When consultant Roger E. Herman hears small business owners complain that "people go where the money is," he quickly retorts: "False! All the studies show otherwise." He points to a Robert Half International survey which demonstrates that "compensation is not the predominant reason why people leave their jobs for supposedly greener pastures." Instead, asserts Herman, "People are hungry for opportunities to grow into their jobs. They crave advancement, both in position and stature, and in responsibility and opportunity." Herman has just finished his fifth book on employee management, titled Facilitative Leadership. He maintains that the most effective way to boost employee morale is to provide an optimum working environment. He warns that this can't be done with pep talks when you notice a drop in the level of enthusiasm. "You have to create an optimal environment in the employee's perception, as part of an integrated strategy that inspires people to do their best day in and day out." There are seven key issues in creating such an environment: Appreciation Research shows that people often leave an employer because they haven't received the recognition they want, or feedback on how they are doing. * Perhaps the first step in creating an atmosphere that will motivate employees is expressing appreciation. Supervisors should commend progress toward agreed-upon goals in a continual and consistent manner. Remember to express your appreciation for the invisible people D the receptionist, the janitor, the payroll clerk D as well as the stars. These employees all need to be singled out from time to time and commended for their efforts in keeping the company running smoothly. Ferdinand Fournies, author of Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To Do, counsels that verbal praise should be given immediately after an employee has completed a successful project. Generally, the praise should be specific ("Thanks for getting the marketing report in on time") and honest ("Sections One, Two and Three are great, but let's discuss making changes to Section Four"). Fournies also claims that tangible rewards such as bonuses, time off or gifts are effective ways to express appreciation, especially when given more frequently than on a once-a-year basis. * Show pride in your staff. You might reprint an article that quotes an employee and send it to interested customers. Publish news about an employee's participation in a trade or professional association in your company newsletter. And post copies of letters of appreciation to personnel on the staff bulletin board. * Celebrate successes. When people work hard to complete a project, make sure their accomplishments are acknowledged before tackling the next challenge. Celebrating today's win provides the inspiration for tomorrow's effort. Involvement

by holding gatherings such as a summer barbecue. and know how it can most effectively be done. * Managers often worry that staff members don't want them "interfering" in their private lives. Management Concern People appreciate help on personal problems. stand together against outsiders (the competition). When you can do so in ways that involve your staff. People who enjoy one another are usually more productive in the workplace. people care about each other. the benefits of involving each and every employee in constructing that statement are inestimable. While the benefits of having a company mission statement are great. and by creating a health and fitness program for workers and their families. donating obsolete equipment to local organizations. environmental and even political issues. * In a family. they possess sufficient trust to deal directly with those differences. they are even more committed when they help define that future. you also increase their loyalty. Supervisors are often among the few people who can influence an employee who needs mental health counseling. * Employees appreciate knowing they work for a company with a clear sense of the future. Low-cost and effective methods of strengthening community and employee ties include matching financial donations to nonprofits. They have greater loyalty to each other and to the organization. allowing time off for community service. Employees who are helped to perform will feel better about themselves and the company for which they work. and having personnel give career-choice talks to area students. coaching. and want the boss to care about them as individuals. * It will become increasingly important for businesses to demonstrate their civic responsibility through involvement in community activities.People want to feel involved in their jobs and important to the success of their companies. counseling. but when people are hurting they appreciate whatever assistance is offered. They are closest to the work for which they are responsible. Today's manager must invest a significant amount of time in advising. their involvement in community activities and their commitment to moral. You can promote a family environment by encouraging people to car pool or work on projects together. and support each other through times of personal stress. People judge firms by their philosophy and level of customer service. Social Environment A company's reputation rests on more than just the quality of its products. Supervisors can motivate staff by asking them to set their own job goals and suggest better ways to do things. or should attend . When loyal family members have grievances. training and listening. These attitudes work just as well in business settings. Today's employees are concerned about whether the values of the company for which they work are compatible with their own personal viewpoints.

Management Loyalty If you expect your people to be loyal to you. Managers can also help workers find child care facilities. that desks are spaced so phone conversations can be private. and understanding when they make an honest mistake. you have to be loyal to them.not just a safe -. And if employees perceive a double standard. * Concern for your employees. * Some firms allow employees to use company equipment or facilities during non-business hours. Make it clear to employees from the very beginning.a drug or alcohol clinic. advance paychecks and commissions. Employees are more productive when their environment is comfortable. as well as confidentiality. If your people are working in areas that cannot be kept dust and odor free (as in some production facilities). Employees appreciate your concern for their health and safety. . It's not unusual for employers to pay for some of these services. advises management consultant Fournies. workers may use company trucks to move furniture. Often people need assistance. Giving front-line people the authority to "make it right" for customers reinforces their pride in their company while also building stronger customer relationships. as well as your liability. or grant special leaves of absence to help valued employees through periods of personal difficulties. That means avoiding layoffs as much as possible. backing up personnel when they need help in dealing with customers or suppliers. legal specialists and other professionals. mandates a healthy -. its values and its policies. Make sure the heating. For example. and that the noise level is comfortable. they'll resent being on the losing side of it. * If there's a difference between how you want employees to treat customers and how they actually do treat them. you might look to see if there's a similar difference in how you treat your workers. they should have breathing masks and "clean" rooms. to use these facilities. If a safety inspector stopped by tomorrow.workplace. Preaching attentiveness to customer needs is hollow if the needs of your own staff are not given equal priority. or use the photocopy machine at night to reproduce a community newsletter. borrow shop tools over a weekend to work on home projects. that they will never be ridiculed or punished for well-intentioned actions. and efficiently organized for the tasks to be performed. what infractions would be found? Even the most conscientious company can let conditions deteriorate. Working Environment The physical place in which people work says a lot about the organization. And employees can get careless about wearing earplugs and safety glasses just as managers can get lax about enforcing the use of safety devices. ventilation and air conditioning systems work properly. pleasant. * Do your policies support or obstruct how effectively your staff can deal with customers? An employee who has to get three supervisors to sign off on a product exchange will have a difficult time preventing the waiting customer from becoming impatient or angry.

You can't expect your employees to believe you are honest with them if they see you cheating on your suppliers. they see themselves as individuals. especially at the parking areas and walkways employees have to traverse if they work until after dark on a winter's night. building. they still expect to be treated with respect. and listen carefully to people's responses." or this designation will lose importance. If priorities should change. Provide each supervisor with clear guidelines for disciplining employees. or company rules are broken. as Fournies points out. While employee input takes time. and explaining why some tasks are more important than others. and insist they be applied without favoritism. * Don't swear. they are simply working on what they think is important in contrast to what the manager thinks is important. they find it difficult to respect someone who curses. * If important tasks go undone. never forget that each of them is an individual. and should address the specific fault rather than the person's character. And look again on the way home. * Make sure all guidelines for staff behavior are reasonable and appropriate. A well-planned policy prevents capricious actions. And avoid the tendency to label numerous tasks "top priority. explain its purpose and enforce it fairly. But whether those disagreements result in stalled productivity depends less on the decision than on how it is explained and carried out. even more importantly. Fournies suggests assigning priorities to tasks as you delegate them to employees. look objectively at your neighborhood. it is usually more efficient to have staff participate in formulating workplace rules than to constantly have to reinforce compliance with unpopular regulations. Profanity makes many people uncomfortable. * Periodically your employees are going to disagree with your decisions. you are acknowledging their importance in bringing about the desired outcome. and recognize the contribution each person makes to the overall organization. * Be fair and honest with everyone. When you take the time to explain your decisions. and ensures that your disciplinary . You may be unpleasantly surprised at what you see. and hard to believe that person respects them. this situation is not that employees are not working. entrance area and the individual offices. Another advantage of listening to employees when they disagree with your instructions. When you make a policy ruling. While workers respect a policy calling for a reprimand when work is not up to par. Instead. is that they may be right. Value all employees for who they are. * Tactful discipline is a key issue for employees. Fournies counsels that for the most part. Respect While working with your people as a group.* As you arrive tomorrow morning. While they see themselves as part of the team. A reprimand should be private rather than public. let staff know immediately.

recognizing and rewarding employee contributions through recognition programs can be an excellent way to boost productivity and morale. both in position and stature. Recognize and reward recipients with open and well-publicized attention so as to acknowledge and communicate desired behaviors and performance. 6. Never establish quotas or you will destroy the program's spontaneity. "You have to inspire people by giving them a good place to work and good work to do. 5. Keep the programs fresh with short life cycles of six to 18 months. 7. Whatever rewards are chosen. They crave advancement. Showing that you respect your people will help build a team with the knowledge. Make sure the program is compatible with your culture and values." maintains Herman. "Recently the owner of a chain of floral shops told me a competitor had tried to recruit his top designer by offering her considerably more money than he was paying. American Business Systems Provides Tangible Morale Boosters to Employees Despite a lingering recession that has hit the Northeast particularly hard. The business that conscientiously tries to meet these employee needs will build a loyal and self-motivating staff. but fairly. 3. Personnel working in companies where top management is not highly visible may value a handwritten thank-you note from the president." People are hungry for opportunities to grow into their jobs. "A good leader should focus on treating each employee not equally. may be motivated by getting extra time off. It is essential we recognize that and appreciate their differences. skills and attitudes to perform at the high level of production which will accomplish your organization's mission. such as innovation or good customer service. and letting them motivate themselves. we are leading a workforce of individuals. In addition. Don't use recognition programs to mask an inadequate compensation program. Workers who put in long hours on a successful project. and in responsibility and opportunity. 4. 2. I'm appreciated. Portland. I've got flexibility. they reinforce specific behaviors and types of performance the company values. Everyone Needs Attention At a time when small business owners are hard pressed to maximize every payroll dollar. Clearly define the selection criteria so everyone understands the connection between achievements and rewards. Our views are compatible with what's important to me." Herman warns that despite the best of intentions in creating an optimal working environment. It's important to tailor the recognition program to what motivates your employee base. As co-founder Charles . Keep the selection process clean. all recognition programs should be designed with the following seven principles in mind: 1. for example. Those who work the night shift or behind the scenes may be inspired by having their picture on a poster that is prominently displayed. not every employee will respond the same way to everything you do. "I like it here. More than ever before. Maine-based American Business Systems D which sells and services copiers and fax machines D grew 35 percent in 1992. She turned the competitor down saying.process will stand up in court.

" Cianciolo's 66-person firm offers a benefits package covering major medical. the more secure their future will be. "No one in the industry has a package that matches it. disability income and pension programs. and educational opportunities relative to each employee's area of expertise. and they know we'll do whatever is needed to make it right." . "This phenomenal growth is basically because of our employees. "We also provide the tools necessary for employees to perform at a high level of quality. "started with the little guys and grew as they grew." he explains." claims Cianciolo.Cianciolo asserts." Cianciolo says that originally he and his partner. pagers for all field personnel. Our adage has always been that customers come first. "including full computerization." Willing to "pay more to get the highest quality people. Employees know that the better the company does. James Packard. These are all real morale boosters. dental.

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