Check out the first intentionally humorous opinion piece ever included on The Daniel Group’s Blog. “Hello, Daniel Group groupies. I’m Quinn, a 20-something aspiring journalist living in Brooklyn, and I’d like to share my two cents about employee motivation and engagement – some tidbits I’ve gathered since graduating three years ago and entering the dazzling world of the American work force.
Like so many of my peers, I’m coming to terms with the grounding fact that my dream job may not be realistically attainable, or even exist. However, thanks in part to a warm, fuzzy upbringing where teachers and parents encouraged us to “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars,” we trudge on cheerfully. Here are a few ways I believe we can all make the grind a little more pleasant for each other.
First, try to have a consistent demeanor, and preferably a pleasant one. Everyone has off days, but if employees can’t predict whether you’re going to come in acting like Susie Sunshine or Cruella DeVil, they won’t be able to focus on other tasks. I suggest a daily dose of St. John’s Wort – works like a charm for my own bipolar Gemini tendencies. Comes in a tasty tea form as well.
Secondly, don’t forget to take a look at the big picture. Unless your employee is a heart surgeon or a bomb technician, chances are you don’t need to contact them after hours. Texts that say, “Call me ASAP,” are especially unwelcome in situations that do not in any way resemble emergencies. Looking at the big picture also means occasionally reminding employees of the importance of the service they provide. Unless you’re working for the Charles Manson Institute for Ponzi Scheme Advancement and Cosmetic Testing on Animals, it usually isn’t hard to see how most jobs improve lives or build communities in some way. Letting your employees know that they’re part of something good and worthwhile will help keep them engaged.
To conclude, I’d like to give a shout out to the golden rule. It’s all about respect, people. Don’t act like you’re doing employees a huge favor by giving them the day off when they’re sick. You’re not Mother Theresa. Don’t act like your interns should be overjoyed when you get them tickets to some crappy work event that you wouldn’t want to attend yourself. Listen to ideas and ask for input. I mean, you hired them! That’s what they’re there for. It’s like the crocodile and the little bird that hangs out in its mouth and picks bits of carcass out of its teeth – you’ll both feel the value of collaboration. Treat them kindly and professionally and I’m betting that’s what you’ll get in return. Because seriously, like it or not, we’re all in this together.”
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