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Why Motivate Employees

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


Why Motivate Employees

By P.J. Malone

In a number of companies, executives feel that giving employees a salary for their work should be motivation enough to perform. That couldn’t be far from the truth, unless those executives are prepared to settle for mediocre performance and experience a hit or miss with achieving business goals.

When we reviewed the various components of organizational alignment, we discussed the importance of ensuring that staff members are on the same page as executives, that they are capable of carrying out strategy, and that they are motivated to pursue the company’s business goals. This is an essential part of ensuring that executives set the right foundation for achieving business goals.

We also explained that executives should ask themselves a series of questions to ensure that they are assessing what is needed to support their strategy implementation and remove any blocks to success. With respect to human resources, executives should ask the following:

  • What drives employees toward achieving our goal? What changes do we need, if any, with our human resources? 

Our sample goal is to increase the business income by 20% for the upcoming fiscal year. We have chosen the sample strategy of offering customers add-on items to product sales.

With any goal that you are trying to achieve, employees need to be motivated to help you. In many organizations, the standard practice among employees, who don’t feel motivated to assist a company in achieving business goals beyond their work tasks, is to stand aside and watch executives fail or succeed.

For example, in an organization where an organization development (OD) practitioner was conducting an assessment, she discovered this exact situation. She was brought in to conduct an assessment to discover why employee morale was so low.

In interviews with staff, the OD practitioner encountered a young lady who had a reputation in the company for being very smart and competent. The young lady discussed some of her department’s challenges and solutions for fixing them. Solutions that appeared valuable. 

When asked if she shared her perspective with the department manager, she said no. When asked why she didn’t, she simply replied, “He’s the manager; not me. Besides, he never asked.”

Here’s what this tells you: the young lady in question was clearly an asset to the department and had contributions that could potentially save the company money with respect to issues they were experiencing. However, she did not feel valued or included.

What helped to create this situation is the company’s perceived promotion policy. It was widely rumored that individuals were generally promoted based on their friendships with senior management, and promotion decisions tended to favor men over women.

If this were true, this is a major hindrance to the company being able to achieve business goals. And whether or not it is in fact true doesn’t matter. Perception is reality. Since employees perceived it as true, and as it was demonstrated with incompetence of managers in some instances, it is the reality for employees.

You can see from this employee example how it is necessary to get your people on board with your strategy implementations and working to help if you want to achieve business success.

This begins with setting the right foundation, which starts with always communicating what’s going on. Now you can see the importance of fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s practice of going before his associates twice a year and sharing the company’s vision, direction and upcoming strategies.

Associates have even shared how the bi-annual message from the chairman and the bi-weekly updates make them feel a part of the company and a part of what’s going on.

Coming up, we’ll explain why it matters and how it all works to motivate employees.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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