Management Success Tip #64: Catch Employees In The Act Of Doing It Right!

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Ever wonder why your employees get that “deer in the headlights” look when you stop by their work area?

It’s elementary, my dear Watson: Most workers worry big-time when they see their manager looking over their shoulder or stopping by their work area because they are convinced that the manager is looking for something they did wrong.

They’re right! That is what managers are most often looking for. And that very worry will often make the employee do something wrong.

You may not think you are lambasting your employee with your disappointment or frustration or correction – but that’s how your employee can easily perceive it, and more often than not, he or she will feel small, diminished and devalued. Not a good springboard for improved performance, much less enthusiastic engagement.

Start a new trend. Get your employees in the habit of anticipating your visits as an opportunity to be appreciated. When workers know you’re on the lookout for good work, for things done right, that’s what they’ll want to produce.

When you expect to catch workers in the act of doing something right, you will be met with good work most of the time. Studies show that a manager’s expectations have tremendous impact on employee job performance, and that people respond far better to positive feedback than to negative.

Catch your employees in the act of doing something right. They may very well surprise you with an increase in performance and productivity. You certainly will surprise them!


Management Success Tip #62: “Broken Windows” : A Great Employee Motivator

Broken Windows - A Great Employee MotivatorThirty years ago, Professors Wilson and Kelling introduced the “Broken Windows” theory, which basically stated that if you monitor and maintain urban environments, vandalism doesn’t lead to more serious crime. Fix those broken windows, clean up the graffiti, and you’re less likely to have murder and mayhem.

The theory has been applied with considerable success, notably by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is widely credited with reducing crime in New York City.

What does this have to do with your business? Fixing “broken windows” is one of the fastest, most effective ways to boost employee motivation.  Simply put, when you show employees you care about what matters to them, they will respond by caring more about what matters to you. They will be more motivated.

Try it. Put a fresh coat of paint on the employee lunchroom. Provide free fruit or muffins on Fridays. Make sure the sinks and toilets work in every restroom, and that restrooms are always clean. Add some freebies to the restroom; hand lotion, or disposable toothbrushes. Check out the florescent lighting, don’t let it flicker endlessly before you text maintenance to change a bulb.

All these, and many more seemingly non-business oriented details, matter to your employees. Remember, most of them spend more hours at work than they do in their own homes!

Take a weekly walk through your department. Make sure you aren’t allowing your employees’ workspace to be home to “broken windows,” and seemingly without any effort on your part, your employees work and commitment to their work will improve.