Thursday, May 17, 2012

Disengaged Employees

Someone asked me, "How would you build a high performance team in an organizational culture that cares nothing about the employees' feelings?" My response, "I believe you answered your own question." I'll explain because this is common.  Employees are people, right?  Every person wants to feel appreciated.  People are complex life forms.  What motivates one, may not motivate the other.  Talk to them.  Really get to know your employees.  How can you claim to be part of a team and not even know what their real interests are?  You're probably thinking, I really don't care.  I just want them to perform better so I look good...  Jump in front of a moving train, if that's your mentality.  Team members are fully aware that gaining true appreciation from the organization is like winning the lottery.  It most likely will never happen.  That's fine.  They don't need the organization as a whole to single them out and appreciate them.  They only need someone from management to appreciate them.

You cannot fake being interested in building a high perform team.  They will see right through your fake ass grins and still not produce more value.  If you are truly interested in building a high performance team, get to know them.  Ask them to be honest about their feelings.  Ask them to be honest about what truly motivates and inspires them.  Ensure them that you will not judge their answers.  Share with them what motivates and inspires you.  Create a family unity.

Ok, I'm done talking about this so let's wrap it up with two more hints.

  1. Have you ever had a waiter so good that it's always a pleasure to visit that restaurant?  Think about that question and then transform it in the context of management vs. employee.  Which one is the customer?
  2. Last hint, checkout this video by Sally Elatta.

Thanks for reading. Keep this blog relevant by leading IT managers and actual workers here for laughs, insight, and further debates. Continue to submit your management stories to[(at)] Your identity will be kept private.


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