Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Do "motivational techniques" really help?

Do "motivational techniques" really help?

To read the full color version of this article,
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Greetings -- In last week's PVT, I mentioned

* A Gallup poll of more 1 million employed
U.S. workers concluded that a bad boss or
supervisor is the Number 1 Reason people
quit their jobs.
* Poorly managed work groups are on average 50
percent less productive and 44 percent less
profitable than well-managed groups.
* Common bad boss behaviors include bullying,
incompetence, harassment and discrimination,
inadequate compensation, not respecting
leg'al rights, privacy invasion.
* A recent Monster Meter poll asked Monster
members which TV show most closely resembled
their work environments. 39% Survivor,
37% The Office, 13% CSI, 11% The Apprentice.
See Monster article at

I also talked about our Pampered Workforce.

Employees demand more m0ney ... "management"
complies ... yet, employees don't produce more.
Why? Because employees feel entitled to the

Thus, employees produce the same or fewer results
at higher labor costs. Bottom line: Increased
wages and fancy benefits programs do not increase

Employees demand more m0ney and better benefits
because of conscious-level needs that lie deep in
the unconscious mind, which translates
unconscious needs into consciously expressed
needs. To understand the role of baseline
motivation in workforce activities, we must
distinguish between MOTIVATION and MORALE.

However, you can't establish a motivated group by
"working on" morale. Further, you might find some
unmotivated members within a "high
motivation/high morale" group...

Let's continue ...

Why is "managing emotions" the most difficult
part of management technology?

Until recently, "motivating people" was
considered the only technology for managing
emotions. It was as if you could use certain
"motivational" techniques and get the desired
results the same way you can "clean-up" something
like Inventory Control or Order Entry or

But, little or no attention was paid to the
subordinate's unconscious mind. Classical
"motivational" techniques, developed and
quantified over the years, only built a
foundation for enhancing positive

But, let's start with what is likely to be in
your employee's mind concerning business...

Do your employees have these typical views of

Most people in the U.S. have been "brainwashed"
by media and public (government) schools that are
negative toward business and business owners.
("Business just uses people, spoils natural
resources, rewards only the rich
...yada...yada... yada... ")

This brainwashing obscures the reasons why
business is important. To most people, business
simply isn't important and nev'er will be. So, we
find scant employee loyalty and abundant

Recognize that you can't conquer a lifetime's
worth of anti-business bias. Instead, take
advantage of it by portraying business as
something everyone uses for personal gain,
because everyone does that anyway.

Therefore, when dealing with your manager or
subordinates, emphasize THEIR self-interest.
Further, there is much you can do to handle
emotional relationships with your subordinates.

What is the difference between MOTIVATION and
MORALE -- and what difference does it make?

With respect to motivation and morale, you have
four possibilities:

1. HIGH Motivation/HIGH Morale
Most desirable. High enthusiasm, high

2. HIGH Motivation/LOW Morale
Here you'll find highly motivated people
who don't feel part of a dynamic group.
Maybe they feel some group members are
inferior. Maybe they feel that the group is
not cohesive. Maybe the group is scattered,
like many sal.es forces, making
opportunities for developing high morale

3. LOW Motivation/HIGH Morale
This is a "country club" environment where
people enjoy the work climate but seldom
achieve goals. The manager might be low-key,
permissive, or popular, but little more.
This work climate will eventually decline
because it provides no real sense of
achievement. Subordinates need much more
than "county club treatment" to be
enthusiastic achievers.

4. LOW Motivation/LOW Morale
A disaster!

Next week, I will discuss "hygiene factors" and
"motivators" and how proper usage can help you
and your teams be more productive. Here's a

When you apply a MOTIVATOR, it tends to
"motivate people." If you withdraw or nev'er
apply the motivator, people tend to become

When you apply HYGIENE FACTORS, even robustly,
you motivate no one. But, if you don't apply
them, their absence will demotivate.

So, you must apply hygiene factors - not to
motivate, but to avoid demotivation. To be
continued in next week's PVT ... Meanwhile ...

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What did you learn today that you found most

How will you apply what you have learned at

Please email your comments to

Best Regards,

Mike Hayden, Principal/Consultant
Your partner in streamlining business.

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