1. Ask and Ye Shall Motivate
The last poll at www.humouratwork.com asked folks when they feel
most valued at work. The results:
34%: when they are asked for input on something important.
20%: when they receive a bonus or raise
17%: when they receive public/customer praise
14%: when they are given greater responsibilities.
This poll, and countless others, are a great reminder that,
although formal recognition programs have their role, one
of the main ways we recognize people is to simply ask them for
their input. Asking questions involves and engages people, it
gives employees (or clients for that matter) a sense of control
and ownership, it makes them feel valued for their opinions,
and it demonstrates respect for their ideas and experience.
The “bonus” result is higher than in many surveys, and
raises (pun not only intended, but labored over for hours)
a few interesting points about motivation. Here’s the kicker:
in about three months time, a raise is just a salary. So what
studies show is that, although everyone LOVES to get more money,
the connection to motivation is very tenuous and the impact
on happiness is short-lived (people get used to the new level
very quickly!). Other studies suggest that people overestimate
the power of financial incentives compared to other motivators.
Now, don’t shoot the messenger. If I could double your salary
tomorrow, I’d gladly help out. But alas, since most of you don’t
have your hands in the cookie jar, you’ve got to focus on things
you can control, like the level of fun in your workplace, your
attitude, your sense of humor, and asking people simple, yet
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
At your next staff meeting, give everyone a standing ovation
as they enter the room. It’s a goofy way to remind everyone
to support each other and pass the praise as often as possible.
3. Deep Thought of the Week
“Praise is something that someone tells you about yourself
that you’ve suspected all along.” Anonymous
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World
Carrying on with our please pass the praise theme . . .an artist
in Washington D.C. has installed a red and white striped box that
passes out praise and random compliments to folks walking by.
The artist hopes the “compliment box” will encourage people
to be nicer to each other, after hearing such nice sentiments
as, “you smell nice” or “people are drawn to your personality”.
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2007. firstname.lastname@example.org www.mikekerr.com
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