Archive for January 2014

Connie’s Career Corner: Rewards as Motivators

January 31, 2014

CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER

“Rewards as motivators”

Tip for the day:  A kind word is always well received.

Q:  Dear Connie:  Can you suggest some ways I can let my staff know I appreciate the excellent work they are doing for the company?

A:   A good supervisor knows that it is their responsibility to find out what motivates their staff.  If you learn how each person wants to be rewarded, you will be able to do a better job showing your appreciation and motivating your staff to do their very best work.

Here are some ways to reward your staff:

  • Public recognition
  • Certificates and plaques
  • Verbal praise
  • Movie tickets
  • A written “Thank You”
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Assign new projects

A good way to  find out what each person values as a reward is to ask your staff to write down how they would like for you to show your appreciation when they have exceeded company expectations.  Some employees are excited to be recognized by their peers or management for their accomplishments.  Other employees will welcome new responsibilities as validation of the work.  There are those who want a simple “Thank You” or a written “Thank You.”

Do not make the mistake of rewarding every employee the same way.  If you assign new projects to someone who prizes a written “Thank You” you may find their performance decreases.  They may think, “What good does it do to work hard.  I just get more work assigned to me.”  If you send movie tickets to someone that wants public recognition they may wonder what they have to do to get their work noticed.

You can know how your staff feels about rewards by taking a little time talking and listening to the things that make up each employee’s personality.  Knowing how to motivate your staff will move your career forward and keep your staff happy and appreciated.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to ConniesCorner@Nashville.gov .  

Connie’s Career Corner

January 10, 2014

CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER

“Your ability to adjust to change is a big deal.”

Tip for the day: If you are bored, you should change something in your life.

Q: Dear Connie: I have a co-worker who is older than me and she does not seem to be able to adjust to change. She becomes highly irritated if she is put in a position to have to make any changes. Is it important to go along with the changes that our supervisor requests?

A: Dear Must I Change: In today’s workplace, change happens and it happens frequently. It sounds as though your co-worker has not learned the skill of being flexible and you are wondering should you follow her lead and resist change or learn to be flexible and make changes in the workplace as your supervisor requests of you.

There was a time when you learned a job and the job never changed. You were successful if you went to work and performed the same task using the same process consistently day after day. Your co-worker may have started her career during this time.

Now the marketplace demands that you be flexible. Many companies are looking for employees that can adjust to change. In today’s market, companies are constantly looking for ways to be more productive while decreasing cost. This means that at times you may feel that you are being asked to make change on a frequent basis. Companies need people who will go with the flow and not be difficult to work with because they are holding to the “old” way of performing a task.

Changing from a person who likes things to always be the same to a person who can not only accept change but thrive on it can be quite difficult. Since you are just starting out your career, you do not have the “old habit” of being inflexible to break.

Here are some suggestions to help you be a person of change:

• Look first at the reason the change is proposed
• Identify how the request for change will affect your job
• Develop a plan listing steps you will need to take to make the change
• Keep a positive attitude
• Remember that change affects everyone–not just you
• Work as a team to accomplish the change

If your co-worker gets upset and takes it out on you when she is requested to change, it is best to just ignore her comments. Do not let her pull you into her dissatisfaction or she may say you agree with her. If this approach does not work, discuss this with your supervisor.

I would take my cues regarding how to accept change from your supervisor. If your supervisor is requesting that your team makes a change that means she is making changes also. Watch how your supervisor reacts and adapts to change. Try to make the skill of being flexible your own. Pretty soon you will not feel discomfort when you are asked to make changes in your work.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information. E-mail questions for future columns to ConniesCorner@Nashville.gov .