June 2012 Newsletter (The Motivation Issue)

In This Issue
:: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
:: Boosting Employee Motivation
:: Foster a Sense of Mastery
:: The Person Who Sweeps the Floor Should Choose the Broom

Over the course of my 20-year history developing leaders, working to build strong teams, and creating optimal work environments, I've learned many simple, practical and cost effective ways to help individuals, teams and organizations thrive.  The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a forum where I can share some of the practical tools that can shift your culture forward.



"Recently I attended a management seminar taught by Gary Ford at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.  He led a particularly engaging demonstration about how to increase staff motivation.  Gary showed us how to foster an innovative and fun work environment while holding team members accountable to high standards of performance."


Sheila Gothmann, Youthprise logo

Finance and Operations Director, 




Boosting Employee Motivation

Current Offering

Do your managers know how to motivate their staff? They may be familiar with traditional forms of extrinsic or external motivation: bonuses, Starbucks cards, and pizza parties. Since the downturn in the economy, however, budgets for tangible rewards are smaller than ever. What your managers need is an understanding of how to tap into their employees' intrinsic or internal motivation.


In this 4-hour, interactive workshop, your organization's supervisory staff will:


     Understand the downside of relying too 

      heavily on external forms of motivation.

     Experience practical tools leaders can use 

      to tap into the staff's intrinsic motivation.

     Identify appropriate ways to increase 

      staff autonomy and initiative.


To bring this workshop to your organization, contact GLFord Consulting.


The Person Who Sweeps The Floor Should Choose The Broom

Quick Tip

Howard Behar, a retired senior executive from Starbucks, has a favorite saying, "The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom." I couldn't agree more. The more decision making authority staff has over how they do their jobs, the more motivated they are to do them. When leaders provide staff with big picture measures of success and constraints and then get out of their way and let them figure it out themselves, it is highly motivating.


Cover of DriveDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us 

Reading Recommendation

I've recommended this book before, but I think it's worth plugging a second time--especially in a newsletter devoted entirely to the topic of increasing motivation.


In Drive, author Daniel Pink talks about a powerful form of motivation: intrinsic motivation, that motivation that comes from within when we're enjoying work because the work is its own reward. This is great for any organization who has found that its ability to provide tangible and financial rewards has been curtailed since the downturn in the economy.


Daniel Pink provides practical tools for leaders who want to create highly motivating environments for staff that don't rely on external rewards. The key is increasing staff Autonomy, putting more of the decisions that affect them in their own hands; Mastery, giving staff a sense of ongoing progress and development in the work they do; and Purpose, communicating more about why the work employees are engaged in is meaningful.


Foster a Sense of Mastery  
Quick Tip

One way to increase employee motivation is to put mechanisms in place to increase feedback to employees about the progress they're making. Think about the image of a thermometer during a charitable donation campaign.  As you get closer to hitting your goal in a campaign for charity, the thermometer gets more and more red. It's motivating to have a visual that tells you how close you are getting to your goal.  So what can function as the thermometer for your staff?  Maybe it's a matter of your more frequently communicating progress toward a given goal. Maybe there are performance metrics that employees can enter into a shared spreadsheet so they can see how they're doing month over month. Having a sense of getting better and better at something is highly motivating.

For more articles and information about offerings visit www.GLFordConsulting.com.  I hope the information in this newsletter sparked an idea or action that will make your work environment more productive and more nourishing.  Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone in your network who you think might benefit from the content. 

Please forward this newsletter to anyone in your organization who makes decisions about engaging external facilitators, soft skills trainers, and HR consultants.  Thank you!
Warm regards,

Gary Ford
GLFord Consulting