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9 Ways to Get Psyched About Work

Are your employees psyched? Are you?


Works goes smoother when your employees are properly motivated. And you become more productive when you are psyched as well. Jon Gordon, consultant for NFL teams and Fortune 500 companies (also author of The Shark and the Goldfish), has 9 crucial tips for those looking to re-energize their workforce, themselves, or both.

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#1: "Focus on people, not numbers"


What does that mean? Gordon suggests that you "take a step back and remember that your company isn’t what shows up in the finance department’s spreadsheets—it’s the finance people themselves, and the HR department, and the salespeople, and support staff. Ultimately, an organization’s failure or success is determined by the moods, innovation, energy, thoughts, and behaviors of the people who work there."

If you are spending too much time sweating the small details, maybe you should be focused on your people instead. Don't crack down on small expenses... work on boosting the team's overall mood and you will have a more motivated (and profitable) workforce.

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#2: "Model good behavior"


"Leaders set the tone for how employees respond to almost every situation. They can inspire, or they can extinguish. For example if you greet a worker cheerfully even though you’ve both had to come into work an hour early, he’s likely to mirror that attitude. Remember, whatever you expect from your people, you must also expect from your senior leadership."

Gordon has a really good point here. A cheerful manager can keep the whole sales floor buzzing, but a lethargic or negative leader can kill the vibe just as quickly.

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#3: "Practice positive leadership"


Gordon preaches the importance of practicing what he calls positive leadership. "And no, 'positive leadership' doesn’t simply mean the absence of overt negativity. It means remaining purposeful in the face of adversity. While it’s important to acknowledge the obstacles your organization is facing (after all, no one really respects a naïve Pollyanna!), don’t dwell on them in meetings or in individual conversations, and don’t bring up bad news before you’ve pointed out one or two things that are going well. Instead of being disappointed by where you are, optimistically focus on where you are going."

So don't drop anything terribly negative until at least a couple positives have been mentioned. Compliment before you criticize. That makes sense.

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#4: "Fill the void"


"These are uncertain times. Employees are questioning how their industries and jobs will be impacted by the current economy. They’re unsure about what actions to take."

Gordon believes that constant communication with employees, from the top, is the key to avoiding negative gossip and fear in the workplace. Make yourself a constant presence. Gossip cannot "breed" in an office where the boss is always around to answer questions and reassure concerned employees.

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#5: Get rid of "energy vampires"


Gordon believes it is important to eliminate continuous cynics from the workplace because they sap energy from the group. Even if a "complainer" is your top performer, his or her negative attitude will seep into the group's overall mood -- such an "energy vampire" should be let go and sent packing (but first give them a chance to reform their ways). Tough love, but Gordon believes it is necessary. No one likes a whiner.

Photo Credit: Sabrina Campagna

#6: "Forbid complaining"


"Successful organizations with great cultures focus on solutions, not on complaints. The rule is simple. Let your employees know that they are not allowed to complain unless they also offer solutions."

I would complain about this tip, but it's forbidden. FORBIDDEN. So here's a solution: click to the next slide.

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#7: "Teach your people to be heroes, not victims"


"Heroes get back up while victims simply give up. Help your employees to realize that they are not victims of circumstance. Rather, remind them that they have a high locus of control—in other words, they have a significant influence over how things turn out."

It's simple: an empowered employee is a more effective worker. Teach your workers to quickly brush off a client's rejection or bounce back from lower than expected sales results.

Photo Credit: Jason Gulledge

#8: "Focus on the small wins"


"Always place your attention on those little, ordinary, non-spectacular 'wins' that add up to big successes."

Don't be afraid to send out a mass e-mail complimenting an employee on a job well done. Give praise for small achievements so workers know you are observant, and give credit where its due. This will encourage them to go for those bigger wins.

Photo Credit: TedsBlog

#9: "Have sharks in your key positions"


"When the economy was thriving, it didn’t matter as much if key employees turned in a mediocre performance. Now, that isn’t the case."

Gordon suggests that you put the most driven, ruthless "shark" types in key leadership and sales roles -- save tamer "goldfish" employees for positions that involve managing relationships, customer service, etc.

Photo Credit: StormyDog

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