Motivation of changegreenspun.com : LUSENET : What keeps you up at night? : One Thread
I work in the Ontario Provincial Government. Currently we are undergoing a massive change to deliver gov't services online. Many changes are taking place and my task is to help managers keep their employees motivated during the uncertainty over the next few years. How do you keep employees motivated about their work during the change when you (as their manager) don't have many answers to give them?
-- Shawna McLean (email@example.com), September 28, 2000
From the limited information you provided, I'd say your best shot to keep them motivated is to get them involved in the change process. Let them offer suggestions if not, "what" to implement, then "how" to implement it.
-- Jeff Gossett (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2000.
Honesty. People will ALWAYS find the truth, through you or around you. Honesty will build loyalty and honesty in return.
-- Tim Thomas (email@example.com), October 03, 2000.
As an employee currently on the other side of a similar situation, I would definitely agree with the first two answers given. My company is going through tremendous changes right now, and as a loyal and hardworking employee, it's very frustrating to constantly be given little, if any answers by management regarding our futures. It certainly has alienated me from the company and made me feel like an outsider. It's understandable that management may not be able to share specifics with everyone, but employees can definitely sense when information is being kept from them. Be forthright and keep them, as much as possible, informed of what is going on. Communicate regularly, even if it's just to say that you understand the uncertainty they are feeling.
-- Jennifer Chong (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 03, 2000.
Like above, always tell the truth, not knowing an answer is much better than giving one just to give one (when they will find out the truth later).If you don't know tell them you will find out and then report back, even if its "I am still checking". Instead of focusing on the long term changes, break things up into segements. People can be overwhelmed very easily. Show them the entire picture but focus on one area of it. Create what I call Jigsaw Project Phase Development.
-- Mike Ross (email@example.com), October 04, 2000.
If you don't have answers to give to them, you tell them that you don't have answers to give to them and you ask them if they have any answers. Guess what Shawna? They will give you answers, the question is then, what will you do when you get those answers?
If people don't think their answers are being channelled or more importantly people are not being honest with their answers, how do you expect them to be motivated. People who work for the Ontario Provincial Government don't work in a coalmine but they do understand the pitfalls working in a Government bureaucracy.
First you have to find out what people are thinking and I mean listen. Don't assume the answers, let the answers come to you by synthesising the greatest amount of input. Sometimes a picture of the organization may emerge from these discussions but beware of illusions. The better your questions, the wider your scope, the more you will find your mind changing about what really is important to the organization.
By letting people get issues off their chest and into the open and by making them into constructors rather than destructors of the change, people will help you climb the hurdles if you let them help you climb.
And one other thing Shawna. There will be people in the organization who are going to be cancerous to the change process. It is a difficult job to sit back and assess who they are, but you can recognize them usually because they do not let others speak, or they interupt them and try to speak for them. It is a delicate job making sure that you hear what they are saying but not giving them group power by allowing them to be the voice of the silent majority. The best solutions in your case lie at the centers rather than the extremes. Organizations can become very good at listening to the extremes, without realizing that their silent but best workers are leaving in the hole they created in the middle.
-- Mark Zorro (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 05, 2000.
As a college student not in the "real world"--- yet!!!----, I cannot give really expert answers. However, if I was in such a situation as the people you work with, I would be asking ALOT of questions. Sometimes, like when I get a bad test grade and go to my professor, his/her's listening is the best thing I could get-- even though the final result has not changed. Listen--- do alot of one-on-one if you can. That's my advice......
-- Ryan Silvashy (email@example.com), October 05, 2000.