The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 7 Issue 14
Monday, July 17th, 2006

In this issue:


Light Their Fire

    "Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."
      --- Laurence J Peter

Even after you've poured in all the training possible to bring your team up to the needed skill level to allow your business to succeed, you may still witness stagnant productivity levels. The problem might not be the lack of talent or skill set, but a lack of concentration and motivation. This is not as difficult to correct as you might think.

    "Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs."
      --- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You never really know what is going on in the head of your team members. Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves, while others will never let on what is going on in their lives.

We all carry other baggage with us to work, but some are better able to focus and to generate their own internal motivation than others. Here are a few tips to help to bring out the "Umph" in those who have the skills, but lack the motivation:

    "Santa is even-tempered. Santa does not hit children over the head who kick him. Santa uses the term folks rather than Mommy and Daddy because of all the broken homes. Santa does not have a three-martini lunch. Santa does not borrow money from store employees. Santa wears a good deodorant."
      --- To employees of Western Temporary Services, world's largest supplier of Santa Clauses

First, determine what turns people on. This is really not that difficult to do, but will require patience and time on your part. You will need to monitor your team members and make notes regarding their high productivity levels and their environment during that time period.

Start with your "troubled children" first. You know the ones. These are the ones that you have not terminated their employment because you see the potential in them. Perhaps they've performed well in the past, but are in a slump right now. Begin with these folks and even if you can only monitor one at a time, do it. Note, for example that on Fridays, their performance is better. Maybe this is an indication that they are looking forward to the weekend, or they know it is payday, etc.

    "The bane of Americans is overwork--and the ruin of any work is a divided interest. Concentrate-concentrate. One thing at a time."
      --- Mark Twain

Also note the various tasks that they go through in order to complete a project. This is also known as a work-flow assessment. You should try to do this without their knowledge in the beginning.

Second, with your collected data, come up with your own conclusion as to what will motivate them. It is ok to guess at this point.

Thirdly, discuss with the team member what it is that motivates them. Let him or her know what you think it is. Allow them to agree or disagree, but get them talking about what will light their fire once again. If they say money, more vacation, etc. be open to their ideas. They may eventually reveal what it is that really lights their fire.

    "Management is nothing more than motivating other people."
      --- Lee Iacocca

Finally, using your collected data, including the interview information, come up with a formula that benefits both the team member and the company. You will find that it is usually not money that is the motivator. Sometimes it is simply a misunderstanding from weeks or months ago that was festering in this individual.

    "The way you see them is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is the way they often become."
      --- Zig Ziglar

Feature Articles

Converting Raster Images to Vector Images Can Be A Challenge, But It Doesn't Have To Be.
By Paul Turnbull

Finding the Right Tracing Software to Get the Job Done will save you time and money. Read on to learn how to make the most of your time.
Read the article...

How Did The Graphics Market Get Where It Is Today?
By Michael Flippin

Understanding the Graphics Market's Development: Part Two in a Series of Three
Read the article...

Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the article archive:
      View the archive now

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Funny Signs

On a multipurpose knife sold in Japan:


Sign at a beach:

    "The shark prevention net was dismantled for maintenance on 1 November 2004. We apologize for any inconvenience caused"

At a zoo in Thailand:

    "Do not put any part of your body in the crocodile pool"

Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to:

Product Showcases

Adjustable Width Banner Stand Classics by Testrite!
Telescopes in height and width. Great for wide and grand format. Available conversion kits adapt to portable situations up to 12’ high and 12’ wide. Great quality, sharp price points, made in the U.S.A.
Read on...

Laser Etched Sign, Edge Lit with LEDs
1/2" Cast Acrylic Laser Etched with Custom graphics,and edge lit with LEDs
Read on...

Wholesale ADA Signage for the trade only.
Whether you require Magnesium, Zinc, Photopolymer, or Raster Braille you can count on Advance Corporation for superior quality at an effective cost. Contact us for a free sample and feel the quality. Backed by more than 65 years of experience, the Braille-Tac™ Division of Advance Corporation is the acknowledged leader in the specialized field of ADA products on a wholesale basis. We offer competitive prices, quality, and a quick production time.
Read on...

A Chemical Etching System for Every Sign & Nameplate Need from CHEMCUT
Systems are available for etching aluminum, brass, copper, inconel, manganese, nickel, silver, steel, zinc and even titanium with conveyor widths from 20 to 60 inches. Click above for details.
Read on...

Tint Tek 20/20 Automotive Window Tint Software
This window tint software allows automotive tint shops or sign shops to cut specialty window tint film for passenger vehicles from precise pre-measured templates using a personal computer and a vinyl cutter. Although there are other software products on the market for window tint cutting, Tint Tek 20/20 is the ORIGINAL and BEST. For outstanding precision and efficiency, bundle yours with a Vinyl Express Q-100 vinyl cutter equipped with the SBL Smart Blade Landing System. Only from
Read on...

Your customers want signs that last. You need MAK™, from Sheffield Plastics Inc.
Wind, hail, storms, blowing debris and vandals are just a few of the reasons why your customers demand nothing less than the superior strength of MAKROLON® SL Polycarbonate Sheet in their signage. Achieve brighter whites, less yellowing and superior light transmission. Your signs will last longer and look better. Backed by a 10-year limited warranty. Nothing is tougher than MAK™. Sheffield Plastics Inc. is a Bayer MaterialScience Company. Clearly the Right Choice.
Read on...

Advertise a product showcase for just $90 per month. Get with the program!
Call or email for more details: 888-350-3357 ext. 201 or

Sign Industry News

Sign Marketplace Press Releases
See what's new and what's happening in our industry all in one place.
Go Now --->

INDUSTRY ALERT- EPA Reconsiders On-premise Rulemaking
By International Sign Association

Find the latest legislative moves that effect our industry.
Read the article...

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  Advance Corp, Braille-Tac™ Div.:
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- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

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