action

Saying When Enough (Advice) is Enough

So here we are again on the cusp of the new year.  One slippery six week slope to 2014.  Another spin around the sun officially starting on January 1. We will soon read all sorts of advice about how to set our New Year Resolutions, how to avoid letting yet another gym membership go to…

Motivation as a Leadership Competency: 3 Ways to Get Started

The great motivation debate among business leaders has been whether motivation is a trait we are born with or a skill that can be developed. Contemporary research has answered that question; motivation is a skill that can be nurtured and developed in oneself and others. This important finding means that employees at all levels have…

Autonomy or Accountability? 5 Ways to Use Honey Instead of Vinegar to Motivate Employees

Last week I met with a group of sales managers for a national retailer that is doing very well.  Turnover is low.  Same-store sales have been outpacing their peer group for five years.  Quarterly and annual financials have been excellent. The question they were asking was, “How do we keep our people motivated?”  I asked…

Employee Engagement–What’s Love Got To Do With It?

In a recent post for the Harvard Business Review blog, editor Gretchen Gavett reported the latest Gallup research on employee engagement.  In the article, Ten Charts That Show We’ve All Got a Case of the Mondays, we learn—again—that the majority of the U.S. workforce is woefully disengaged and has been for many years.  We read—again—that…

The High Price of Perceived Unfairness—a mini case study

Alexa has been with a global telecommunications company for 15 years, most recently as an upper mid-level leader in the company’s consumer products division. Alexa took her current post in 2010.  That year she led her group to earn Best Retail Operation for the region, going from worst-to-first in a single year.  Along with a…