Great Managers Are Always Nice by Chip Averwater

Chapter 7

A Motivational Environment

I don’t create motivation—employees bring it. I only create an environment that encourages them to use it.

-Mike Mitchell

Let’s watch for TOPSRI as manager Mike Mitchell meets with a new employee.

M:  Welcome to our team, Frank.

     As you saw from our hiring process, we’re very careful in choosing who joins us. We’re impressed with what we see in you, and believe you have the potential to be a star on our team.

Mike’s use of “Team” indicates Frank’s coworkers are committed to and working together toward a common purpose. By nature, people like belonging to a team—working with others, sharing objectives, proving their abilities, and being appreciated for their contributions.

His use of “we” instead of “I” implies respect for team members. He indicates it’s an elite group, instilling pride in Frank for being chosen.

He conveys respect for Frank and expresses confidence in his abilities. Surely Frank would like to live up to those expectations.

And Mike lays out a challenge—for Frank to become a star. People enjoy challenges, especially when they involve proving skills and achieving valued objectives.

F:  Thank you, Mr. Mitchell. I’ll give it my best!

M:  This morning, I’ll give you an overview of what our team does and how we go about it.

     We know we’ll be the buyers’ choice only if we make high quality, dependable products at reasonable costs. To judge how we’re doing, we measure several things: our quality check scores, customer satisfaction ratings, costs per unit, and on-time delivery percentages. We set goals for ourselves for each of these, and we take pride in reaching them.

These are the Objectives—the specific results the team strives for.

Notice that each objective is precise and measurable. “Produce high quality products” is not specific enough to be an effective objective; it’s difficult to measure and would be subject to broad interpretations. Quantifiable objectives are clear, precise, and immediate indicators of performance, allowing the team to see and celebrate their accomplishments and focus on their shortcomings.

Objectives for other teams might include... Great Managers Are Always Nice