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I asked the Swiss manager how he addressed the situation. He shrugged and said "There's nothing you can do. An employee who gets up in the morning and doesn't feel like going to work just goes to his doctor and says he has stomach or back pains. What can the doctor say?"
We may often be faced with a specific problem, a breakdown. The breakdown may be in production, in purchasing, in sales or in any other realm. Our first goal is to resolve the problem: to find the reason, to come up with a solution and to carry on.
My young daughters, who will soon turn ten, often use a phone app called music.ly, filming themselves in a clip with a song in the background. When I asked them one day how they synchronize separate clips of each person onto the same screen, they looked at me in disdain – a look reserved for someone who is generations behind the technological times…
I often hear the claim that salary is the key to employee motivation. Every time, I ask whoever said it - what makes their work interesting? Why do they stay long hours after work even though they aren't getting paid for extra time? The answers are usually in the range of "my responsibility", "I'm significant", or "people listen to me". "And where is it expressed in your salary?" I ask. Here is where the conversation usually ends. I'm under no illusion that I've convinced my companion, although perhaps sometimes I have. Let's talk about the real factors that generate motivation and interest in work for everyone.
Last spring, we found a tiny, abandoned kitten and named him Richard. Our dog adopted him as her own and the children plied him with milk from a small bottle. Richard the kitten grew quickly and ate whatever he wanted, and to this day, he's the only cat who comes into the house to find food always at hand.
You know that saying that a lot of CEO's repeat, "My door is always open to my employees" ? When I was a CEO, I, too, thought my door was always open to my employees, but was that really true? Not necessarily.
Many companies I have encountered search for ways to save "in the spotlight", meaning areas where it is easy to see and to attribute to a particular focal point in pricing – for example, purchasing, defective product, work costs or logistics. And an action whose objective is to strengthen employee bonds falls under Welfare and is usually considered a luxury, ending up being the first thing to cut.
The product was highly profitable, but still, it seemed we might be able to shorten the process and make it more efficient. So, the course participants suggested a few significant improvements and elimination of some of the stages.
When the dilemma is personal, I recommend making your own decision in all cases. Remember that everyone, including those close to you, has personal agendas and interests in your decision. However objective the person you choose to advise you may be, they will be influenced by their own attitudes and perceptions of the matter. When the decision is an organizational one, the situation is different, and I'll expand on this later.
This month will see the publication of my first book will: Manage! Best Value Practices for Effective Management. To celebrate it, I would like to dedicate this weekly article to the role of the ideal manager.