If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday.
--- Noel Coward
In their book, "First, Break All the Rules" Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present their findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. After surveying over a million employees, one of the most telling findings was that employees don't leave companies--- they leave managers!
As Buckingham and Coffman state, "If your relationship with your manager is fractured, then no amount of in-chair massaging or company-sponsored dog walking will persuade you to stay and perform. It is better to work for a great manager in an old-fashioned company than for a terrible manager in a company offering an enlightened, employee-focused culture."
People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.
--- Mary Kay Ash
Once you've hired the help that you need, it is the manager's responsibility to make sure that the employees are given the tools to succeed--- not just for the sake of the company, but for the benefit of the employee. The cliché that a happy employee is a productive employee still holds true.
Truett Cathy, who presides over one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in America, once said "It's always easier to dismiss a person than to train him, but no great leader every built a reputation on firing people." A well-trained employee is happier and more confident in their work.
There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.
--- Henry Ford
The treatment of employees is not something that should necessarily be learned from books, seminars or business schools. Employees find contentment in jobs where the managers simply follow the Golden Rule. In other words, treating employees like adults, friends, and valuable human beings is the common theme in successful companies.
Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
--- Peter Drucker
Insecure managers will often attempt to sabotage employees' success. These managers believe that by doing so, they will elevate their performance in the eyes of the company owners or upper management. This near-sightedness is common and is usually found out too late in order to salvage a business. Frequent terminations, low productivity, low morale, frequent absenteeism are all red flags that poor manager performance could be the issue.
"Remember the difference between a boss and a leader: A boss says, 'Go!' - a leader says, 'Let's go!'"
--- E.M. Kelly
The team concept of a business is usually the most productive approach. Not that there are not individuals performing specific functions under different job descriptions, but a team "feeling" promoted throughout the company. The old concept of separation between "us" and "them" no longer works. There is nothing wrong with taking your team out to lunch and learning about them, their families and their concerns.
This not only helps the employees to appreciate your concern, but allows you to have more of a sense about who fits best in which position. Learning about your employees lets you see more of their personalities and discover their strengths and weaknesses.
Too many leaders act as if the sheep.. their people.. are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.
--- Ken Blanchard
Take time over this next quarter to focus on becoming a better shepherd. Learn something personal about each employee. Train them according to their skill-set and find out what their strengths are. Then, let them go perform. Give them the room to create, develop and contribute. Your employees need it and your business depends on it.
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At a laundry shop somewhere in Kansas:
"How about we refund your money, send you a new one at no charge, close the store and have the manager shot. Would that be satisfactory?"
At a Santa Fe gas station::
"We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container."
In a Chicago nightclub:
"Emergency Evacuation Plan: Run Like Hell!"
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: email@example.com.