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Is employee whining and lack of motivation, draining YOU?

Seems the mantra in many ways these days is “we’re all doing more with less”.  Do you deal with this challenge, too? Do you have folks who are just tired of doing the job of two to three people? Are you trying to motivate them to keep doing more, but frankly are running out of carrots to offer and don’t want to take ‘em out back and just beat them into submission?  You do know I was just kidding on that last one, but how DO you get employees to do more with less, or at least the same as they had before without more pay, without yelling or losing your mind or stressing out?

Here are 5 ways to get employees to do more with less:

Cross Train

Give employees a choice on what they learn how to do and who they learn it from. Set the expectation that they will have to learn one other job, but get to pick which one. The sense of control will help motivate those who need that.

Ask for Their Help

Explain what you need and why and talk to employees like they are human. If your boss is breathing down your neck, tell them that, in a nice way, but then ASK them to help you and get more work done as a team, versus the “I am leader, hear me roar” approach of telling someone what to do.

Consider Silliness Valuable

If you have a team of Entertainer-type, fun loving individuals, who work harder when there is more fun and lively interaction, then consider what giving an award for the most overworked, the one who makes coffee the most, the one with the most paper cuts, or other such silliness. Motivate them in a way they appreciate.

Be More Flexible with Time Instead of Money

In many organizations, giving a raise right now, is just not an option, but what about giving more authorization for more time off? Can you give someone Friday afternoon off if they’ve worked their hind end off all week? Perhaps and it sure might help to repeat that behavior next week if they get an occasional reward of downtime.

Brag About the Team You Lead in Front of Your Leader

There is a great deal of pride that can be shown with six simple words said to your boss at the right time. “I am so proud of them.” One person on the team overhears you say that to your boss and it may well elevate their motivation to a whole new level for a week. If you’re proud of them, tell your boss and mean it!

Want More?

Well, I’ve heard complaints on this topic everywhere and hear people struggling with it so much that I decided to incorporate these solutions, and many more, into our next Contagious Conference. It’s actually a One Day Executive Retreat on November 17th in Orlando, so the topic will be timely in the midst of holiday stress, on top of work overload, as well as, our participants will enjoy finding ways to deal with this challenge. In fact, at the conference, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine if your strategy is working, and find better ways to create that strategy if you don’t already have one.
  • Combine a focus on numbers, with a focus on people and make ’em both work well.
  • Worry less about your carrot stash, and find real ways to motivate employees.

Mark November 17th on your calendar. The truth is that when you are a leader of a team, resources or not, pay raises or not, realize that you are leading individuals who by their very nature will run from pain more so than they will run toward pleasure. Be sure that in the effort to motivate, you have also set some clear consequences for behavior that is not within guidelines. However, also recognize that the consequences are usually for not doing the normal job and that when you’ve asked someone to do three jobs for a long time, you have to also recognize that they’ve put forth the extra effort without a reward in most cases.  A little give and take will go a long way and help you continue to meet your numbers and keep employees happy and productive in the process.

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