Archive for Motivating Employees

Engaging Your Employees So They Don’t Hate Work

Make  me happy

Make me happy

A New York Times article about employee engagement – or the lack of it – got a lot of people talking this past week. The headline Why You Hate Work sure was a grabber.

Employee engagement is a particular passion of mine. My SlideShare presentations on this topic have received over 12,000 views and 175 downloads. To me that indicates a lot of interest. But, as the Times authors point out, there is a lot of talk about engagement but not much happening.  Read More→

Make Employees Happy by Nurturing Their Social Networks

Motivate employees, Happiness

Nurture employees social networks

When the prestigious Harvard Business Review devotes most of an issue to happiness, you know that happiness is a serious topic. The magazine cover is entitled “The Value of Happiness: How Employee Well-Being Drives Profits.”

I particularly enjoyed the interview of Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert in an article entitled The Science Behind the Smile. He’s the author of the international best seller Stumbling on Happiness. The study of happiness has devolved into a science whereby you can measure a person’s happiness at a moment in time. Science is in. Intuition about someone’s happiness is out.

What Makes Employees Happy?

Dr. Gilbert is quite clear about what makes employees happy. He says that people are happiest when they are appropriately challenged, “when they’re trying to achieve goals that are difficult but not out of reach.” He adds, “Challenge and threat are not the same thing. People blossom when challenged and wither when threatened.”

When threatened, an employee will get the work done, he says, but thereafter do his best to undermine you, will feel no loyalty to the organization and never do  more than he must. But employees will flourish when rewarded, based on a century of psychologists studying reward and punishment. Read More→