Here is an article written by Jeff Haden for MoneyWatch, The CBS Interactive Business Network. To check out an abundance of valuable resources and obtain a free subscription to one or more of the MoneyWatch newsletters, please click here.
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Pay only goes so far. Higher salaries are like the bigger house syndrome: Move into a bigger house and initially it feels roomier, but after awhile larger becomes the new normal.
Employees don’t automatically perform at higher levels if wages are higher because commitment, dedication, and motivation are not based on pay. No matter how high the salary, if you treat employees poorly they won’t care — about their jobs or your business.
Here are [four of] eight reasons employees don’t care:
1. No freedom. Best practices are definitely important, but not every task deserves a best practice or micro-managed approach. Autonomy breeds engagement and satisfaction. Autonomy also breeds innovation. Even manufacturing and heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches or paths. Decide which process battles are worth fighting; otherwise, let employees have some amount of freedom to work they way they work best.
2. No targets. Goals are fun. (I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t at least a little bit competitive.) Targets create a sense of purpose and add meaning to even the most repetitive tasks. Without a goal to shoot for, work is just work.
3. No sense of mission. We all like to feel a part of something bigger. Striving to be worthy of words like “best” or “largest” or “fastest” or “highest quality” provides a sense of purpose. Let employees know what you want the business to achieve; how can they care about your dreams if they don’t know your dreams?
4. No clear expectations. While every job should include decision-making latitude, every job also has basic expectations regarding the way certain situations should be handled. Criticize an employee for providing a refund today even though last week refunds were standard procedure and you’ve lost the employee. (How can I do a good job when I don’t know what doing a good job means?) When standards change, always communicate those changes first — then stick with them. And when you don’t, explain why this particular situation is different.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about management as he worked his way up the printing business from forklift driver to manager of a 250-employee book plant. Everything else he knows, he has picked up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest CEOs he knows in business. He has written more than 30 non-fiction books, including four Business and Investing titles that reached #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list. He’d tell you which ones, but then he’d have to kill you.
Visit his website at: www.blackbirdinc.com