Dec 222011

Do you manage your people with Fear, or with Love?

How do you manage or motivate your employees? Do you manage your employees with fear, or do you inspire support from your employees as a way to meet your company’s objectives and goals?

Managing people with Fear:

I love this quotation: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” This is one of the best examples of how to motivate or manage out of fear. It’s like saying: I’ll pay you $100,000.00 a year, and for every mistake you make, I’ll take away 10%. As opposed to: I’ll pay you $85,000.00 and for every innovative or creative idea you come up with that adds to the bottom line, I’ll pay you an additional 10%. One is motivating negatively, and the other is motivating positively.

Managing out of fear is no way to manage your employees, if you expect them to produce beyond their capability! When you manage out of fear you back your employee into a corner and dare them to make a mistake. What happens is, they not only do what’s safe and under the radar, but they will also not put effort towards being more efficient or creative in fear of making a mistake. If you’re goal is to be average then manage your employees with fear!

Managing people with Love:

Man’s greatest need and desire is to love and be loved, but us men don’t, and can’t talk about love. Talking about love means you’re soft, a mama’s boy and can’t handle life as it is because of your need to express love. But when it’s all said and done, Love is still and will always be man’s greatest need!

It is said that there are 3 types of love: the love of a spouse, the love of “fellow man” and the love of life’s simple things. When talking about your employees, it’s the love of your “fellow man.” You love them the same way an athlete loves his teammates. “There is no greater love than when a man lays down his life for another.” Like your teammates, you should care about your employees. You want the best for your employees/teammates because you know when they succeed, you succeed.

So how do you “love your employees?” Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • An employee cannot separate his personal life from his professional life. As they cannot leave their work at the office, they cannot leave their home life at home (it’s always with them). If there is trouble at home it comes to the office. Conversely, if there’s trouble in the office, it will come home. When you hire an engineer, you are not just hiring an engineer. You’re hiring an engineer with a personal life. Maybe that engineer has a family with 4 kids, maybe he/she is divorced, and maybe he/she has a pile of debt from college loans and has the expenses of taking care of his/her widowed mother. Whether you like it or not, that engineer’s personal baggage is now a part of your company.
  • You must invest in your employees! So what should you invest in?

It’s You’re Time!

When you show your employee you care about them, they will begin to care about you and the goals you set. Investing your time in your employees is an investment in both you and them. When you invest in both their professional lives and their personal lives, you’re dealing with the whole person. My mentor, Tom Hassey taught me if you can, “take the temperature” or “take the pulse” of your employees every day. He would encourage me to talk to each employee once a day, every day. In addition he taught me to have at least one personal conversation per day with each employee and make sure the conversation does not revolve around work. If you have 100 employees, it’s impossible to talk to each one everyday, but you can talk to them at least once a week or every other week. The key is to take a personal interest in every employee.

Another important investment you can make in your employee (and again it’s free) is to have some kind of connection with your employee’s spouse. This can be done at the company picnic, Christmas party or a year-end retreat. Reaching out to the spouses tells them that you care enough to understand that you’re an employer/person who cares about there personal life, not just their professional life. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to take time at one of the company functions is to tell all the spouses Thank You! Thank you for the support and understanding with all the hours their spouses are putting in each week. You will earn major points and a great deal of support from your employees if you pay attention to their spouses’! Use that company Christmas party and picnic to your advantage! Trust me it’s one of the cheapest investments in time you can ever make!

  • Tom Hassey would always tell me: “take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of you. If you don’t take care of your employees, they’ll take whatever they can from you!” Taking care of your employees is not a management principle, it should be a way of life! If you’re looking for your employees to succeed for themselves and for you, at minimum you have to have show an interest in their professional life and their personal life. The “My way or the highway” way of managing people is over. Today’s more successful manager uses a collaborative method of managing, by asking the opinions of your employees, forming groups to handle projects and appointing and empowering a team for honest feedback on internal issues to accomplish the companies goals and objectives.
  • Lastly, whatever method of management you use, it better be real and it better be sincere. People can detect the “BS” factor faster than you can imagine, and they will smell what you’re stepping in so be careful!

It’s your investment in your employees which will help you to be successful!

  One Response to ““The beatings will continue until morale improves””

  1. Thank you so much for reminding me of these things. Right now my coworkers and
    I joke using this phrase about “the beatings will continue” because we have a very
    controlling, dishonest, manipulative and extremely negative general foreman. Your
    text is a positive glimmer of work as it could be, not as it is. But alas, I can only control
    myself, so this has only a few avenues left for me.
    By the way, I refuse to change, debase myself by goofing off or “taking whatever I can
    from him, them. It is human nature to want take advantage of an abuser. But that does not always happen.
    Most people are good, and like to do good, not evil or bad. All the same, thank you so very much.
    I look forward to reading more of yours.

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