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Business Consultation and Development | Spokane, WA
Business Consultation and Development

Motivating Employees

  • It is rare to find gratitude around the workplace, but appreciation is an even better motivator than money
Being appreciated is one of the great motivators on the job, even better than money. Researchers at the London School of Economics analyzed more than 50 studies for a 2011 paper that looked at what gets people charged up at work. They concluded that we give our best effort if the work gets us interested and excited, if we feel that it’s providing meaning and purpose, and if others appreciate what we’re doing.

Google and a few other companies are setting a new trend—because expressions of gratitude around the workplace tend to be scarce. In a 2013 survey of 2,000 Americans on gratitude sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, some 80% agreed that receiving gratitude makes them work harder, but only 10% managed to express gratitude to others every day. “Thanks”—whether sent up, down or sideways—was rarely heard.

So what is the best way to show gratitude at work? The trick is to be specific about what someone has done, and to give honest and sincere appreciation.

In a 2013 survey of 2,000 Americans, some 80% agreed that receiving gratitude makes them work harder.  (Illustration:  Joao Fazenda)

Source:  “It Pays to Give Thanks at the Office,” by Janice Kaplan, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2015, adapted from her latest book, “The Gratitude Diaries,”  http://www.wsj.com/articles/it-pays-to-give-thanks-at-the-office-1438959788
  • Vice-President Mike Pence, gave the following advice to college graduates:

    • If you aspire to lead, you'll need courage, because leadership brings both honor and opposition.
    • Anyone who dreams big will encounter those who think small. 
    • Anyone who dares to step forward will find those who'd rather they stay put.
    • Anyone who thinks they can will always hear from those who are sure they can't. 
    • "Nothing worth doing every came easy.  Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the courage to do what's right." (quoting President Donald Trump)
    • Inspire those around you, since people follow those they respect. 
    • Aspire to be men and women of character, and aspire to service rather than selfish ambition. 
(Vice President Mike Pence, speaking to graduating students at Grove City College, PA, Associated Press, May 21, 2017)
  • Starting a Successful Business.  "Mavericks at Work - Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win," by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre.  This book is about people who were highly successful in starting a business, like Yahoo and Netflix.  They gave the following advice to those who want to start a business:

    • It's not about making money - money is the by-product.
    • Do something to make a difference.  Think outside the cubicle.
    • Nobody is as smart as everybody.
    • Invite other people into your sandbox.  Fill the room with other smart people.  These people don't have to work FOR you to work WITH you. 
    • Great ideas can come from anyone in the world.  Be smart enough to ask.
    • Out-think the competition.
    • You don't need tons of money to make a real impact in the world.
    • Be passionate about what you want to do.
    • Find a need, and determine how you can fill that need.
    • It's about ideas and a cause.  What ideas do you stand for?
    • You need intellectual humility - no huge egos.
    • Invite 10 friends over to your house (into your sandbox) for lunch, present your idea, and ask for their opinions. 

  • Warren Buffett gave some great advice on key attributes to look for when considering job candidates. He narrowed it down to three, but one is purely non-negotiable. Buffet said:

    You're looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don't have the last one, don't even bother with the first two.

    Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy, in his book Uncommon, said: "Integrity is the choice between what's convenient and what's right."  When someone leads with integrity, it makes it hard to question that person. People operating within parameters of truth, honesty, and ethics will listen to their heart and do the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Their actions are open for everyone to see; they don't have to worry about hiding anything from anyone, nor do you have to worry about them hiding anything from you!  (source:  How to Hire the Best, by Marcel Schwantes, inc.com, published Jan. 9, 2018)

What You Can Do

  • Spokane Business Library.  Supported by the Spokane County Library District.  Stellar products and services to support businesses with resources available at no cost to residents and organizations in Spokane County service area and the City of Spokane. 
    • Get help with your business plan
    • Take online business classes
    • Read business magazines and journals
    • Get detailed company information
    • Create market research reports
    • Read product reviews
    • Find demographics data
    • Research market and site locations
    • Create marketing mailing lists and sales leads.

          Schedule a one-on-one meeting with a librarian to get started with these
          services, and more at http://www.spokanebusiness.org.

  • The founder of Hallmark Cards, Inc., Joyce C. Hall, became a wealthy man; however, profit was never foremost in his thoughts. In his autobiography, he wrote:

    ”If a man goes into business with only the idea of making a lot of money, chances are he won't. But if he puts service and quality first, the money will take care of itself.”

    “Producing a first-class product that is a real need is a much stronger motivation for success than getting rich."

  • Write and display a code of ethics or an office constitution in your business, which will inspire employees to achieve excellence in their work, and treat fellow employees and customers with genuine kindness and charity. 

Office Constitution

This day is the only day that matters. 
What our practice looks like in one year, three years, or ten years from now depends on what we do today.

Today we commit to excellence
in everything we say and do.  We will be better today than yesterday.

Today we react and treat the patients in such a way that their lives are better, because they walked through our door.

Today we commit to each other
to make this day as pleasant as we possibly can.

Today we commit to create an orthodontic practice that is a teaching model for other practices.

(Dr.’s Dwight and Paul Damon, Damon Orthodontics, Spokane Valley (509) 924-9860, South Hill (509) 448-2600, and Northside (509) 484-8000 offices, http://www.damon-orthodontics.com/ )
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