Category Archives: Employee Motivation

The Best Reason to Ditch Your Employee-of-the-Month Program

Decades before now, some HR gal (that’s what we were called back then) came up with a plan: Here’s a thought! We’ll pick one employee every month and crown that person Employee of the Month! We’ll put his picture on a wall and give him a gift certificate to Sizzler!  And then another middle-manager, Frank, […]

How HR Can Stop Playing the Game of Whack-a-Mole

Let’s say you have a department with an increasing turnover and ongoing complaints. Assuming the complaints are not about egregious acts in violation of labor law, you might find yourself having multiple time-zapping conversations.  You might then be speaking with the manager in an attempt to fix issues and problems.  And in this conversation, the […]

The R in HR Doesn’t Stand for Rah-Rah

Every year—right around the holidays, actually—some HR buzzword starts to irritate me.  The rock in my loafer this year is the word “engagement.”  This is because so many seem to confuse it with the word “appreciation.”  And when you confuse the two, the result is wasted time and money. Engaging employees is on everyone’s mind […]

The Truth About Progressive Discipline

Progressive Discipline is a common cornerstone of performance management.  Certainly, many HR departments and business managers still cling to its validity and so-called ability to boost performance as well as grant the employee due process.  Make a mistake, and you’ll be issued a written verbal (note the juxtaposition).  Make another, you get a written.  Finally, […]

How and Why to Write Recommendation Letters that Get Results

Anyone in a leadership position needs to master the art of writing a superb letter of recognition.  After all, we are in positions to develop others.  I’ve seen over and over that the best and most successful leaders are committed to the success of those they’ve mentored, taught or worked with side-by-side. I’ll first say, […]

How to Take a Real Vacation and Mean It!

In a couple of weeks, I’m taking a vacation.  And this year, for the first time in a decade, I plan on taking a real one.  For those business leaders out there whose vacations are only defined as not being physically on site, you’ll understand what I’m saying. Given this, it’s ironic that I am […]

An Employee by Any Other Name

“What’s in a name?” Romeo says to Juliet.  And I’m asking you the same question.  It’s been a trend for the last decade to rename employees.  With branding being all the rage, it makes sense, right?  And I won’t disagree that it can work to help create a unified and proud workforce.  Disney and its […]

Are You Part of the Walking Dead at Work?

Employees—over the years—have come to my office to express their work-related concerns.  Though many of their gripes are legitimate problems needing HR’s attention, some aren’t so legitimate.  Some concerns—though couched in complaints about bosses or systems—are just symptoms of the employees not liking their work or being in the wrong positions.  And no amount of […]

Five Ways to Become More Likable

Whether you’ll admit it or not, most of you care about whether you are liked by your co-workers.  It just makes life easier if you get along with the people you spend time with.  Plus, work gets done faster.  Though there will always be people who see the world differently than you, becoming more likable […]