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Valued employees are motivated.

Money was once considered the key motivator in the workplace, but business owners and managers are beginning to realize the importance employees give to "being valued" by the employer.

The ideal office atmosphere is one in which employee initiative is encouraged, but disruptive gossip is not. The office has well-explained procedures and good communication between supervisors and staff who know what their role is and what standards are expected of them.

Motivated employees believe their company has a sense of direction. They clearly understand the company's policies and goals, as well as the objectives of their department.

The employees themselves also need short- and long-term goals. These goals should be in writing and measurable. In addition, they should relate directly to the goals of the company.

Standards for employees need to be attainable and realistic. If management sets goals which are nearly impossible to reach - even when employees are working at their full capacity - then frustration and disillusionment can set in.

If you sense that the morale of your staff is poor, meet with them and express an interest in identifying problems that are causing poor morale. Encourage team work and healthy communication to get the problems solved.

Assign teams of employees the task of meeting regularly to discuss the problems. Meet with the team leaders regularly to get feedback, and act upon their recommendations.

It is important to show your staff members that you care about their needs, opinions and problems, but keep the non-work related discussions brief.

Be approachable and a good listener and your staff will more likely approach you with problems. Keep them well informed of changes, policies and performance expectations. Praise individual effort personally. If you must criticize, do it privately and constructively.

Criticism of an employee's performance should always be constructive and tactful. Interviews with poorly motivated employees should be done in private and should spell out the need for improved performance. Focus on the employee's successful future with the company rather than the employee's problems in the past.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Supplement: Small Business Survival Strategies
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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