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Motivate Your Staff

You want to make your employees “act” like the owners of the plan. Most Strategic Managers will give you an example of why, “You don’t see many people taking rental cars to car washes simply because they do not own the cars.” If you want the strategic plan to prevail, you must have some acceptance from the employees and try to connect them to the plan. What can you do to create ownership? Some areas to consider are:

  • Having employees establish their own goals
  • Having employees produce the results for their measures
  • Creating career challenges

What Other Governments are Doing

According to the United Nation, “Studies have shown that reduced salaries, insufficient equipment to perform work duties, dysfunctional government budgets and the pressure to remain effective while cutting resources and costs have affected service motivation in many countries. It has been suggested that to improve the motivation of employees, public service institutions could seek to select candidates with public service values, design meaningful jobs, create conducive work environments, encourage leaders with values and promote a civic-minded society.”

What the Private Sector is Doing

The saying "A picture is worth 1,000 words” holds true in an example from Cedars-Sinai Hospital where they were having a little trouble reaching their goal of 100% of doctors washing their hands. Instead of bombarding doctors, who did not wash their hands, with emails, lectures, and notes, the staff decided to reward doctors who participated with gift cards to Star Bucks. Participation increased, but the hospital was not at their 100% goal. To obtain the hospitals goal, doctors were given petri dishes, with the bacteria of their hands cultured in the plate. One image from this culture produced an image with over 1,000 statistical tables. This image helped doctors realize what was occurring and caused them to change their habits.

According to Forbes Magazine, 2014, Business Owners want employees to take ownership as well. Some ways autonomy could be increased are:

  • Involving staff in making decisions that influence their work
  • Encouraging staff to apply their own judgment when solving problems
  • Avoiding management practices and processes that constrain autonomy, such as directive styles of management, excessive monitoring, or unnecessary approvals

Reference Materials

Behn, Robert. "Esteem Opportunities." Vol. 11. No.9. 2004. Web. 28 April 2015

Behn, Robert. "Ratcheting Up Performance." Vol. 7. No.1. 2009. Web. 28 April 2015

Bullock, Robert. "Motivating Employees Has Everything To Do With Giving Them Feelings Of Ownership." Forbes. 25, September 2014.

Dubner, Stephen, and Stephen Levitt. "Selling Soap." New York Times. September 24, 2006.

United Nations Development Programme. "Motivation of Public Service Officials: Insights for Practitioners." Global Center for Public Service Excellence. 2014.