These messages keep employees at peak motivation

Communicate these simple messages to help your workforce rediscover their motivation for work

Posted: October 23, 2014


Busy managers sometimes forget that their employees want to enjoy their jobs, not just collect a paycheck. And employees themselves can lose sight of what they’re really looking for in a career as they scramble to get their assignments done. Communicate these simple messages to help your workforce rediscover their motivation for work:

• Their strengths matter. Give assignments that make use of their most important skills. Work with them to find ways to make the most of their talents and experience, and they’ll be more satisfied with their jobs.

• Goals should challenge. Set goals that stretch employees’ skills, giving them the chance to learn and grow professionally. Be realistic so workers don’t feel overwhelmed. Use the SMART formula: Collaborate on goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-centered.

• Their opinions are important. Make a better effort to listen to employees’ ideas, opinions, and concerns. Lots of employees don’t think their managers pay enough attention to what they have to say; prove them wrong by asking what they think and acting on their insights.

• Creativity counts. Encourage innovation and imagination in your workforce. Let them put their ideas into action, at least as pilot projects. Keep asking what they could do to cut costs, improve customer service, or create new products, and give them the resources they need to try new things.

• Their victories rock. Celebrate employee success. A major achievement could justify a party, but even minor accomplishments deserve recognition. Tell employees you appreciate their work. And don’t limit yourself to successes—thank them for their strong efforts even when they fail.

—Adapted from the Entrepreneur website



Principles of proper delegation

  1. Establish the responsibility
    • Make sure it has a proper description of both the tasks required and the behaviors needed to do the project or job successfully.
  2. Establish the appropriate authority level
    • 1st level is “Do it. Don’t tell me.
      1. For example, “You can spend under $50 and, as long as you remain within your total budget level, you do not need to tell me you spent the money.”
    • 2nd level is “Do it. Tell me after you spend it.
      1. For example, “You can spend between $51 and $100 but I want you to let me know you spent the money.”
    • 3rd level is “You are not authorized to make that decision until you consult with me first.”
      1. For example, “If you want to spend more than $101 dollars you must come to me, outline the amount you want to spend; what you want to spend it on; and why it is important to spend the money now.”
  1. Once you have done steps one and two and it is clear to everyone, then you can hold that person accountable for their results.

One of the big problems with many managerial / employee conflicts is that someone is given the responsibility for doing something, held accountable for the achievement, but they never know whether they can proceed on their own or have to constantly check in for permission. When they proceed, they are told they should have checked in. When they hesitate, they are told they should have moved faster and gotten things done.  The parameters have not been properly set at the beginning and so only “20/20” hindsight provides the answer and then it is too late.  It leads to frustration and dysfunction throughout the organization.

One-Minute Ideas

Use this trick to avoid casual dress code missteps

Yikes! What is that person wearing? If your employees have taken casual attire to the extreme, try this tip an employee shared with Motivational Manager: Create your own style guide of what not to wear. Ask for volunteers to participate in a photo shoot wearing all the office no-nos—torn jeans, short shorts, halter tops, flip-flops. Copy the photos onto posters, flyers, or into a booklet—complete with the black bars fashion magazines use to conceal the faces of the style-challenged—and distribute them to the staff.

Bring employees to the ‘table of satisfaction’

Diane Marinacci manages 10 workers in her division of the General Services Administration. And according to the Gallup Organization’s “employee engagement survey,” those are 10 happy workers. Why? Marinacci credits her roundtable. Each morning, her employees meet at the table to talk about their caseloads, and they gather at the table when there’s an important issue to discuss. “More work is done at that roundtable during the day than could ever
happen in a cubicle,” she says. “I tell my friends, if you’re a boss, you need to get a round table.”
—Adapted from “Their best friend at work,” by Jennifer Robison, in the Gallup Management Journal

Go on the offensive for tech recruits

Having trouble attracting talented IT workers? Try going on the offensive—to your local bookstore. One New Jersey recruiter periodically stops by the software aisle at her local bookstore armed with a stack of business cards. She distributes the cards to the young tech enthusiasts who come in to flip through the latest manuals—and even hides some of her cards in the pages of the most popular books.
—Adapted from Finding & Keeping Great Employees, by Jim Harris and Joan Brannick (AMACOM)

Focus on fit with this hiring tactic

Taking a thorough tour of the facility is a staple of the new-employee orientation. But Doug Player, a New Jersey distribution center operations manager, suggests hirers take job candidates on a tour of the facility before making a final decision. “We cannot underestimate the value of walking through our facility with a potential staffer,” Player says, “and the dialogue—both spoken and unspoken—that ensues when they see where they will be spending their workday.”
—Adapted from “Make a sure bet on the right people,” by Sara Pearson Specter, in Modern Materials Handling

Pitch in to help workers

If teaming up for charity builds camaraderie, think how satisfying it would be to help one of your own. Paul and Sharon Algee never told coworkers at North Carolina’s Riverboat Landing Restaurant that they needed help paying for their daughter’s rehabilitation after a car crash. But seeing their predicament, their bosses organized a benefit dinner on their behalf. Management donated the evening’s profits, employees donated their tips, and even former employees came back to help. When you see employees in difficult circumstances, don’t wait to be asked—pitch in.
d from “Restaurant comes to aid of employee’s sick child,” by Rachel Wimberly, in the Star-News(Wilmington, N.C.)

Manage mergers by buddying up

If your organization is facing a merger, help employees cope by adopting the strategy Wal-Mart used when the company purchased the British supermarket chain Asda. Executives helped Asda managers and supervisors adapt to the Wal-Mart culture by using the buddy system and pairing them with a Wal-Mart colleague. The buddies were encouraged to share ideas and discuss concerns, which helped them manage change through the crucial transition period.
—Adapted from “Putting a smile on staff faces at Asda,” in the Daily Express (London)

Beat stress with a breakroom makeover

Things can get stressful at a call center—which is one reason for the industry’s high turnover. But the Australian firm SalesForce is always looking for new ways to help its staff break the tension. Recently, the company imitated the British television series Changing Rooms (and its American counterpart Trading Spaces) by challenging employees to redecorate staff lounges. Teams were given a budget and eight weeks to complete their projects. The winners received prizes—and SalesForce added to its stature as one of the country’s top places to work.
—Adapted from “To succeed, make the first call to the staff,” by Wendy Taylor, in The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

Push on when brainstorming

Remember your last brainstorming session? No doubt you reached a point where the flood of ideas became a trickle, then seemed to dry up altogether. And the session came to a stop. Big mistake. Instead of taking the first lull as a signal to stop, press on. When they’ve run out of logical ideas, people will start offering wild suggestions—which may prove to be the seeds of your most creative projects.
—Adapted from Ignite Your Creative Spark, by Jordan Ayan (Successories)

You get what you reward

What’s more important—launching new initiatives or launching successful initiatives? If you said the latter, then you have to build accountability into your incentive programs. In 2000, Procter & Gamble suddenly realized morale was in ruins and core products were losing market share. Among the problems cited by employee surveys was a policy of rewarding and promoting marketing employees based on the number of initiatives they launched with no thought for long-term results. And because job tenure averaged two years, employees knew they could launch an initiative, then leave the worries to their successor. Thanks to those findings, P&G now keeps marketers in their posts for three to four years and focuses on two-year rather than quarterly results.
—Adapted from “Listening begins at home,” in the Harvard Business Review

Careless comments can be costly

Admit it—there are some crazy people on your staff. But here’s some sane advice: Keep your opinions about their mental health to yourself. Recently the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a disability discrimination claim because the employee had evidence her supervisors considered her disabled. The evidence: workplace gossip. The problem started when one employee falsely reported that another was suicidal. As rumors of instability escalated, the talked-about employee incurred disciplinary action, sought counseling for stress, and took a disability leave. Her supervisors refused to accommodate her request for a reduced schedule and soon fired her. The court agreed the employee did not meet the ADA’s definition of disabled. However, under the ADA an employee is still considered disabled if it can be shown that the employer believes an impairment exists. In this case, the rumor mill provided ample proof of that.
—Adapted from “But we thought she was crazy!” in the Wyoming Employment Law Letter

How to keep your staff up-to-date on business trends

Inspire employees to keep up with the latest business trends and beef up their presentation skills by following this advice from a New Jersey public relations firm: Ask for volunteers to read business books then present oral reports to their coworkers during your weekly staff meetings. The PR firm lets workers select the titles they’d like to read, then pays for the books.
—Adapted from 1001 Ways to Energize Employees, by Bob Nelson (Workman)

Boost productivity and job satisfaction with this tactic

Some employees do their best work in the morning, while others are more productive in the afternoon. So, if your operations allow, take advantage of internal body clocks with staggered start times. Rather than requiring everyone to come in at 8 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m., give workers the option of working 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A little flexibil-ity can cut down on absenteeism and ensure that people are working during their personal peak hours.
—Adapted from the Birmingham Times (Birmingham, Ala.)

Brace yourself for termination anxiety

It’s natural to expect an emotional fallout when an employee is terminated. But dismissed workers don’t hold the monopoly on separation anxiety. Terminations are also difficult for managers who must deliver the bad news. If you’re contemplating a termination or layoff, list the reasons behind the decision to reassure yourself that this course is appropriate. Then consider the possible reactions of the employee—shock, anger, fear—and determine how you’ll react to any given scenario. If you’re well prepared to handle the employee’s emotions, you’ll be better able to handle your own.
—Adapted from “Successful termination: Is there such a concept?” by John Withenshaw, in Canadian Manager

Comprehensive training boosts retention

One thing management at Hy-Vee, an Iowa-based grocery chain, could count on: As soon as they graduated, college-age employees would leave for a “real job.” But two years ago, the chain launched a program to stem turnover and groom future managers from within—the Hy-Vee University Graduate Degree program, Twice each year, 10–15 students enroll in the year-and-a-half phased training program. Trainees begin by spending time in the corporate office learning about a specific department. Then they complete workbook projects and make field trips to area stores. Finally, they spend a few months interning in the recently studied department. Comprehensive training focused on each department gives workers an all-encompassing perspective that inspires long-term career ambitions. And according to Hy-Vee executives, retention among its university grads is about 90 percent.
—Adapted from “Help wanted: How to reduce employee turnover,” by Rebecca Zimoch, in Grocery Headquarters

Give employees a helping hand

What better to give workers than a piece of yourself? In this case, your helping hand. At one company, a manager annually gives every employee on his staff a paper silhouette of his hand, which represents one hour of his time to use any way they want. They can ask for work-related help—taking over the switchboard or delivering the mail—or even call on the boss for baby-sitting, dog-walking, or lawn-mowing duty.
—Adapted from CARE Packages for the Workplace, by Barbara A. Glanz (McGraw-Hill)

Enjoy a blast from the past

Some managers have found a way to make themselves less intimidating to employees: geek photos. Dig out your school photos or yearbook and grace your office wall with an unflattering pose that will make you seem more human to your staff—and might boost your ego as well. Says one CEO: “Whenever I’m feeling down about my work, I just take a good look at that dork up on the wall and I think to myself, ‘You’ve come a long way, baby! Don’t stop now!’”
—Adapted from Managing to Have Fun, by Matt Weinstein (Simon & Schuster)

Help workers understand their purpose

If you haven’t thought about job descriptions since your last new hire, your employees probably haven’t given them much thought either. Meet individually with workers to discuss their responsibilities and the tasks they do each day. Then craft an appropriate job description for each position. Give each employee a copy of his or her description and keep copies in your files so you can refer to them as needed. Update the descriptions at least once a year and invite workers to suggest changes as their duties evolve.
—Adapted from “Happy employees bring big profits,” by Harvey Goldglantz, in Pest Control

Five keys to workers’ self-esteem

Self-esteem isn’t just the stuff of daytime talk shows. It’s also the stuff that can determine a worker’s degree of productivity. Researchers have identified three types of self-esteem:

1. Global self-esteem is how significant and worthy people feel based on their life experiences.

2. Task-based self-esteem is the confidence people have in their ability to perform specific tasks.

3. Organization-based self-esteem is how valuable people feel they are to their organization and coworkers.

Individuals with high self-esteem have confidence in their overall worth, their ability to succeed, and their value to those around them. For those with low self-esteem, the opposite is true. Fortunately, low self-esteem isn’t carved in stone. By boosting an employee’s organizational self-esteem, you can have a positive impact on the other forms of self-esteem, and in turn, motivate better performance. Focus on these conditions:

Caring supervisors. Support and respect from the boss are crucial to developing organizational self-esteem. Ask employees about their needs, be available to listen to their concerns, seek their input on projects, demonstrate respect for their abilities—and coach supervisors to do the same. When doling out rewards or promotions, be sure to draw a link to the recipient’s contribution to the organization.

Empowering organizations. Eliminate restrictive rules that keep employees from using their own discretion in problem-solving. Encourage workers to take the initiative without requiring multiple authorizations. Inflexibility sends a silent message that you don’t value workers’ abilities or trust them to think for themselves.

Fulfilling work. Just because some employees must perform repetitive, mundane tasks, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the work enriching. Devise ways for workers to stretch themselves by, say, besting their personal records. Invite them to suggest new projects and procedures. Offer educational or cross-training opportunities, or organize after-hours volunteer work that will help them feel fulfilled and connected to the organization.

Necessary resources. No matter how much you tell workers they’re valued, they’ll have a hard time believing it if you don’t invest in adequate equipment and resources. If you must be frugal, invite employees to participate in the budget process so they’ll understand that a lack of funding doesn’t reflect a lack of confidence in them.

Supportive coworkers. Rather than giving lip service to teamwork, promote true camaraderie. Being held in high esteem by their coworkers is one way workers can develop high esteem for themselves.
—Adapted from “A neglected supervisory role: Building self-esteem,” by J. Newstrom, D. Gardner, and J. Pierce, in Supervision

Don’t just be a boss—be a leader: 4 easy steps.

One important way to judge your success as a manager is by the success of your employees.

The best managers aren’t just the ones who can extract the most productivity from their people, but the ones who produce great future managers.

They’re the ones who demonstrate true Executive Leadership

How can you be sure that your best people will someday be top-notch leaders themselves? Start with the following basic yet effective tips for developing managerial skills among your employees.

  1. Emphasize Communication

These days, quicker, more convenient forms of communication, like e-mail, have taken the place of quality face time. However, if you really want to know how your employees feel about you, the company, and their jobs, take the time to sit with them and have actual conversations.

Facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (things you can’t see in an e-mail) will tell you just as much about an employee’s state of mind as his or her words (perhaps even more). Learning what each employee wants to get out of his or her job will help you determine who has the makings of a good manager and who still may need some guidance.

Another surefire way to help employees advance their careers is by telling them exactly what they need to do to get ahead. Be clear about their responsibilities and explain how these responsibilities will contribute to the overall company’s success. Also, keep employees in the loop about what you think of their performance—good or bad.

  1. Motivate by Example

The easiest way to show your people how to be a good manager is not by shipping them off to a seminar; it’s by being a good manager yourself.

That starts with your attitude. Stay positive about your company and your team’s role in its success. Provide encouragement and inspire your people to do their best work.

If you are charismatic and motivating, your team will produce more for you in the short term and will emulate your techniques once they are put in a position of greater authority.

Also, give your people the same amount of respect you give your boss. Managers who place themselves on a pedestal above their teams and demand respect will likely experience the opposite effect.

Remain humble and give credit to your team when it’s due. If you treat your employees like your teammates, they are more apt to come together as a team.

Leadership means standing out from the pack.



  1. Plan their developmentAn effective career development plan is essential to help your people hone their skills and advance their careers. This can involve a departmental mentoring/training program, but keep in mind that one-on-one coaching, if feasible, is the most effective.

    A strong career development plan not only makes it easier to promote from within your organization but also helps you retain your top people. Follow up with employees and ask for their feedback on the development plan and mentoring.

    4. Final step: promotion

Once you have provided your people with the training and tools they need to succeed, step aside and let them go to work.

Don’t be afraid to see your employees succeed; remember you are all on the same team. Plus, their success reflects positively on you, and their advancement marks another opportunity for you to mentor the next group of future leaders.

If you are secure that you have prepared your employees to take the next step, why wait? Start by giving them additional responsibilities or asking for their input on important matters. Invite them to join special project teams or planning sessions, or find reasons for them to make presentations at higher-level staff meetings to senior executives.

If you give your employees more accountability and they respond favorably, continue to encourage them to take risks and stretch beyond their current capabilities.

Remember, good employees don’t need to be told all the details about how to do something—they can do the jobs themselves. Simply lay the groundwork, set the deadlines, and express the desired results.

If you show confidence in them, they’ll develop confidence in themselves and their decisions—an important trait of a good manager.


Accountability process – agreed to by the leadership group – something occurs where one member of the leadership team does not fulfill their commitment.

  • The commitment must be specific.
  • It must have a day, date and time that both parties have agreed to.
  • One of the parties has not fulfilled their mutually agreed-to commitment.

In that case, this is the process we agreed to follow.

  1. Discuss with the person individually.
    • Share what you feel are the facts and your feelings
    • Actively listen to what they have to say; allowing them to complete their thoughts without interruption.
    • Permit them the opportunity to correct the situation without penalty; in essence to agree on a new action plan on their part and your part
    • If they do not correct the situation and do not meet the new mutually agreed-to commitment, THEN
  2. Bring the topic up to the leadership team
    • Be sure you inform the other person that you plan to bring up the disagreement to the leadership team; allowing them time to prepare. It is not fair or acceptable to set an “ambush” at a meeting.
    • Each person presents their side without interrupting the other. The group will review the circumstances of the situation
    • Come to another mutually agreed commitment with day, date, and time specific
    • Allow the person to correct the situation
  3. Go the “Doctor – or the person who can resolve the issue (could be John)
    • The person makes the change that was decided and needs to immediately meet their new commitment.
  4. We should all assume the good intentions of the people on our leadership team. You should work to understand the situation they face; discover the new facts and information that may have led the person to a different or changed conclusion.  Do not assume the other person is lying. To lie is to deliberately and intentionally tell a falsehood with the purpose of hurting or deceiving another person. Are you absolutely sure you have ALL the facts or only the facts that you know today?
  5. No ambushing your team mate on the leadership team; No blind-siding.

10 Things you can do to gain more respect”

I read this and thought I would pass it on
Respect is not something handed to you when you take on a new leadership role. Respect is an essential leadership quality that you must build over time. Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step method for gaining respect in a leadership role. Several major areas require your attention, but many leaders overlook small gestures that get big reactions from staff members.
Sweat the Small Stuff
You hear the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” in stress-control seminars. But when it comes to respect, you absolutely must sweat the small stuff. Here are 10 small things you can do daily to gain the respect of your staff.
1. Maintain a Positive Attitude.
People rarely respect negative leaders. Instead, they typically ridicule them behind their backs. Negativity sends the message that you’re bitter or mean; it develops fear, not respect.
2. Be Available to Employees.
Don’t just have an open-door policy; make time to talk with employees and ask their opinions. Employees want to think they have the boss’s ear and can come to you when they have issues.
3. Offer to Help a Staff Member.
No matter how busy you are, when you walk through your work area and notice an employee who needs assistance, offer some. Step in and get your hands dirty. It won’t go unnoticed.
4. Tell Staff What to Do, Not How to Do It.
Effective delegation is an important part of becoming a good leader. Understand that employees are looking to develop their skills; so when you delegate, give them an important task to accomplish. Then stand back and let them figure out how to accomplish it. When you tell employees how to do the task, they feel mistrusted and perhaps worthless. It is difficult to trust a leader who can’t let go.
5. Value Differences.
Don’t hire people who are just like you. Bring in a qualified staff and show you value everyone’s differences by asking for input and encouraging everyone to work together as a team.
6. Listen Actively.
When employees talk with you, show interest and enthusiasm for their thoughts. Lean forward, share acknowledgment and paraphrase back to them what you heard them say. When you actively listen, you are not thinking about what you will say next. Be with them in the moment.
7. Laugh and Have Some Fun Occasionally.
Don’t take everything so seriously that you can’t laugh on occasion. When pressure is high and the work needs to get done, a little levity can make the work much more enjoyable. When you laugh, it also shows you are human, and that goes a long way with employees.
8. Share Compliments.
Compliment your staff on a job well done. Make sure the compliment is sincere and personal. It is always best to share a compliment when the act is fresh. After or even during a good presentation, giving an OK or thumbs-up sign will make your employee’s day.
9. Know What You Want.
It is difficult to respect someone who is not sure what he wants. If you manage a production line, is your goal to meet or beat the schedule, or to get the product out under cost? The goal is not nearly as important as knowing what the goal is.
10. Be Congruent at All Times.
Are what you say and what you do the same? It’s amazing in corporate America how many leaders send mixed messages. For instance, consider the manager who says he wants ideas from his staff and then proceeds to put down every idea brought to him.
Why Build Respect?
Without respect, it could be difficult for you to accomplish your job. Marilyn Johnson, owner of a small computer company in Indianapolis, shares her quest for respect: “I was so enthusiastic when I started my company that I tried to do everything for everyone. I spent all day telling my employees how to do their jobs. After two years, my employees started leaving in droves. One man told me he just didn’t respect a leader who couldn’t let go.”

Overcome the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress

By Dale Collie

Workplace stress is on the rise and it’s costing corporate America a fortune. We cannot do much about the skyrocketing costs of medical care and prescription drugs, but we can take immediate action to control the top ten causes of stress The countdown is:

  1. “Workload” – Employees report that they are often stressed when they have too little or too much to do. Managers need to divide responsibilities and help employees prioritize work that must be done.
  2. “Random interruptions” – Telephones, pagers, walk-in visits, and spontaneous demands from supervisors all contribute to increased stress. Time management, delegation of responsibilities, and clarification of expectations can reduce these stressors.
  3. “Pervasive uncertainty” – Stress levels increase rapidly when people are confronted by new requirements and procedures. Keeping people informed controls stress and increases productivity. Put details in a memo so they can review the facts following your explanations.
  4. “Mistrust and unfairness” – These situations keep everyone on edge; create bad attitudes, and lower productivity. It is important to keep an open line of communication to avoid misunderstanding and know what people are thinking about your decisions.
  5. “Unclear policies and no sense of direction” – Lack of focus causes uncertainty and undermines confidence in management. You need more than a well-written policy manual. Enforcement of policies and clear communications are essential.
  6. “Career and job ambiguity” – If people are uncertain about their jobs and careers, there is a feeling of helplessness and of being out of control. In addition to the trusted job descriptions and annual personnel reviews, people need to understand a broad range of issues that affect the company.
  7. “No feedback – good or bad” – People want to know whether they are meeting expectations. Consistent, written and verbal, personalized feedback is required.
  8. “No appreciation” – Failure to show appreciation generates stress that endangers productivity throughout the company. There are many ways to demonstrate appreciation, but the most effective is a sincere comment about how much the person means to you and the company.
  9. “Lack of communications” – Poor communication leads to decreased performance and increased stress. Management memos and announcements work well for distributing information, but two-way conversation improves communication and solicits ideas and suggestions while reducing stress and complaints.
  10. “Lack of control” – Workplace stress is at its greatest when employees have no say regarding things that affect them. You can decrease sensitivity to all the other stressors and give a sense of being in control by involving employees in operating and administrative decisions and acting on their input.

Effective managers understand that stress control is a leadership responsibility and give it just as much attention as any other management function. Grasping the concepts and reducing stress one step at a time can have an amazing impact on your bottom line –and on the lives of those who do the heavy work.

9 tips on keeping up morale in difficult times

Doug Duncan

Your HR Solutions

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will be running a column based on an interview I had with their reporter this Sunday. I thought I would share the information with you.



  1. Treat people with respect. Don’t insult them by pretending that things are OK. Don’t ignore them by keeping silent. Share what you can about what is happening in the business.
  2. Give people something to do that contributes to the survival of the company. Those that are on the “front-lines” of the business have insight into what is happening. Don’t assume that all knowledge is found at the top of the organization. Ask people to participate.
  3. When you are cutting costs, make the cuts across every category. Don’t select one department to take the brunt of the cost cutting.  Don’t make the same percentage cut in all categories; rather focus on what will produce the best results. “Across the board” cuts will hurt the business more and puts a disproportionate burden on the company. People recognize this and resent the simplistic approach. Ask people where they can save money. You may be surprised just how creative they can be.
  4. Set new goals that reflect the new realities of the business. New sales goals that realistically reflect the downward sales projections and new cost goals. Make sure the new goals can be achieved. Now set performance targets for each individual. Provide a financial incentive for achieving the new goal.
  5. Use the “10 penny” rule. Put 10 pennies in your right pocket at the beginning of the day. Every time you see someone doing something right and you recognize and acknowledge the good action, you earn the “right” to move one penny from your right pocket to your left pocket. At the end of the day, you should have 10 pennies in your left pocket. If you can not find 10 people doing something right in your organization each day, YOU are doing something wrong. Celebrate the successes – large and small.
  6. Say thank you a lot. Get in the habit of thanking people for the effort they are doing. The recognition of the good things by the leader will make all the difference rather than the leader who walks around in a doom-and-gloom funk and finds fault with everyone.
  7. Get the organization to do something fun together. Go bowling. See a funny movie. Go out together to a local restaurant. Have a party in your place of business on a Friday afternoon.
  8. If you must lay people off, do it with kindness. Recognize that they are scared. Give them some help along the way. It may be money, but it also could be advice on how to write resumes or how to conduct themselves in an interview. There are good HR consultants who will be glad to provide some out-placement advice to those who must be laid off.
  9. Treat yourself to something good as well. Recognize that you are feeling the pressure too. Treat yourself with respect.



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