Board Converting News, August 30, 2021

Hiring Engaged Employees (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)


idiosyncratic motivators are is to engage each employee in conversation. Supervisors should ferret out each employee’s hidden motivators in brief weekly meetings. Discuss the individ- ual’s attitude toward his or her work, and their happiness with their position. Rothwell suggests one particularly use- ful question: Can you tell me a story about a time when you felt particularly motivated in the work that you were doing? What was happening, who was involved and most important, what made it so motivating to you? Then listen. “The story will come from inside the person,” he says, “And most of the time if they can’t come up with a story, there is something overwhelmingly bad in their work situ- ation that needs addressed.” Another tactic is to assure the confluence of so-called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). “If a boss thinks an employee should be doing one thing, and that person thinks they should be doing something else, there’s go- ing to be demotivation at some point,” says Don Phin, a management consultant in Coronado, CA ( He suggests having the employee write down the three most important tasks they do every day, then the three key results they expect. Then have the supervisor do the same for that employee. “It’s surprising how often the two lists do not match,” says Phin. “And no performance system will work if they don’t.” A cousin to periodic engagement reviews are “pulse surveys.” These are frequent, short questionnaires de- signed to spot trouble spots in a business environment. As the name implies, they take the pulse of the organization. Creating Profits Companies that fail to improve employee motivation and engagement leave money on the table that compet- itors are only too happy to collect. On the other hand, companies that make a concerted effort to inspire their personnel achieve the twin rewards of higher productivi- ty and greater profitability. “Initiatives to bolster employee attitudes are proven to work,” says Tosh. “Such efforts are practical, doable, and drive success in the organization.” The right program will retain the best people and attract new ones. “If we want to be an employer of choice, we must understand we are in a major competition globally for top talent,” says Rothwell. “That means we need to cre- ate a great work environment where people can do their best and never want to leave.” Phillip M. Perry is an award-winning business journal- ist with over 20 years of experi- ence. A three time recipient of the American Bar Association’s “Edge Award” for editorial achievement, his byline has appeared over 3,000 times in the nation’s busi- ness press. Contact him via e-mail at

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August 30, 2021

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