Driven to Drink?


A play on the old adage says, “You can lead an employee to water, but you can’t make them drink.” With tongue firmly in cheek, I suggest you want to avoid “driving them to drink.” Here are a few things I am hearing from deep inside my client organizations that just may be making your employees a might bit frustrated.

  1. Where are we going boss? The last couple of years have been full of messages about where not to go. Don’t spend money. Don’t hire. Don’t take on any new projects. Employees are hearing we have turned the corner on the recession and want to hear from you what we Do now. Vision matters.

  2. Where am I going boss? Employees understand that the focus has been on keeping the ship afloat, and they have been content to merely watch their place on the ship. Now that the rough seas have settled a bit, they want to know if there is a more meaningful role for them moving forward. Time to have some serious employee development meetings, especially with your top talent that may be looking at other ships to board!

  3. We all sacrificed. Who recovers what when? Most employees have taken some financial hit during the recession. They may have had any merit increase put on hold, expanded their work week, lost benefits, or even had a wage cut. At the same time other stakeholders, including shareholders, have seen their gains fall as well. Employees want to know where they fall in the pecking order of constituents...who benefits from the recovery first and how much? Although money may not motivate, perceived inequity of rewards absolutely demotivates!

  4. If things are getting better, why is your brow in a permanent furrow? Put a smile on your face and show some optimism...even if you need to fake it in the short term.

These economic times are tough on everybody’s psyche. The truth is, people are tired, and even a little dejected. Some have disengaged as a coping measure. Some have even turned to unhealthy ways to escape the stress. It is time to start pursuing meaningful goals again and tap the passion that results from the shared pursuit of noble possibilities.


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