Employee Motivation is Melting!

The mechanism

“To promote cooperation and team work, remember, people tend to resist that which is forced upon them. People tend to support that which they helped create.” -Vince Pfaff

bored workerWhere have all the motivational practices gone? It appears urge to motivate employees has been washed away with the bad economy. It’s an employers-market and employees are being worked harder than ever. Just the other day one of my clients told me she felt as though she was a number in her workplace. She went on and on about how she never received any positive reinforcement or recognition about her performance nor had she received any positive feedback from her manager on any successful projects she played part in. Needless to say, she was ready to move on.

I discovered at the age of 18 the importance of employee motivation and how productive employees are when they love their job. I had just landed my first office job and I was super excited, but nervous all at the same time. I was so motivated to get in there shine! And then I began to take my first course in the school of hard knocks in the workplace. During my tenure, I watched while my boss (also the owner) yelled and screamed at his employees during the day. He criticized the work they did and how they did it. Nothing was good enough to meet his standards. As a result, team work and cooperation dissolved. I watched as those employees (some of which had been there for over 15 years) packed up and walk out the door till there were just 3 of us left; me, my boss and his wife. I had survived the test.

I didn’t stay because the pay was great, or the opportunity was wonderful. I stayed because, unlike my former colleagues, I was equipped with the ability to separate the meat from the bones. You see, in my mind I thought my boss was a brilliant man. He just failed to effectively communicate his needs and wants. He embodied no concept of what it meant to motivate employees; he was “old school”. He figured that if he paid you for your work, then that was enough. It seems that mind-set has been adopted by many organizations.

Not every employee is motivated by the challenge of poor leadership. 

That job taught me a lot. I learned how to see through the message delivery and focus on the substance. Not only did it help me boost my confidence, it helped me learn more about whom I was and what I should expect from management and those in leadership positions in the future.

Good leaders understand the value of effectively communicating and listening to the needs and wants of others. Sure, there are many ways to move production in the workplace without effective communication, but for how long? The value a product creates for the customer is directly linked to the motivation of those employees that deliver it. To secure this, employees must be involved in the process, not told the process.

How do we get employees motivated to produce quality work?

We must ask the right people the right questions. To boost employee motivation we must find the influencers in our organizations and work with them to ensure employees are satisfied, therefore committed and motivated to produce. Policies and procedures enforced from the top down will prove over time to decrease the production of quality work.

The foundation is what matters here. Work from the ground up, meet employees where they are and build with them, not for them.

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org

Unemployed? Here’s what you should be doing in the Meantime

Recruitment or Employment Issues Chalk Drawing

HIRE MEYes, we know the job market is difficult these days, but believe it or not, people are actually getting hired; they’re just not hiring you. Why? Well employers want skilled workers – currently skilled. So how is it possible to build skill and stay relevant when you have no job? In an earlier blog, I highlighted many ways to improve your life where I mention the importance of staying involved in the community and networking. To see change happen, we must transform the way we think.

If you are at your limit with online applications and dead-end interviews, I encourage you to take these suggestions into consideration. Here are a few things to do in the meantime…

  1. Volunteer. Did you know that your chances of landing a job increase when you volunteer?HELPING BUILD The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency promoting volunteerism conducted a “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment” study which found that volunteers have 27 percent higher odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers. Can you believe those odds? You can have a 27% advantage over other applicants if you volunteer! Volunteering builds skills and provides opportunity to connect with a more diverse group of people.  I’m sure you have developed many skills throughout your career and those are to be commended; however learning never stops and there are always opportunities to become more involved and do more. Volunteering puts you in a better position where you become more marketable to potential employers.
  2. Attend Networking Events. Make it a personal goal to attend at least 2 events per month. Many networking events are free or cost little to attend. Check your local listings or tag along with a friend to a work function as a plus one. The opportunities to network are endless! You can network just about anywhere; it doesn’t have to be a planned setting. Take advantage of your surroundings, but first you will have to get up and get dressed. Networking can happen at the grocery store, picking up the kids from school, a neighborhood barbecue, and the like.
  3. Stay Fit. Your health is important to keep in check; especially during unemployment. A balanced lifestyle of healthy nutrition and fitness helps boost confidence. When you feel good about yourself, you are likely to go the extra mile or approach someone you would normally be intimidated by. Right now you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so get to it.
  4. Keep up to date with industry hot topics. Read your local newspaper or blogs on industry trends or hot topics. This familiarity will not only help you to stay aware and knowledgeable of industry practices, it is also beneficial for you when networking with people who may work in that industry or even during an interview. Questioning an employer about how they are dealing with an industry concern could very well be the question that lands you the job. It proves that you are aware and interested in what is happening in the industry and it opens up the door to a conversation rather than an interviewer following a script. Remember, you have nothing to lose.  

transform your thinkingJust because you are required to apply to a certain number of jobs per day/week to continue receiving unemployment benefits doesn’t mean you can’t skill build in the meantime. The only way to keep your résumé current is to remain relevant and current. Your ambition is attractive; employers want to hire people who are self-motivated. Whether you are paid for your work or not, you are still experienced and hard-working. Hiring Managers want to know what you have been up to during the 6 months or possibly 3 to 5 years you’ve been unemployed. Many people complain about the gap in employment, but fail to realize that gap can be filled with your volunteer work and active involvement in your industry and community. Yes, you can actually add these things to you résumé. These activities also build skill, ability, and improve your work ethic.

Profile PicMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.

That’s Not My Job!


Mary Davids:

Spot on!

Originally posted on The 16%:

not-my-jobI can always sense when someone will soon check out from the job and just go through the motions. No, I’m not psychic; I just have ears.

All I have to hear is someone repeatedly say, “That’s not in my job description” or “They don’t pay me enough to do that.”

Are you guilty of uttering these deadly phrases at one time in your career? You’re certainly not alone. You’ve worked so hard to achieve your prestigious title, so why be bothered with any menial or peripheral work?

I’ll tell you why—because no matter what title you hold, your purpose should be to work for the good of the team. Actually, the best bosses I’ve ever had were the ones who went above and beyond their job description to show they were team players.

The “that’s not my job” mentality is unhealthy to your organization. You’re all there for the…

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Career Development Program

Hello All! NAAAHR South Florida Chapter has launched a Career Essentials Program which aims to prepare young professionals for challenging careers in business.

Do you know someone that may benefit from this program?

Only 15 lucky people will be selected to participate in this FREE program. Applicants must reside in the Tri-County area (Florida-Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward) and must be between the ages of 18-35.Career Essentials Social Media Flyer

February Book Pick of the Month!

This month we picked Author of the New York Times Best Seller Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman’s Primal Leadership [Kindle Edition]. In this book, Goleman argues that the best leaders are in touch with their emotions and can channel them into positive direction. Goleman is convincing and PRIMAL LEADERSHIPthorough in describing the power of an empathetic and self-aware leader. Here is an excerpt:

“Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal: Great leadership works through emotions.”

This book is a must read!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for your chance to win a copy of this book!

How to Keep Difficult Clients Happy

mad little girl

screaming kidsWe’ve all had those difficult clients that are hard to please but are very necessary to keep business afloat. Over the years I’ve found the problem is not the clients and their unhappiness; it’s our reaction to the problem which either enhances or decreases its influence on our business.

Here are some key tips to help create a comfortable medium with clients

1. Listen. Let the customer vent. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about your business, service or product and how you can create the most value for your customers’. Give the customer a chance to say what they want to say, so long as it is respectful. If the customer becomes vulgar while venting then let the customer know you’d be happy to discuss the issue once they are able to speak without using vulgar or harmful language.
2. Be forthright. Believe it or not, it is possible that someone in your organization (including yourself) has made a mistake. Admit to it, apologize and ask how you can fix it. Give the customer the opportunity to digest and allow them time to vent and offer a suggestion. Putting the ball in the customers’ court shows that you are willing to listen and you value their input. Your customers are important and their concerns are important as well; treat them as such.
3. Give reassurance. Reassuring the customer is critical in letting the customer know that not only have you heard and are considerate of their position, you will do whatever possible to ensure the issue is addressed.
4. Respond with courtesy. This may be elementary advice to most; however it is easy to become defensive when you are feeling attacked. Keep in mind that the first response to an unhappy customer is the most crucial and can be the most emotional. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about your business, service or product.
5. Keep your promises. If you say you are going to call the customer back with an update, then do so. Set a reminder while you are speaking with the customer or immediately thereafter to avoid the human possibility of forgetting. Believe me, if you give an irate customer a time or date of when you will follow-up, rest assured they are marking their calendars and watching the clock. You may not have a resolution to the problem, but simply keeping your word carries a lot of weight. Reach out to the customer regardless of whether the news is good or not.  This creates a trusting atmosphere and eases the wound.

Now keep in mind, there are some people who you simply cannot please and you may lose as clients; however the attempt to satisfy the customer must always remain a priority.

MDD-160Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at maryd@honestleadership.org