Does Caring for Employees Really Matter?

My local café was busy again.

It had not been doing well for at least a year.

I was curious about what had changed, so I asked.

They had a new general manager. So I asked the GM what he did differently than the other cafés.

He sat down in my booth and began to tell me.

But he barely started when an employee pulled him away for an emergency.

When he returned, he told me an employee was dealing with a personal crisis and was upset in the back of the store. Employees felt safe to be open and candid with him.

It allowed him to learn about the situation and comfort the employee.
And give them assurance of his help.

Then he added, “This is what I do.”

One of his shift managers described this GM this way:

He’s compassionate and in tune with people, the best GM I’ve worked for. He’s able to run a café at a high level of quality without costing his relationships with his people. His people work harder because they know he’s invested in them. He makes them happy, they want to make him happy, so they work hard. And that’s good for the customers. He’s the glue.

The parent company transferred this shift manager to another store to help them out.

But she petitioned the chain to let her return.

In a few months she was back.

How many of us engender such loyalty?

The store soon became a training ground for new managers.

The café received a special corporate award for their success.

The GM received The Best GM in Colorado award.

Soon thereafter he was promoted to district manager to oversee several stores. Now he’s caring for GMs and many more employees.

Does caring for employees matter?

It matters a great deal to employees. It can be the difference between mediocre performance and great performance. And often the difference between retaining top-level employees and losing them.

You may not have entered business to care for employees.

You’ll just make a lot more money if you do.

Short Quiz: Are You a Dummy When It Comes to Employee Motivation (Like I Was)?

The more I learned what science had to say about motivation, the more misconceptions I had to lay aside. Think about your own ideas of motivating employees. What ideas do you subscribe to? Did you learn them from trial and error, your own experiences, or observing others?

Below is a short true/false quiz, just to give yourself a quick calibration on what you’ve already learned in your life and career about motivating people. [continue reading…]

10 Reasons Why Your Organization Fails “Titanicaly” Trying to Engage Employeese

In 1912, the reason most of the passengers on board the RMS Titanic died wasn’t because the boat hit an iceberg. That was only the final and visible result of three underlying system failures. First, the designers believed the marketing hype that the ship was unsinkable and did not provide adequate lifeboats. Second, the hubris of the crew believing the same. They ignored six warnings of sea ice and maintained full speed, making it impossible to turn in time. Third, a flaw in the ship’s design. Its watertight sections were only watertight up to a certain height, as the designers expected the ship to remain horizontal. When the bow tipped, each watertight section overflowed one after another. There were multiple underlying problems that together resulted in the tragedy.

Likewise, employee disengagement and turnover, or even just mediocre productivity, are not the problems. They are only the visible results of an underlying cause, which is the ineffectual work relationships between employees and their supervisors, and to a lesser extent, between employees and their work community. A workplace need not be toxic for an employee to feel dissatisfied, frustrated, or disinterested; simply breaking their trust will do it. [continue reading…]

18 Myths About Motivating Employees That Can Take A Bite Out Of Your Profits

 Myth #1: Anyone can learn how to motivate people.

The truth is, none of us can motivate anyone other than ourselves. Motivation is an internal drive resulting from an internal decision. We arrive at some of these decisions consciously, but more often than we realize, we subconsciously respond to our situation or environment, and we’re not even aware of the influence.

For instance, we all have an ever-present subconscious need to learn and grow that influences us. When our basic human needs don’t need a lot of attention, our subconscious pulls us in that direction.

We may not be able to motivate people, but what we can do is adjust their environment or situation in ways to influence those internal decisions. [continue reading…]

14 Keys That Unlock Extraordinary Team Peformance

When it comes to motivating teams to achieve high productivity, there’s a large gap between what science knows and what business does.  The typical style of motivation, old-style “carrot-and-stick” motivation, doesn’t work any more, and we need an upgrade. [continue reading…]