Eric Jacobson

Archive for the ‘Motivating Employees’ Category

Three Ways To Drive Motivation

In Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Motivating Employees, Motivation on November 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Julian Birkinshaw shares the three drivers of discretionary effort (motivation) from employees in his new book, Becoming a Better Boss:

  1. Material drivers, including salary, bonuses, promotion, and prizes
  2. Social drivers, including recognition for achievement, status, and having good colleagues
  3. Personal drivers, including freedom to act, the opportunity to build expertise, and working for a worthwhile cause

Take a moment now to reflect on where your business excels and where it falls short.

 

 

 

Brian Tracy Releases New Pocket-Sized Motivation Guide For Leaders

In Brian Tracy, Effective Communications, Employee Satisfaction, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Management, Motivating Employees, Motivation on May 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

motivation

All you need is one hour to read Brian Tracy‘s newest, pocket-sized guide for managers, Motivation.

“You cannot motivate other people,” explains Tracy, “but you can remove the obstacles that stop them from motivating themselves.  All motivation is self-motivation.  As a manager, you can create an environment where this potential for self-motivation is released naturally and spontaneously.”

In the book, Tracy presents chapter-by-chapter his 21 most reliable and powerful methods for increasing the effectiveness of any individual or group.

Each chapter includes a couple different action exercises.

Toward the end of the book, Tracy explains the importance of the Friendship Factor in motivating employees.  “Every manager can tap into the power of friendship in everyday employee interactions by remembering the three Cs:  Consideration, Caring and Courtesy.

  • Practice consideration by expressing an interest in your employees as individuals.
  • Express caring for your staff members by listening attentively and with compassion.
  • Express courtesy toward employees by showing personal regard and respect for each person — especially under stress, when a situation goes wrong, or when a worker makes a mistake.

“Your job as a manager is to make sure that you are getting along well with all of your employees and they are all getting along well with you,” stresses Tracy.

10 Ways To Maximize Employee Involvement

In Employee Engagement, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Motivating Employees on May 4, 2013 at 7:09 am

Eric Jacobson Leadership

Here are 10 tips for how to maximize employee involvement:

  1. Have active ways to listen to your employees.
  2. Check often with employees to see if the information you are sharing with them is what they need and what they want.
  3. Share information about customer satisfaction with employees.
  4. Discuss financial performance with your employees and be sure everyone understands the importance of profitability and how they can contribute to profitability.
  5. Allow ad hoc teams among employees to form to address organizational problems and work with those teams to tackle the identified issues.
  6. Encourage employees to make suggestions for improvement whether those ideas are large or small.
  7. Take an idea from one employee and share it with other employees and teams and let everyone make a contribution to build upon that idea.
  8. Train!
  9. For long-term employees, find ways to keep their jobs interesting through new assignments and challenges.
  10. Conduct meetings around specific issues and brainstorm solutions.

“Involving people in the business is the most effective way to produce an organization in which people know more, care more, and do the right things,” said Edward Lawler III, Professor, University of Southern California, as quoted in the book, 1001 Ways To Energize Employees, by author Bob Nelson.

National Volunteer Week — Encourage Your Employees To Volunteer

In Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Motivating Employees, Volunteering on April 23, 2013 at 5:56 am

National Volunteer Week is April 21-27.  The week when nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. will celebrate and honor their volunteers.

If you are not already volunteering, what a great time to start.

And, if you are a workplace leader who supports a volunteer program at your business, you already know that by encouraging employees to give back to your community you are:

  • building teamwork
  • motivating employees
  • attracting new hires

In fact, job seekers much prefer companies that have a strong volunteer program. And, a growing number of businesses are rewarding employees who volunteer by giving them extra vacation time and other incentives.

Fortunately, throughout the U.S. there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities where employees can contribute individually, or where leaders can organize teams of employees to volunteer together on a routine and scheduled basis.

To find organizations in need of volunteers, go to Volunteer Match and type in your zip code.  You’ll be presented a list of nearby volunteer opportunities.  Also, you can find opportunities on iParticipate.

Seven Ways To Define Meaningful Work

In Company Culture, Corporate Culture, Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Employee Satisfaction, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Skills, Management, Meaningful Work, Motivating Employees on March 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Eric Jacobson Leadership

There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:

  1. It is conducted in a manner that is “good and proper” in all respects.
  2. It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.
  3. It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.
  4. It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.
  5. It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.
  6. It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.
  7. It fuels passion!

Be A Leader Who Teaches

In Corporate Culture, Effective Communications, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Motivating Employees on February 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

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Take the opportunity today to teach an employee something new. Nearly everyone likes to learn and is capable of tackling a new challenge.

  • Teach your employee something that expands his (or her) current job description.
  • Teach something that will help him to get promoted within your organization at a later date.
  • Teach him a skill that uses new technology.
  • Or, teach him something that will allow him to be a more skilled leader and manager in the future.

You can even teach something that you no longer need to be doing in your position, but that will be a rewarding challenge/task for your employee.

The benefit to your employee is obvious. The benefit to you is you’ll have a more skilled team member who is capable of handling more work that can help you to grow your business and/or make it run more efficiently.

Be a leader who teaches.

How To Give Constructive Feedback — 4 Steps

In Constructive Feedback, Effective Communications, Employee Engagement, Employee Feedback, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Feedback, Leadership, Leadership Education, Motivating Employees on January 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Effective Listening

Eric Harvey and Al Lucia wrote a booklet called, 144 Ways To Walk The Talk. They provide the following great advice about giving feedback:

1. Make it timely — give your feedback as soon as possible to the performance.

2. Make it individualized — tailor your feedback to the feedback receiver.

3. Make it productive — focus your feedback on the performance and not the performer.

4. Make is specific — pinpoint for the receiver observable actions and behaviors.

Book Review: Change-friendly Leadership

In Company Culture, Corporate Culture, Effective Communications, Employee Satisfaction, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Quotes, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Leading By Example, Management, Motivating Employees, Setting Goals, Team Building on November 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

Because Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan delivers so much timely, straight-forward and relevant wisdom in his new book, Change-friendly Leadership, reading it is like talking with your trusted best friend. Or, listening to your favorite teacher.  Or, soaking in the thoughts from your respected mentor.

That’s why you’ll want to spend plenty of time reading the book.  Reflecting on the messages.  Absorbing the discussion,  And, then likely re-reading it.  Or, at least certain sections.

Duncan demonstrates in the book how humanness, approachability, and friendliness are necessary but often overlooked elements of making change successful in an organization.

He teaches leaders the foundation for effectively engaging people’s heads, hearts and hopes — all necessary to enable effective and lasting (sustainable) change in today’s constantly changing world.  Duncan refers to this as leading the whole person.

According to Duncan:

  • Change must accommodate people’s feelings–feelings that involve trust, confidence, passion, and all those other intangible but very real things that make us human.

Duncan’s change-friendly leadership approach includes knowing how to leverage the Champions, Agents, Sponsors and Targets within your organization.  And, how to combine tough love elements into the process while always operating from a platform of respect and caring, not intimidation and contention.

Readers will appreciate the “Bonus Points” offerings at the end of each major section of the book where they learn how to access free white papers, diagnostic tools, videos and other items by going to a URL or using a QR code via their Smart phone.

You’ll also likely enjoy as I did all the great leadership quotes sprinkled throughout the book, such as these:

  • Losing good people is costly.  But the number one most expensive thing that can happen to your organization is for your best and most capable people to quit and stay.
  • It’s often the stress that people resist, not the change itself.
  • A transactional leader focuses on routine and regimented activities.  A transformational leader focuses primarily on initiating and “managing” change.
  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change — Charles Darwin.
  • The key to change is to let go of fear — Roseanne Cash
  • Amateurs practice until they get it right.  Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Thanks to Cave Henricks for sending me an advance copy of the book.

The Best Times To Coach. The Best Times To Counsel.

In Coaching, Counseling, Effective Communications, Employee Retention, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Motivating Employees on September 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

A good manager is both a coach and a counselor.  Generally, coaching should precede counseling.

As a coach, a manager:

  • identifies an employee’s need for instruction and direction

and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals.  Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship.

You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals.  It’s best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified.

As a counselor, a manager:

  • first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee’s work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem.

So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important.  And, as Sharon Armstrong further shares in her book, “The Essential HR Handbook,” a good manager who is both a coach and a counselor:

  • Motivates employees to do good work
  • Reinforces good performance
  • Encourages employees to stretch
  • Sets clear expectations
  • Provides positive feedback on an ongoing basis
  • Provides constructive feedback on a timely basis
  • Acknowledges employees’ progress toward their goals

What I’ve Learned About Effective Corporate Cultures

In Company Culture, Corporate Culture, Engaging Employees, Eric Jacobson On Corporate Culture, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Motivating Employees on September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Fortunately, most of my career I’ve worked in effective corporate cultures. If I put together the best of each, here is what made those environments effective:

•  Leaders led by example on a consistent basis and were willing to roll up their sleeves, particularly during tight deadlines or challenging times.

•  Employees clearly understood how what they did made a difference and how their contributions made the organization either more profitable or more effective.

•  The workforce included a blend of long-term employees with a rich company, product/service and customer history, employees who had been at the company for five to seven years, and then new hires with a fresh perspective and keen sense of new technologies and techniques. That blend worked best when the mix included virtually all A-players.

•  Top managers had a clear, realistic and strategic vision for how the company would grow and compete in the marketplace.

•  Employees were challenged and rewarded through growth opportunities, education and training and pay increases.

•  Leaders provided opportunities for the company and its employees to give back to the community. Sometimes it was through company organized volunteer projects. Other times it was by encouraging (and rewarding) employees to volunteer on their own.

•  A group of employees served on an activities committee with as little top management influence as possible, to plan at least monthly team-building, networking, education and charitable activities. This grass-roots approach helped ensure that the culture was shaped and influenced by employees and not only by top management. In this way, employees owned the culture as much as the management did.

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