“New Employee Incentive Plan: Work or get fired.” — Hand-lettered sign behind the counter of a country store.
According to a recent story in Inc. magazine, Brian Halligan, CEO of software marketing firm Hubspot, has a singular way of handling go-getter employees who present him with great ideas with the potential to improve the company’s bottom line.
He fires them.
The punchline? He fires them from their “day jobs.” He then appoints them as the CEOs of their own change initiatives, something like little start-up companies within the company. Read more…
The rut an employee hits the second year of their career after being a top performer in Year One.
This happens all the time. New hires come in their first year and are competitive, energetic, and busting the walls down going 100 miles-per-hour. Then Year Two comes along, and it’s not new anymore.
It’s not as exciting. That energy slows down and that speed declines. Read more…
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I give you a fair wage. I give you competitive benefits. I give you a safe workspace. I give you freedom to work at home, and innovative tools to communicate. I give you beer bashes and company events. I give you a professional title. I give you a team, a staff, a department. I give you the work you love.
But it’s just not enough, is it? It’s never enough. You just keeping taking, and taking, and taking.
What else can I do? What’s that? Oh, I see. It’s not you, it’s me — is that it? Read more…
First of two parts
In which kinds of situations are you most effective? What factors strengthen — or undermine — your motivation?
People answer these questions very differently, and that’s the challenge at the heart of good leadership — whether you’re managing your own performance or someone else’s.
One-size-fits-all principles don’t work. The strategies that help you excel may not help your colleagues or your direct reports; what works for your boss or your mentor doesn’t always work for you. Read more…
“It gives you more of a college environment, because guys are having fun. It is pretty cool. But I did sense that guys were hungry. I would say that the majority of guys are hungry.”
The gentleman that made this statement, Cliff Avril, is a veteran NFL defensive end who had just joined the Seattle Seahawks, and he could tell he was in a different place. He’d just spent five seasons with the underachieving, overhyped Detroit Lions, a team filled with first-round picks [his words].
Seattle is a team made up of retreads and rejects who are motivated to prove everyone wrong. Aside from quarterback Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and running back Marshawn Lynch, there’s a good chance you hadn’t heard of most of the other Seahawks before last week’s Super Bowl game. Read more…
Editor’s note: TLNT is continuing an annual tradition by counting down the most popular posts of this year. This is No. 40. Our regular content will return in January.
People in the business community love their clichés.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” “work smarter, not harder,” and my personal favorite, “think outside the box.” Ugh.
When it comes to describing a workplace culture, clichés are abundant here as well — especially with our open-door policies and expectations of giving 150 percent (how is this even possible?). These general statements don’t provide the employee with a lot of useful insights into what it really means to work, and fit in, at the company in question. Read more…
If you’re managing a team you might wonder what comes first: engaged and personally invested employees or productive, great work?
Or to put it another way, is an employee doing great work because they’re engaged, or will they become more engaged after doing great work?
Let’s start at the beginning: Most employees will start any position engaged and ready to work. As time goes on, either the employee will stay engaged, re-engage at a deeper level, or they will pull away to do minimal (or less than) work.
What happens at the moment of re-engagement? What’s the difference between an employee who produces great work and one who doesn’t? As a long time manager, I think the difference is how a manager recognizes their employee and motivates their everyday work. Read more…
“When people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with, and prioritize their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.” — Stephen Covey
You can spend months defining your team’s core values, articulating your Mission and Vision, and fashioning a flexible, up-to-the-minute strategy — but your whole tower will crumble if your team members don’t feel motivated enough to execute rapidly and consistently.
If their collective attitude boils down to “Who cares?” then you’ve lost the game before you’ve even begun.
If that’s true, then who’s at fault? Read more…
If you’re like most managers, you want to motivate employees — the problem is how.
You could try bonuses, regular reviews, occasional hand slapping, or something else, but here’s the one powerful idea many of us forget: Praise.
Everybody wants to call out an employee’s bad behavior; too few remember to compliment the good.
Charles Schwab said, “I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth a greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.” He was right. Read more…
If you woke up today and discovered that you had won millions in last evening’s lottery drawing, would you still work?
Always a great conversation starter, the number of Americans responding “yes” has declined from over 80 percent in 1955 to 66 percent in recent years according to Psychology Today.
So what happens when there are people on your payroll who are in a similar financial situation? Those that have all the money they need and are not motivated by a paycheck. Can they be managed to consistently perform up to their potential? Read more…