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What Managers Can Do
To Rekindle Staff Enthusiasm For Work
by Dr. Beverly Potter
Copryright material. See notice at the bottom

Empowered employees - employees who have a sense of control over their job tasks - are resistant to burnout. Being empowered is having a feeling of "I can do and succeed by doing". Employees who feel they can impact on their work and can "win" by doing a good job retain their enthusiasm and are more motivated.

There are four ways a manager can increase the feeling of controllability among staff: goal setting, feedback, acknowledgment, participation. Each encourages feelings of master. Used in unison they are the most promising way to positive impact on productivity while simultaneously preventing burnout.

Goals are a target. Without a goal a worker is like a ship without a destination, going around and around. Goals provide direction. The goal provides something to aim for and challenges people to stay focused and interested. Who sets the goal and how it is set is important.

Participation helps make employees burnout resistant. The ore influence people have over decisions directly related to their work, the better. When employees participate in setting their goals, they set higher goals and achieve them more often. Employees know more about their jobs than anyone else. Participation enables management access to that vital information. Participation is easy to talk about. The difficulty is in implementing it.

For goals to be effective, there must be feed back on progress towards the goal. The faster, the better. The worker who receives no feedback is like a blindfolded archery student. Without seeing where the arrow hits, the archery apprentice's progress is very slow. Feedback is vital to learning. Feedback is the yardstick we use to measure performance. it tells workers how close they've come to a bull's eye. Giving feedback is the cornerstone of quality supervision.

When and how you pay attention to employees is important. Personal attention is the most universal and most potent motivator. The effective manager looks for small improvements to acknowledge. Acknowledgment coming weeks or months about the action has little motivational clout.

For more information on employee supervison see: Turning Around: Keys To Motivation And Productivity

Copyright 1999: Beverly Potter. From Overcoming Job Burnout: How To Renew Enthusiasm for Work by Dr. Beverly Potter, Ronin Publishing. All rights reserved.

This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires written permission form Beverly Potter.
PO Box 3008, Oakland CA 94609, fax 510/420-3672

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