Tag Archives: motivation

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Workplace Energy, What Are You Bringing?

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We have choices about everything. What are you bringing to work today? Are you bringing workplace energy or merely just trying to lay low and get through the day?

Many organization leaders blame the individuals. They believe motivation is intrinsic, you either have it, or you don’t. When it comes to workplace energy, they just leave it up to the employees to decide.

Energy of Culture

It may be true that at some level our motivation is intrinsic and it may also be true that each individual has responsibility for what they’ll bring. Does organization leadership have a bigger role?

Chances are good that leadership does play a role. Leaders drive culture. Culture has a direct impact on the performance, attitudes, and even the environment that employees walk into each day.

What do you do?

Workplace Energy

Are you bringing more to your workplace? Are you striving hard, working smart, and staying engaged?

Do you seek to create a bigger impact, be responsible and accountable, and help to stimulate a positive climate?

Some people will try to lay low. Stay out of other more assertive workers way, and watch the clock.

Others will insist that their performance and contribution is industrialized and systematic.

They have set the expectation, lubed the wheels and gears, and have made sure things are efficient. As a result, they can merely arrive and monitor. Anything outside of the established parameters and they’ll take action. Otherwise, it is just roll along and collect the paycheck.

It is a decision you make.

Workplace energy is contagious. Low energy and low output is as contagious as the opposite.

High energy contribution takes more guts. Be the role model you know you should be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace race

Can You Imagine The Workplace Race

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People often mention the daily grind. Are you prepared for the daily grind? Are you enthused for your workplace race?

It seems that there are two types of job deliveries. You can deliver by being present, nothing more, just showing up. The other option is to really arrive, ready, motivated, and about to slay the day.

Which one represents you?

Race Pace

In some workplace cultures the enthusiastic employee has to cut back, slow down, and take a breath. This is unfortunate because the department, team, or organization is missing out on the best work.

Navigating organizational politics can be draining. Do too much and you’re slapped back into submission. Do too little and there isn’t any real engagement, excitement, or reason to be motivated.

One of the worst parts about this scenario is that across time, the most motivated will leave for a better opportunity. The slower movers stay. They only want the paycheck, and they don’t mind hanging out while waiting.

Workplace Race

How you work is a personal choice you make. It is often conditioned by both the environment and culture. Leadership matters.

When you are having trouble navigating the culture remember the reason that you are there. Are you there to collect a paycheck? Perhaps, for now. Are you there as a career stepping stone? Perhaps for now.

Are you there to make a difference and work towards building something better? Sometimes you have to pace yourself.

Two completely different people can approach eight hours in two completely different ways. They may also do it differently depending on the culture.

Keep your eye on the prize. Remember the workplace race is sometimes a sprint and sometimes a marathon.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personally

Remove the Emotion, Stop Taking it Personally

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Are people in your work group, department, or organization taking it personally? Does the theme, “Remove the emotion,” echo in meeting chambers?

Here is the rub.

The last time I checked, emotion was connected to things like passion, enthusiasm, and even motivation. Workplace energy is connected to emotion. Like it, or not, it is.

Emotions Removed?

Every time an employee is shunned by the statement, “Remove the emotion!” they are one step closer to a disconnect and disengagement.

The next time they feel excited, happy, or energized, a voice inside suggests, “Remove the emotion.”

Certainly, there are sometimes leadership decisions and choices that require a temporary disconnect from the emotion. Making it the lyrics of your corporate theme song is probably not a good idea.

Personally

Taking it personally is another trouble spot. People want to be taken seriously and seriousness is often felt to be personal.

People sometimes joke, perhaps with distaste, “It is personal, like a heart attack.” Yet, when expressions of self-reflection are offered, it seems to become too personal.

Seriousness is a fact of business. It may be part of your emotional intelligence quotient. Most would suggest, seriousness is required.

Can you be professional and take things personally? Are these mutually exclusive?

One thing is certain, emotion is often what drives us. Emotion sharpens the presentation of the professional. All of our happiness, fear, and disappointment has a way of moving us.

Personally, I would be cautious about losing the emotional drive of your workforce.

Seriously.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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working today

Are You Working Today?

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Life is about choices. Often so is the work that we do. If you are working today, what is your motivation?

In the United States sports are big business. One sport or another many people show up to cheer on a team or curse an opponent.

We see it in many places, American Football, Soccer, Baseball, and even various forms of Motorsports.

Have you stopped to think about, “What is the goal?”

Often it is the collective enthusiasm of beating the opponent, the competition, or winning the championship.

What is the talk in the locker room? Do you think anyone in professional sports is talking about how they will lose?

Are they talking about the controversy among the team? The mistake from two weeks ago? How a couple of seasons ago there was a bad decision?

Unlikely, unless they have a twist on those aspects to increase motivation.

Working Today?

Your job and the work that you contribute to may be similar to professional sports. Are you arriving with a plan to win?

Today I’m going to close the sale.

Let’s be sure to ship 150 packages today.

Let’s build today without any mistakes or errors. Total quality.

One aspect that is always true about sports and our work, winning today (short run) is important but winning the championship (long run) is a collection of on-going wins.

Employees cannot sacrifice integrity just to win the game.

Maintain Integrity

Closing the sale in the system in the final hours of the day with the hope that the customer will buy tomorrow doesn’t work.

Throwing a few extra packages on the truck that will ultimately be refused at the customer site isn’t winning.

Fudging a little on quality to say, “We finished it, ship it.” will come back to harm your future reputation.

Are you working today?

Go do work that matters, work you are proud of, and work that will win the championship.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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compelling workplace opportunities

Creating Compelling Workplace Opportunities

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Are the employee teams at your workplace motivated? Would you describe their behavior as energized, engaged, and passionate? What are you doing to create compelling workplace opportunities?

One common truth is, not everyone is motivated in the same manner. Their interests, values, and beliefs may spark engagement, or may have them heading for the door.

What are the attraction points in your workplace? What gets people engaged and moving?

It won’t take long for the idea of money to arouse attention. Certainly, inspirational stories sometimes have value. What will really stick?

Compelling Workplace Opportunities

Here are a few simple things to think about:

Appreciation. It is really this simple, people don’t like to be criticized. Observe what they are working hard at, when they are trying their best, and show more appreciation.

Accomplishment. Sometimes people are inspired by finishing the job. Have you ever said, “That’s a good job done.” Many people take pride in finishing, it is an accomplishment.

Problem Solving. Although connected to a pro and a con, problem solving is a great skill to possess. Be cautious of being overly critical as you point out problems (con), yet at the same time effectively utilize the people who love to solve them (pro).

Change. Some people are motivated for change, others shutter at the whisper of the word. The truth is that some people really don’t like risk, while others thrive on it. Find balance in the energy of risk. Help teams actualize the vision.

Competition. Comparisons can sometimes feel depressing, yet competition will often spark motivation. Manage observations of competition by starting with competing against your own past performance, then work up to surpassing the competition.

Be More Compelling

Compelling is always better than force or fear. Yes, you can force people into action by causing fear, however, force and fear won’t help you with the long-run game.

Yes, accountability matters and it is sometimes the missing link. Keep in mind though, pull is better than push.

Are you in this for the short-run or the long-run?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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respected employees

Respected Employees are Engaged

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Based on data from numerous surveys the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has often reported about the importance of respect in the workplace. Are respected employees more engaged?

Motivation and Engagement

When you start the discussion about motivation, positivity, and employee engagement you often hear about the money factor. Yes, money matters, and no, money is not everything.

The next factor that comes into play is the conversation about motivation being intrinsic or extrinsic. Does it come from within or does it come externally? If you really want to dig deep, you’ll also entertain the discussion point about the fundamental attribution error.

Cutting right to it, if you are a workplace leader you will assume some responsibility for a motivated and engaged workforce. Your team is not just motivated or not. The workplace climate and culture will matter.

Respected Employees

People are motivated by results, by a sense of accomplishment, pride, and how they are perceived by others. These and many other factors are directly linked to respect. There is more to motivation but respect is often overlooked or taken for granted.

Leadership egos sometimes get in the way of respect. This happens when leaders need (and take) credit for the work accomplished by their teams. It happens when the leader flexes her muscle by reminding others about their pecking order.

I’ve turned this organization around.

This is my secretary.

He works for me.

When you start to wonder about worker engagement you should start to question the impact of leadership egos. One of the most important aspects of leadership is effective self-assessment. Awareness is the first step for change.

Does respect matter to you?

-DEG

Do you need help bringing respect back into your workplace? Contact me.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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bad workplace attitudes

Bad Workplace Attitudes Lack Purpose

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You’ve probably noticed a bad attitude at some point in your life. It may be at work, in the grocery store, or at the red light. Have you noticed bad workplace attitudes?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may be illustrating a bad attitude. Sometimes it is because something happened outside of work and this person is still dragging it around while on the job. In other cases, it may be connected to purpose.

Why Purpose?

Start a conversation about purpose and some people will perk up, but others start looking at their cell phone.

Purpose is critically important and often misunderstood. It is also linked to bad workplace attitudes.

When the junior executive doesn’t understand why she or he must change the verbiage in the quarterly report, an attitude may develop.

What about the staff member that must drop everything and go make copies for the upcoming meeting?

Does a bad attitude emerge when the project that the team pushed for doesn’t make the budget?

All these scenarios and hundreds of other examples are connected to a lack of understanding about purpose. Often purpose is taken for granted. Many people don’t understand the connection.

Changing Bad Workplace Attitudes

People often connect work with reward. The mindset is, “I do some work and I get paid.”

You can do the same thing with your dog. Teach a dog that when she sits, she gets a treat. I love dogs.

People are not dogs.

When you want to give people energy, excitement, and a reason for commitment and hard work. Give them a purpose.

People who understand why the verbiage in the report matters are energized to make the changes. When they understand why the copies will make a difference, they make them.

A project not making the budget is disappointing, but the team remaining intact to launch something new or different can be great!

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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dreaded performance review

The Dreaded Performance Review

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Performance evaluations and reviews are a special opportunity in the workplace. Are they clouded with inappropriate feedback? Are you about to receive the dreaded performance review?

Golden Rules

There are a few golden rules. Sadly, many supervisors don’t have adequate training or preparation to create a scenario where the review helps, not hurts, future employee performance.

Some of the rules are simple. The review should not be about a opportunity to blast the employee for poor performance or shortcomings on goals and objectives.

If this is an annual or semi-annual review those shortcomings should have been addressed long ago.

However, the review should be about goals and objectives. It should include meaningful and valuable goals that are directly connected to the larger organizational mission.

The Agony

Why do people dread performance reviews?

There are probably at least several reasons. Here are a few:

  • They’ve had a bad experience in the past.
  • The team is chattering about upcoming reviews and citing how terrible that day will be.
  • There is little or no understanding of the real purpose of the review so they see no value.
  • Setting goals and objectives makes them accountable to change.
  • Their supervisor has identified that reviews are a meaningless waste of time.

You get the picture. One or more of these characteristics have plagued or undermined the true purpose and value associated with performance reviews in many organizations.

Dreaded Performance Review

If you are a supervisor you have a responsibility. You should also have a commitment to the success of every member of the team. Future employee motivation is likely directly connected to the successful performance review.

Consider that your team will react to their review. One way or another. Do you want the next six to twelve months to show positive performance improvement?

Above all, the success (or not) of everyone will largely be based on what happens next.

-DEG

Do you need help with creating a positive culture and experience connected to the employee performance review? Contact me.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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nomophobia

Nomophobia, Workplace Anxiety, and Motivation

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Human behavior is a factor in our workplace every day. Behaviors and habits shape decisions and choices from the moment our eyes open until the moment we sleep. Have you heard of nomophobia?

While I’m not sure, and I’m not confident in the origin of the word, its existence is real. At least as early as 2014, Psychology Today, published an article about nomophobia. In the article it states origins to the year 2010.

Nomophobia

Nomophobia is defined as an anxiety associated with the fear of being without your cellular telephone, or at least without its use.

Many people can probably relate. Forget your phone on your way out the door and you would think you left a pan of bacon cooking unattended on the stove. We impulsively want to run back to change our situation.

Is nomophobia real? Of course it is real. Fear will drive human behavior. Afraid of what we’ll miss, who may call or text, or simply being disconnected from our friends and family will alter our behavior.

As with any phobia, anxiety increases. Desirable performance will likely decrease. What we should be doing shifts, we change. Our human reaction to fear and panic is now in control.

I’ve often wrote about the cautions associated with fear as a driver for motivation.

Do this or get fired. 

Sales are down and we’re going to have to cut back.

Next week we are installing a brand new software system. 

Fear in the workplace will change performance. It may also change buy-in, communication patterns, and certainly fear will change the end results.

Habits Move Us

People are creatures of habit. The habits that we have every day will drive the outcomes of our performance. Change your habits, you’ll change your performance.

This is true with eating, exercise, and what happens (or doesn’t) for our career.

When something that has become a habit suddenly becomes unavailable, goes away, or changes, there will be a reaction. The ultimate question is, “Will the reaction be productive or counterproductive?”

What you remove may be exactly what was keeping it all together.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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balancing customer service

Balancing Customer Service or Tipping The Scale

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People often suggest that most things in life require balance. Are you balancing customer service? Does the harsh outweigh the delight?

Doing your best work matters. Doing your best work and being recognized for it may feel like it matters even more. What happens when your best work is criticized?

Show Appreciation

Every day employees, business owners, and people helping other people try hard to create satisfaction.

When a compliment is received, it feels pretty good. A referral, a handwritten note, a smile, a nod, or even an email can make a difference for your day, perhaps your week. If it is really great, it may last a lifetime.

We tend to welcome comments and gestures of appreciation. Without much thought we accept the gratitude, grow through it, and work hard for more.

It makes the effort feel worthwhile. Justifies the labor and is satisfying.

No Appreciation

The other side of the coin is when we put in the labor without recognition. When we hold the door, give the smile, and lend a hand and no appreciation is shown. Nothing recognized, no gestures, and no take away.

It happens when people are judged. When biases lead the conversations, and when what is done well or done right is what was expected and for that, no gratitude.

When the extra effort, or even the required effort goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and underappreciated it feels like our work lacks value. A lack of value makes us question the reasons for the work in the first place. No appreciation, no reason to do the work.

Balancing Customer Service

Lack of appreciation is a deal breaker. It can ruin the moment, the day, and leave a lasting undesirable impression. Good news travels fast, but bad news often travels faster.

For everyone that you serve and for everyone that is serving you, is there balance? Are you balancing customer service efforts? Internal or external, are you providing motivation or disengagement?

If you’re going to tip the scale, tip it by providing more value. It’s appreciated.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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