Posted by: knightbird | September 10, 2010

Motivation in the Workplace

I just watched a humorous animation about “A Video Showing Office 5S Gone Wrong” posted by Mark Graban. It reminded me of a story I listened to at a management training workshop oh so many years ago. In the video, in response to a question by the employee, the boss figure said:

Employee: Do I have to put tape around my family photos?

Boss: I’m glad you asked. You are no longer allowed to personalize your workspace. We must be lean.

The story I heard was about a military contractor who brought in an efficiency expert to improve productivity. One of the requirements was removal of employee personal material from their work space in order to minimize distractions. So, down came the pictures of the kids, the wife (it was a male workplace back then, husband pictures would be included now), the girlfriend or boyfriend, the car, the boat, the vacation spot. The workplace was stripped of all personal effects.

And, production went down. Morale went down. What the efficiency experts failed to include in their tool kit was an assessment of why we work. I have pictures of my kids all over my office. I work for the future of my company and the people we serve, and I work for the world that my children will live in. It’s a POWERFUL MOTIVATOR. People are our greatest asset, and we must remember that they are motivated by their family, their vacations, their fishing trips, their homes, gardens and toys. Let them be happy. Let them have reminders of why they work in their workspace.

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