Enthusiastic Employees: Do You Have Them?

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    “I mean it. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven here. If things stay this way, I’d like to spend the rest of my working life for this company. You feel like a real person, not just a number.”

    This a quote from the book “The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What they Want” by David Sirota. Most people, when they’re hired, are ready to work hard and eager to contribute.

    What happens to dampen their enthusiasm?

    Sirota’s research states that the workplace is rife with myths – many of them involving how employers view employees. Here are the myths that deal with employee motivation.

    1. “Employees will never be happy with their pay.”
    In fact, about 40% of workers rate their salaries as good or very good. Less than a quarter or 23%, say it is poor or very poor. When employees complain about their pay, they are really unhappy with something else – perhaps the long hours, or lack of praise, or poor working conditions

    2. “Most people don’t care whether they do a quality job.”
    They care a lot! A major reason for worker frustration, the authors discover in their surveys, is not being able to get the job done or done well because of obstacles such as poor equipment, insufficient training, bureaucracy, and conflict among the various parts of an organization.

    3. “Telling people they’ve done a good job makes them complacent.”
    Recognition for good performance is one of the most powerful inducements to continued good performance.. When employee performance is taken for granted by management, as in, “that’s what we expect, why mention it,” employees and the company both lose.

    4. “Most employees resist change, whatever it is.”
    Actually workers resist change they perceive as harmful to them or to the company or new policies that were developed in secret. Give them better furniture, faster computers or easier softer systems and they have no complaints.

    What are the truths about motivation?

    The Enthusiastic Employee found that a vast majority of workers wanted these three things:

    1. Equity:
    They want to be treated fairly and justly – in relation to their peers and in relation to the basic conditions of employment (things like pay and benefits, safety and respect etc). The policies and practices that facilitate employee enthusiasm begin with the concept of equity — the degree to which people believe their employer treats them with fundamental fairness.

    2. Achievement:
    They want to be proud of what they do, and the organization for which they do it. They want to be recognized when they do a good job.

    3. Camaraderie:
    They want to interact with others and have co-operative relations while doing the work. Teamwork matters to most people.

    Management Success Tip:

    When employees feel enthusiastic about their work, it shows up in how they perform and how they treat customers. This, in turn, influences customers and their desire to buy or use your services. So, these three needs matter – they drive employee performance and business performance. Employee loyalty is not dead; it’s not even on life support. It’s there. Management needs to feed it regularly and give it air to breathe.

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?