Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Transform HR. Transform the organization.

May 29, 2014

Psychologists have discovered that humans have a limited amount of self-control to exert each day. Self-control isn’t just about cutting out carbs or going to the gym. It’s about the energy we need to make choices, manage fear and frustration, experience change, learn something new or control stress.   As employers, every time we require employees to use some level of self-control, we’re depleting their energy. And, when our energy’s gone, we’re less creative, we lose our focus and we lack the drive needed to bounce back from frustration or failure.

It occurs to me that Human Resources should be responsible for harnessing and maintaining human energy. In the world of business, the majority of our energy should be focused on doing our jobs – not filling out reports, attending meetings or responding to hundreds of emails. We’ve all heard companies say that people are their greatest asset and yet most do little to protect their employees from the countless distractions that turn work into drudgery.

Think of how efficient and effective an organization would be if its employees could actually do what they love — their jobs. Recruiting costs would plummet, attrition rates would fall, healthcare costs would decline and productivity and engagement would rise exponentially. I believe HR should look for every opportunity to increase and protect their organization’s greatest asset – human energy. Of course, many employees would say that HR is the biggest self-control abuser.   They’re seen as the gatekeepers, policy setters, corporate bureaucrats and time wasters. That’s all the more reason for HR to take on this transformation.

Here’s how to start.

  • Know your employees: Find out what activities or experiences cause employee dissatisfaction and which are motivational. Start by looking at Herzberg’s Hygiene and Motivational Factors for clues.
  • Remove roadblocks within HR: Make the decision to reduce non-job-related distractions by 25% within 12 months. Get rid of redundant paperwork, simplify forms and processes and reduce the number of initiatives that require employee time and attention outside of their jobs.
  • Look beyond HR: Seek out and find those areas within your organization that zap energy. Educate leaders, managers and supervisors on how to maximize energy and reduce employee dissatisfaction. Enact a zero tolerance policy for unnecessary initiatives and programs and build a culture that simply won’t abide employees who create chaos and dissatisfaction.
  • Increase energy: Be a resource to help your company identify ways to energize and motivate employees.   Unless you’re dealing with a sales force, money isn’t a motivator. Pay people competitively and then focus on those things that truly matter. Read Drive by Daniel Pink for more ideas.

Employee engagement results when we reduce the things that deplete our energy and increase the things that energize it. It’s that simple.   A single focus – increasing energy – should drive every decision HR makes, every single day. It will reduce choices and illuminate a path that will lead everyone in the department, and ultimately, the organization to something truly important.

For more information, contact Sue Keever Watts at


Motivate your team! Now.

September 20, 2013

The Heart of Recruiting: Motivate Your Team, Now!
by Sue Keever Watts
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
September 18, 2013

It’s week four of college football, classes have begun, and campus recruiting is officially under way. By now, most of you have set your goals, established metrics, determined your strategy, and brought together your campus recruiting teams for a kick-off meeting. Like any other season opener, we feel a sense of anticipation, excitement, and energy. And, following every new beginning, there’s the dreaded middle. The middle is the most critical part of the journey, and yet it receives the least attention.

I encourage you to take the time, now, to motivate your team. The best way to do that is to be very intentional in your communication. Look for little ways to keep the momentum going, offer words of inspiration and gratitude, and remind the team where you’re headed. Go to to see a sample of a tactical communications plan that I created for a large employer.

It’s my experience that the little things are what truly matter to people. Participating on a campus team is time consuming and it’s rare that an employee’s workload is reduced to accommodate the extra hours. But, when you make people feel like part of something significant and acknowledge their contributions, then it’s worth the journey. The heart of recruiting involves keeping an eye on the end result, but never forgetting that the most important part is in the middle.