Recruiting, developing, and retaining good talent is on the minds of every manager and business owner. While there is always some new concept or fancy solution, the growth minded leader is always working to improve themselves and their team. Often this means asking some difficult questions as we review our own performance. For those professionals looking for some assistance in employee motivation, we will review two motivational mistakes and what you can do to remedy them. Robert More joined us for a live discussion on The DYOJO Podcast, Episode 88 and asked our guest, Josh Zolin,
As a manager, one thing I have observed that kills employee passion is the lack of training or advancement opportunities. Do you have any advice on how to combat that within a growing company?
Motivational Mistake #1 - Making empty promises at the time of hire
Josh Zolin is an author, speaker, and the owner of the rapidly growing Windy City Equipment (WCE) in Phoenix, Arizona. He stated, "That's tough and you're absolutely right. The lack of training and advancement can be a passion suck for many employees."
On area that Josh encourages managers and business owners it to be intentional in the phrasing and promises, perceived or actual, during the employee recruitment stage. By not being clear about the state of growth the business is in and not having a clear pathway to advancement, there is fertile ground for miscommunication which leads to unrealistic expectations. To be fair, many people in a position of leadership aren't lying, they are speaking from their vision and their intentions but the foundation hasn't been laid and the organization isn't ready for the types or pace of advancement that some employees may desire.
Another mistake I've made, I used to sell our aspirations.
Motivational Mistake #2 - Selling your aspirations rather than your reality
Josh mentions that he has used phrases in the past like, "We're going to train you fast growing company. So, there's going to be lots of advancement..." Speaking from his heart but not thinking through the expectation that it may be planting in the employees thought process. With several years of failures and experience under his belt, he now is much more intentional in the recruiting, hiring, and goal setting phase of onboarding new employees.
He noted that there were a lot of people that reach the six month mark in an organization and wonder why they don't have a significant raise or a promotion. As an owner and people manager, Josh realized that he was setting up the wrong expectations by not clarifying the situation and the conditions that would need to be met for those next steps to be taken. Now the employee is frustrated and the company has to take responsibility for their unclear and inconsistent process.
Josh recommends the following for managers and business owners,
Be transparent up front. Say something like, 'We are a quick growing company, we suck at training, It's something that we really want to do something we want to get better at, and maybe you can help with that. I can't promise that you're going to get a promotion tomorrow, but I can promise that if we get the results from you that we need, advancement is an opportunity in the future. Be crystal clear about your process.
Clarity, consistency, and accountability
To answer the question of offsetting the demotivation that comes from a lack of training or advancement opportunities, Josh advises, "Be crystal clear about where you are and what your process is." By doing so, Mr. Zolin believes that your will also help our organization to, "Weed out the people in the beginning that could ultimately be susceptible to this passion suck." Managers and owners might be tempted to think that employees have unrealistic expectations about advancement, but they also have ask themselves a few key questions:
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