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How Can You Inspire Your Employees to Care?

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Tue Aug 20 2013

How Can You Inspire Your Employees to Care?
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Bookstores, our offices, and homes are peppered with countless books, articles, and workbooks describing how to lead, motivate, and inspire employees. Every management guru has their own theory as to why their method is the Holy Grail, and what the other guy is promoting is junk. Let me tell you what I think. Want to get your employees to care? I mean really care? Care about them. It’s that simple. Let me tell you a story about why I think this is true.

It was the beginning of my career and I was just hired as a branch manager at a staffing company in Southern California. I was recently out of college—green as a plant—working in one of the most competitive industries around and I didn’t have a clue as what I was doing. Nice, right?

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I was working for the vice president of operations. Impressive title I thought. As the months went by, I worked hard, made mistakes, but you would have never known it by the way I was treated. Now, was I coached? Absolutely. However, it was in a way that made me work three times harder because I could tell she cared about me as a person.

She had a way of delivering bad news in such a way that I felt better when I left her office then before I went in, even though I didn’t know the bad news was coming. That takes skill. She would listen to my ideas, and in so doing, encouraged me to be more creative in my role and ultimately better serve our clients.

I worked for that firm and that same individual for more than 10 years. She was an exceptional leader who had not only earned my respect, but the respect of her many other employees as well.

Bottom line: If you want to inspire your employees to care, then you need to care about them as people. Learn what makes them tick. Listen to their ideas. By doing so, you will spur their creativity—and loyalty. Take the time to coach them when the need arises in a way that is positive, not punitive.

Trust me. You’ll be amazed at the results—truly amazed.

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