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  • Likeability Matters at Work

    In the above video, author Tim Sanders says that he wants to change your life. His book, "The Likeability Factor," is summarized in the attached file. The author says, "the more you are liked – or the higher your likeability factor – the happier your life will be." His book explains how to raise your likeability factor. Recently, Mr. Sanders discussed with Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal tips on using videoconferencing and social media at work. Ms. Shellenbarge r reports, "The ability to come across as likable is shaping how people are sized up and treated by bosses and co-workers." Ms. Shellenbarge r's research suggests that you can increase your likeability through the following behaviors. Authenticity | To be more likable, behave in a way that feels natural and comfortable, rather than stiff or self-absorbed. Curiosity | Show interest in others, make eye contact and ask questions about others' opinions and activities. Expressiveness | Vary tones of voice and smile, and show enthusiasm about what you're saying—even more so in a videoconference. Listening | Focus on what others are saying and show that you are listening carefully, rather than getting distracted. Mimicry | Mirror the expressions or posture of the person you are talking to, in order to create a sense of familiarity. Similarity | Actively try to find topics of interest you share with a listener, rather than talking only about what interests you. Which of the likeability behaviors do you use? Which ones do you need to learn?
  • White Castle 2013 Cravers Hall of Fame

    In the video above, White Castle , the quick service hamburger chain headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, celebrates its most dedicated customers by inducting them into its Cravers Hall of Fame. Cravers receive special offers for their devotion to the brand. White Castle defines Cravers as follows. "It’s not just a person but a state of being. It’s going beyond, staying up and driving far. It’s road-tripping two hours just to reach the nearest sack of Sliders. And it’s coaching friends on what to order, how to eat it and then how best to stack the boxes. It’s something that’s embraced and then handed down from generation to generation." Managers know the value of life-time customers. What do you think of having a customer hall of fame? How does a customer hall of fame affect employee motivation? Should you be a Hall of Fame customer for a brand? What other businesses could use a Hall of Fame?
  • Stop Procrastinating

    Why can’t some people stop procrastinating? Sue Shellenbarger reports in the Wall Street Journal that about 70% of college students may be chronic procrastinators. Consequences of Procrastinating Lower salaries Higher likelihood of unemployment Failing to save for retirement Neglecting preventative health care Negative internal dialogue Source: International Journal of Selection and Assessment and The Journal of Rational-Emotional Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Timothy Pychyl, in the above video is an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He researches procrastination and says that r egulating emotions is the key to stop procrastinating. Dr. Pychyl, author of a 2013 book, "Solving the Procrastination Puzzle," advises "procrastinators to practice "time travel"—projecting themselves into the future to imagine the good feelings they will have after finishing a task, or the bad ones they will have if they don't" (Sue Shellenbarger, " To Stop Procrastinating, Look to Science of Mood Repair, " The Wall Street Journal , January 7, 2014). How can "time travel" help you to stop procrastinating this semester? How could a manager use this research to motivate employees to get started and finish tasks?
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  • Using David McClelland's Human Motivation Theory

    The three motivators identified by David McClelland in his Human Motivation Theory (Learned Needs Theory) are achievement, affiliation, and power. Every person has a dominant motivating driver, and the manager must determine the dominant motivator of each person on the work team. This information can be used to set goals, reward behavior, and provide feedback. A person with a high Achievement Motive has a strong need to set and accomplish challenging goals. He or she takes calculated risks to accomplish goals, and likes to receive regular feedback on his or her progress. So, the manager needs to let achievers know what they're doing right – and wrong – so that they can improve. Are you a self-motivated achiever? How can you use this theory to motivate employees? Give an example.
  • Setting Up Success with Company Culture

    This infographic from Visa Business states that "engaged employees are essential to for a successful small business." Engaged means you are very interested in what you are doing. The infographic states that most employees believe "a distinct workplace culture is important to business success." This culture includes regular and candid communication, close work friendships, employee recognition, and access to leadership. But, most "employees say their business is not doing enough to create a positive culture at work." When you are a manager, how will you communicate with your employees? How will you recognize (motivate) employees? How will you be accessible (as a leader) to employees?
  • Motivation is an inside job

    Managers create the work environment. But how do managers create a more productive workplace? Take this quiz. What is your score? What does it mean? How can you contribute to a motivating work environment? 1. Motivation derives from: A. management's behavior. B. meeting your needs. C. a positive attitude. 2. Managers most effectively influence motivation by: A. rewarding people who demonstrate positive work ethics. B. linking activities to each person's wants and needs. C. keeping people well-informed. 3. To motivate performance: A. promote entrepreneurial thinking. B. offer financial gain or recognition. C. encourage employees at all levels to become leaders. 4. Well-defined job expectations include: A. an organizational chart to show all departments. B. employees knowing how their jobs relate to others. C. detailed job descriptions of daily activities. 5. Enhance performance by: A. giving employees short-term objectives. B. doling out more psychological "paychecks." C. removing barriers to achievement. 6. Trust is built on: A. valuing employees. B. allowing yourself to be vulnerable. C. collaboration within your management team. 7. Effective managers know that: A. high expectations lead to better performance. B. mentoring takes time and patience. C. organizations need role models. 8. Creating a trust-based culture requires: A. no hidden agendas. B. continuous communication. C. mutual exchange of information. 9. Performance reviews can motivate when: A. there is honest feedback. B. they are given more than once a year. C. they are accompanied by action plans for performing more effectively. 10. Hiring people who are intrinsically motivated means they will be: A. less likely to be affected by demotivating factors. B. the better performers. C. more trustworthy. Compare your answers with the "solution." Each correct answer is worth 10 points. If you score 80-100 - What a great place to work! Obviously, you help set the stage for motivation. If you score 60-70 - Remember that motivation is an inside job. Identify ways to keep yourself motivated and help others. If you score below 60 - Attitude makes a difference. Take an attitude check. 1. - B Motivation is an inside job. Although managers cannot motivate other people, they can influence them positively or negatively. 2. - B Everyone has different needs and values. Managers should know what drives each of their employees and link job roles with personal needs. 3. - A Employees need to feel ownership to think entrepreneurially. Ensure they have an understanding of the work of the organizational unit - how it works, what impacts their roles have on meeting goals, and how to take intelligent risks. 4. - B Clarify who is accountable for each job activity and how his/her role relates to others' roles. Embrace performance by communicating how each employee is working toward a common goal. 5. - C Employees need to believe that their work matters. Identify obstacles that hinder performance and eliminate them or coach employees on how to work around them. 6. - A Performance improves when employees believe managers have confidence that their expectations will be met. 7. - A Employees want to be trusted, not micromanaged. If the work environment supports risk taking and recognizes performance, people will be more likely to use their skills. 8. - C As team members demonstrate their accountability, show your trust by giving them greater responsibilities. Your behavior will indicate that you have their best interests at heart. 9. - A Honest feedback should focus on problems rather than personal issues. Coach employees on how to perform better by being sensitive to individual dignity and self-esteem. 10. - A Some people are more prone to experience low morale than others. In the hiring process, screen for those who seem likely to suffer from motivation problems.
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  • Work is not a place

    This infographic illustrates how people are happier, less stressed, and more motivated when they have a mobile work style. What do you think about the quote below? “The nature of work has changed. It is no longer a place we go but a thing we do.”
  • Employee Engagement

    “Engaged employees who successfully represent the company brand provide a competitive advantage and impact the bottom line – a crucial benefit in today’s competitive global business environment” according to Mike Ryan of Madison Performance Group , a global web-based workforce recognition and employee incentives solution provider. Engaged employees are motivated. I n other words, they give the company their full attention . They believe in their company's values. They are brand ambassadors. The graphic above shows that motivated employees are more productive and creative. How can managers recognize employees to keep them engaged and positive about their professional contributions to the organizations? What motivates you?
  • How Companies Are Connecting with Social Media

    Image source: www.topwebdesignschools.org Companies use a wide range of types of social media, but Facebook is still the king of social media. What is your favorite social media? Have you noticed more ads on the social media you frequent? You should have, because more companies are using social media to i ncrease exposure for their business. Facebook and YouTube are likely to see increased use. How can managers use Facebook and YouTube to manage employees? Would that motivate work teams?
  • Human Capital Top Concern of CEOs

    Human capital was the top concern of global Chief Operating Officers (CEOs) in a recent survey by the Conference Board , a global, independent business membership and research association based in New York. Their mission is "To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society." Actually, human capital or the people thread underlies all of the CEO concerns. Human capital was chosen number one in Asia and in Europe. They see engaged and productive employees as the critical difference in their business. They feel that they can better compete by providing employees with training and development, raising engagement, and retaining top talent. CEOs in the United States (U.S.) are concerned about operational excellence (performance), government regulation, customer relations, innovation, and human capital. In terms of operational excellence, U.S. CEOs want to reduce costs. They are concerned about employee engagement and how to increase productivity through more motivated and excited employees. In addition to technology in innovation, CEOs want to create a culture of innovation. Why do the concerns of the U.S. CEOs differ from those of the global CEOs?
  • No Excuses

    Most people won't become an entrepreneur or even a manager because of their fear of failure. But, everyone has self-doubt - even successful entrepreneurs and managers. If you have ever struggled to accomplish a goal, Kyle Maynard's story will encourage you. Most of the problems you have faced do not come anywhere near the problems he has faced. Watching this video and reading his book, No Excuses , will inspire you. Kyle faces challenges without "excuses." What goal have you been putting off because of self-doubt? How has Kyle's story motivated you to want to accomplish the goal?
  • Employee Resolutions for 2013

    Happy New Year! What are your New Year's resolutions for 2013? Will you make better grades? Will you lose weight? Will you increase your exercise? Those are some of the most popular resolutions made by people every year. The annual Glassdoor survey looks at feedback from more than 2,000 U.S. based employees and job seekers. From this research, a list of employees' work-related resolutions is developed. For 2013, almost one in three (32%) want to get a raise, one in four (24%) want to develop their leadership skills, and another one in four (23%) plan to look for a new job. Other top priorities among employees for 2013 are below: What are your 2013 work-related resolutions? (If you don't work, ask several workers for their top work-related resolutions for 2013.)
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  • The Most Valuable People

    Most of us associate MVP with sports; the most valuable player (MVP) does the most for the team. In their book, ADMIRED 21 Ways to Double Your Value , Mark C. Thompson and Bonita S. Thompson apply MVP to business and say, "The Most Valuable People create other MVPs by helping others reach their goals and realize their potential." This is especially important for managers. Your manager should make sure that you have all the resources you need to do your job. The Thompsons studied people who enjoyed their work and found it meaningful. Valued traits included supportive/helpful, straight-forward/clear, hardworking/ambitious, cooperative, honest, loyal, fun loving/friendly, and family focused. For example, a salesperson sells solutions and value, not products. Suggestion No. 5 in the book says, "Start where you are." Before others can have confidence in you, you have to be really good at what you do. Others must believe that you can help them. How can you contribute to the success of others in ways that they will notice?
  • Tips for Motivating Virtual Teams

    "About 43 percent of HR professionals predict that the demand for workplace flexibility will have a strategic impact on operations in years to come, according to the February 2011 Workplace Forecast by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM )." One option for workplace flexibility is telecommuting, which is most often associated with working from home. It could also include offices that accommodate employees who don't need permanent desks. Examples include hoteling where mobile workers reserve workstations at the office and reserving telesuites with videoconferencing technology to meet virtually with clients and fellow employees in other locations. Past growth is depicted in the graphic below. The Vaya Group , a talent management consultancy, recommends the following tips for motivating virtual teams: Invest time upfront to form relationships, despite the distance - Getting to know team members is critical, even when face-to-face interaction is limited. Take time to learn about each worker's career aspirations, strengths, development gaps and style. Recognize accomplishments in unique ways - Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Consider creating a team newsletter that highlights individual efforts or host yearly award banquets over the web. For both personal and professional milestones, send employees customized gifts, whether it's a gift card, flower arrangement or gift basket. Schedule regular coaching sessions - Frequent phone or video conferences with employees will allow you to present new assignments that align with their interests and strengths. Remember to use these or separate conversations as a way to gather feedback. Listening provides an opportunity to learn more about remote workers and ways their work experience can be improved. Create interactive ways for teams to communicate - Allowing work teams to engage across distances can lead to higher career satisfaction and sense of belonging. Go beyond email to develop an interactive team intranet that allows individuals to share ideas, post accomplishments and ask questions. Utilize web conferencing, web cameras and other virtual systems that permit more real-time conversations. Enable opportunities for periodic face-to-face interaction - Schedule face-to-face team kick-off meetings and regularly scheduled subsequent live meetings. These face-to-face meetings can be incorporated with team-building exercises to give staff additional opportunities to develop a personal connection and build camaraderie. If meetings are infrequent, create virtual team-building games, such as having everyone send in little-known facts, then displaying it for the group to guess who it describes. Read the attached Vaya Group whitepaper. Which ideas do you think would motivate a remote team? Explain.
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  • Motivate Employees with Contests

    Jim Sullivan shares seven contests to motivate restaurant employees. Contests include The Perfect Guest Check, Sales Bingo, Floating Ten, Scavenger Hunt, Team Poker, Beat Your Best, and Who Can Introduce the Manager to More Customers? How could each of these contests be used by a manager in a non-sales environment to motivate employees? Which contest would motivate you the most?
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