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Getting the Best out of People


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60 replies to this topic

#1 deborah2002

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 11:40 AM

I hope it's not too late to jump on this band wagon. I am not in "upper management" as it were, yet I am made to feel valued as an employee. I work for a small company, and fell a$$ backwards into this job.
I came to this company fresh from divorce after being a stay-at-home mom for 8 years. Not too much fresh work skills, obviously. I came here at an entry level job--but luckily my boss had enough faith in me to try "marketing". Until I started learning "marketing" online-wise, I had no idea what it meant!
After many many hours of research, trial and error, I now consider myself pretty knowledgable in both SEO and SEM (although I favor SEO).
My boss not only asks my opinions, she values them and implements them. I consider myself EXTREMELY lucky to work here. I know I am fortunate to be able to say this.
I have never been "forced" to do anything for my job. Becauses of the respect with which I am treated, it makes me WANT to do more--that's how I got here in the first place.

Sorry for the rambling.

There is something to be said for bosses/managers/supervisors not only encouraging their employees/coworkers, but treating them with dignity and respect. Take this from a former stay at home mom w/no computer skills to a fairly well skilled SEO who loves to come to work (and can support 2 kids alone to boot!).

Thanks for listening, ya'll

deb :dance:

#2 Debra

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 11:53 AM

Deborah,

Bravo for your positive comments! :dance:

From a work/managers standpoint, I sincerely believe you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Show respect and it will come back to you in spades.

And while I agree that occassionaly people need a nudge to get them going, doing so with tact and kindness gets the point across just as well.

#3 deborah2002

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 12:19 PM

Thanks, Magnolia!
Honestly, this issue is a real soap box for me. Although I was "new" to the work force, I was also still a grown woman, not some kid in high school. I have only had this job for about a year, and during that year my confidence level not only in my work skills but PERSONAL confidence has grown so much.
I believe ALL people should be treated as adults...regardless of "position" in the company. If entry level people are so below you, why does their job exist at all? If the job is worth doing, and doing well, treat the people doing it accordingly is all I'm saying.
Again, this is a big soap box for me. I'm 34 and don't need to be treated badly to get the job done. I don't need someone following me around saying "good job, deborah" every 5 minutes either. I need neither a disciplinarian nor a babysitter. Trust me to get the job done to the best of my ability--that's what I was hired for, right?

You will be glad to know I have another raging cramp in my hand so I'll drop this one for now!
:dance:
deb

#4 TBroadfoot3rd

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 01:31 PM

Could it be that being treated like an adult or not also boils down to a thing called respect not just for yourself but for all human beings you come in contact with, it takes no trouble or time to say thank you or hello or smile when passing people during your normal every day life. Looking back at what I just wrote sounds like things from a by gone era considering we live in such a disposable world from diapers to people.

Yes common courtesy is a bug a boo with me also so you are not alone deborah and if we were not the best for the job why did they hire us, employee or free lance we get our tasks because we have shown in some manner to be able to do the job that is needed.

Good luck and congratulations on going back into the work force,

#5 deborah2002

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 01:34 PM

TBroadfoot3rd


Thank you for the kind words--those DO go a long way!

deb omg

#6 stoli

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:16 PM

I agree, positive motivation goes a long way in the work environment.

But I do have issues with some attitudes of employees. It seems like the employer has to take the FULL responsibility of keeping employees motivated to do the job that they were hired to do. Is it not also the employee's responsibilty to stay focused and do your job without blaming the boss for keeping yourself unmotivated?

I think we have to keep in mind that the owner/boss is
1. probably under more pressure to perform than an employee
2. is also human
3. has more at stake to succeed
4. truly wants an employee to do a good job.
5. has bad day's just like any employee
6. has the added worry and responsibility of making sure money is being made to pay employees.

Sure, treating people with respect is key and I am not trying to be cold and abrasive. I just feel like owners have to wear a lot of different hats including being a shrink!

I notice that there is a lot of posting here being done during working hours. Now it is none of my business, but I dont think that posting here would be on a job description. Even though you probably could learn more here than on the job! I know, I probably will be FLAMED for writing this!

It is just my point that the employee also shares in the responsibility of finding ways to keep motivated.

#7 Jill

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:53 PM

I know, I probably will be FLAMED for writing this!


No way, flaming is against the rules!

Jill

#8 Scottie

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:57 PM

We tend to look too much on a resume' as the measurement of a person's capabilities.

I have found that when you find that "thing" that makes someone's eyes light up when they talk about it, you've found a keeper. Surprisingly, I've seen people passionate over things from database reporting to cleaning floors. When someone really takes pride in their work, it shows.

If you don't love what you do, why are you spending so much time doing it?

#9 deborah2002

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 04:02 PM

Well, I for one love these forums. Yeah, some of the postings are for fun, yet I DO utilize them for knowledge.

My need of CSS tutorials brought me so much valuable info from people who knew how to help and where to find it. That makes my time here valuable.

My boss has no problem with me being on this forum, as she knows that a peer group is almost like a seminar/conference without the expense!

Depending on how they are used, forums can be a rich form of information from people in the same boat (or maybe a yacht......). As long as it's not abused (like some weird-oid chat room), I will stay!

That may have sounded a bit vigilant, and if so, sorry!

deb :cheers:

#10 dragonlady7

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 04:07 PM

Yes, the employee does share responsibility for keeping motivated.
Despite my b****ing, I do get quite a lot done.
However, I also feel like I'm working despite my superiors.
The reason those higher up in an organization are held to be more responsible for the ability of those below them to succeed is that it *is* their responsibility. I spend an awful lot of time being a shrink, figuring out when it's best to argue with my boss, when it's best to not talk to him at all, when he's going to have a violent outburst if I should dare to contravene him even if what he's telling me to do isn't right.
So, a manager needs to do just that. I understand that even the best of them have bad days, but they *do* get paid more. For a reason. They are *in charge* of those below them, and more often than not if there is a problem seriously affecting an employee's motivation, that employee is powerless to make what changes need to be made.

Most workers are happiest with a clear chain of command, where the responsibilities of each role are clearly delineated. I get an awful lot of things that are My Problem when they're not something that is My Job, and therefore that I have any power over. It's not fair to blame me for them, and doing so really, really impacts my morale.

So, in general, my sympathies lie with those who have less power. It's not always their own fault if they're not doing the best they can, because those whose job it is to ensure that they can aren't doing their own jobs. I don't have the information I need to complete a task, but will be disciplined if I don't finish the task. How is that supposed to make me feel? Do I relish the challenge?
No, not every working day of every year, I do not.

I'm not asking for my hand to be held, or to be treated as special. I would just like to do the job I was hired to do-- first, to have that job defined would be helpful-- and if not given the tools to do it, at least be given some kind of a hint as to where to find the tools myself. Most of the time wasted is not wasted in forums, it's waiting to hear from people too busy to tell you necessary things. I would also like common courtesy, would love for my personal space to be respected, would love not to be shouted at, and would really, truly relish having my expertise respected and not being treated as a child. I'm only 23 but I know more about HTML and search engines than anyone here, and I'm a pretty darn good writer. I get patronized hourly if not minutely, so I'm finding it hard to figure out where to start improving my own bad attitude.
I do understand that I whine an awful lot, but I have very few outlets other than this, and I try to balance that with providing actual relevant information.
So...
That's all the coherence I can muster. I am exhausted, and I am going to go home and attempt to scratch together dinner on $3 worth of groceries and some stale bread. I don't have time or money to go grocery shopping. I will work on my professional website when I'm done doing the dishes, if I can still focus my eyes. I'm not saying my job is The Worst Ever, I just know that there are a lot of things about it I'm having great difficulty in dealing with. And I'm not alone in saying that about this particular job or company.

#11 qwerty

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 04:49 PM

An employee can't be held responsible for their performance if the people above them don't do their job properly. Management is so much more than cracking the whip.

When I was a manager for a huge company, my own semi-annual evaluations would always have the same thing in the "Need to Improve" column: in my District Manager's opinion, I was not tough enough on my staff. Where did he get that idea? It wasn't from watching me work; he only came in twice a year, to show me what he'd put in my evaluation. It was, IMO, based on the fact that I didn't have the kind of staff turnover all the other managers did. It was pretty normal in the company for an employee to stick around for a month or two. At my place, the average was a few years.

Was this because I was easy on them? I don't think so. We had the best record for accuracy in the company, so it's not as if people were slacking off and I was ignoring it. I made an effort to make people understand why it was important for me, for the company, and for them, for them to do their jobs as well as possible. I made sure they were never afraid to ask me a question if they weren't sure of what to do in a given situation. I praised them when they did a good job and I gave them constructive criticism when they didn't.

All this was a mystery to my boss. This wasn't his management style at all. Yelling and blaming had always worked quite well for him. And he never seemed to wonder why the managers working under him seemed so unhappy.

#12 deborah2002

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 07:57 PM

Dragonlady, I gotta tell ya (cuz I already have and repetition is a thing with me), life is too darn short to spend it badly.

I have told ya'll about the last year w/me (the horrible still-ongoing divorce from "Satan" and my new job I have fallen a$$ backwards into). I KNOW how it feels to be trapped. You are 23 and there are unlimited things you can do with your potential. I hate to sound like an old lady (I am only 34 but I am fearing I have become my mother), but you have to change NOW, while you can. Don't let others hinder your spirit and determination.


qwerty, If you have managed to keep employees for years as opposed to weeks/months then your boss (at the time) shoulda given you a raise. It takes a lot of time and money to interview/hire/train someone. You saved him (or her?) a pretty penny. Good for you. THAT in and of itself says something about your management skills.

This post doesn't have any real point, I guess. I've been on both sides of the fence in my life. This thread began with me pointing out that common courtesy and respect go a long way, regardless if you are the CEO or the customer service rep who get's all the crap from your customers.

I'm embarrassed as to how big my soap box has gotten.....thanks for the spotlight....
:cheers:

deb

#13 Scottie

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:31 PM

It's not always their own fault if they're not doing the best they can, because those whose job it is to ensure that they can aren't doing their own jobs.

Doing a job the best you can (even if it is a crappy job) is a matter of personal pride. And self-esteem.

That doesn't mean doing the job the best it CAN be done, simply doing it to the best of your ability and being able to end the day feeling like you did the best you could.

I can't imagine going to work each day and spending the day saying,"not my fault, not my job". What good can come from that?

Don't let others hinder your spirit and determination.


:P Deborah! Great post.

#14 qwerty

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:49 PM

That doesn't mean doing the job the best it CAN be done, simply doing it to the best of your ability and being able to end the day feeling like you did the best you could.

I think I actually have to take issue with that, Scottie. In an extreme case, where one boss tells you one thing and another boss tells you something else, where they refuse to make it clear what you're supposed to be doing and you know that anything you do is just going to ripped apart by one or both of them, the best thing you can do is sit on your hands until you can get everyone to agree on exactly what you're supposed to accomplish.

Maybe in such a case, the best thing you can accomplish is just the act of making it clear that you need them to get their stories straight.

And speaking of accomplishing things, I just got me an HR3 :P

#15 Scottie

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 11:09 PM

Whoo hoo! Go Bob! :P

the best thing you can do is sit on your hands until you can get everyone to agree on exactly what you're supposed to accomplish.

Do you sit on your hands, or do you try to get people to define what they want? I can almost guarantee if you wait for someone to work it out and tell you, it won't happen.

I've worked for some rotten bosses. Multiple bosses, absent bosses, bosses who wanted scapegoats and got away with it.

That doesn't stop you from doing the best you can with what you've got. It doesn't mean it's effective or done right, but when you know you did your best, that's all you can do. It doesn't stop you from trying to change things for the better in your own tiny sphere of influence.

And if it's really that bad, you leave. Maybe it's just a personal thing, but I couldn't stand to go in to work every day thinking,"I'm just gonna do the minimum and go home because everyone else does."

The reason that particular phrase struck me wrong is because I've heard it soooo many times. And once you adopt that mode of thinking, you are very much a part of the problem.




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