Motivation – what do I want? (2 of 2)

In Productivity and motivation, Uncategorized on February 15, 2011 by Tim Aikens

Picking up from last week, let’s imagine that you have decided to do something about helping your team or staff to make a positive move towards achieving what they ‘really want’!  What are you going to do?  All thought and no action gets no results, you have to make a start somewhere.

Of course if you simply started going up to your staff and saying ‘what’s your dream?’ you might be met with some strange looks and a few unappreciated comments.  The first step is to build relationship with your staff.  They need to get used to you talking to them – beyond work and believing that you really took an interest in their lives not just what they are up to.  You might already be there, but sadly all too many organisations take too little interest in their staff beyond their direct effort and contribution at work. This might take some time (depending on where you are starting from).  In one organisation I used to work for, one of the senior directors knew everyone. He always spoke to the office cleaners, canteen staff and knew all their names.  He would be in a position to start straight away.  Ask yourself, how genuine is my relationship with my staff?  Until you get to a real relationship you will not be taken too seriously.

Even at this stage you will benefit.  Staff will see the change and, as long as it is REAL, it will be appreciated.  Now you can start to move forward.  As your relationships build you move into a position to start asking about dreams and hopes for the future.  Keep a short, very private, record – Fred wants a house that will hold his seven kids without four in a bedroom; Joe wants to sky dive; Alice wants to work part-time, Anne wants to be a software engineer – and so on.   When you begin to get traction you can then think about talking to staff in general terms.  Not about individual dreams, that would be a breach of confidence, but you can talk about the fact that we all have dreams and that you would like to see how you can help your staff achieve them. In his book, the firm that Matthew Kelly describes appointed a ‘Dream Manager’.  That might be the right way to go.  You may only have a small company or department and may not need someone full-time (which is of course expensive. It would be a good idea to see what a business case might look like i.e if we hired a part-time Dream Manager, what is the increase in performance we need to achieve in order to break even?).

Who would be best in this key support role.  You need someone who is passionate about people, believes in moving mountains, highly practical and does not readily take no for an answer!  Their role is to take time with each person, identify a key dream and build a plan with them to turn it into reality.  It is not to do it all for them, although many will need help.  Get several dreams, with some more short-term than others.  You need to be able to see some early results, however small, as an encouragement to everyone.  Then see what happens!

Will it work? I honestly don’t know, but I believe strongly ij the idea, otherwise I would not be writing about it. I doubt if it will have any detrimental effect. At the very least it will enhance your relationship with your staff and the organisation’s reputation as a good place to work. That alone has to be good.

Let me know what happens in your business!


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