A fresh start with the team
Going back to something new…
Returning to work with employees there may be some difficult conversations to have, or things you want to change in the future.
And you know the people you work with well.
You come to relationships and conversations already knowing from past experience how things will go when we get together again.
You know what they will say, how they will respond to prompts – we all have those imaginary conversations, and we especially know how a difficult conversation will go.
Coming from what you know about the past, there’s little possibility of anything new being created.
Before we pick up again where we left off, consider maybe I don’t know how the conversation will go.
Instead of armouring up with tin hat and preparing for battle (with Helena’s number from HR Dept ready on speed dial), try rising above the competitive plane, and coming from a creative plane.
First consider Dan Pink’s great insight into what motivates us in ‘Drive‘. He distinguishes 3 levels of motivation;
1. Biological – the basic human need to survive and reproduce.
2. External carrots & sticks – what industry has relied on for the last 100 years or so. You turn this screw in this direction and the more you do it, the more I will pay you. Mess it up and I will penalise you.
3. Intrinsic – the highest level of motivation, generated from within. Doing something because we want to, and even better, getting paid for it.
In the early 1900’s there was an advertisement for an Ernest Shackleton Antarctic exploration – not as ‘an expedition’, ‘experience required’ etc.
But as ‘a hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of darkness, dangerous, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success’.
Creatively designed not to attract people who desired fame or fortune, but those motivated from a desire within.
But how do you know what motivates someone from within?
And then really listen. Not from what you think is important, but to what is important to the other person.
Have a look at the table below from a survey which shows the mis-match between the top 10 of what employees say is important to them, and what supervisors or managers think motivates their employees;
2. Feeling ‘in’ on things
3. Understanding attitude
4. Job security
5. Good wages
6. Interesting work
7. Promotion opportunities
8. Loyalty from management
9. Good working conditions
10. Tactful discipline
1. Good wages
2. Job security
3. Promotion opportunities
4. Good working conditions
5. Interesting work
6. Loyalty from management
7. Tactful discipline
9. Understanding attitude
10. Feeling ‘in’ on things
Before we jump back on the hamster wheel, or dive into ‘difficult’ conversations, take time to sit down for a chat about how we want things to be from now on.
And instead of throwing some money at someone to get them to do more, or less money for the same work, start by asking, and listening to what’s most important to people
Suggest a coffee, or honour the importance of this conversation and set time in the diary for it.
You might just open up a new possible way of working that creates a Win / Win, without resorting to carrots and sticks.
And a by-product – appreciated and happy people tend to be profitable people.