In This Issue
Motivating Team Members
During Tough Times
• 5 Tips for Motivating Your
“Employees can get caught up in worrying about ‘what if?’ situations, often
Keep Your Top Performers…...4
when they can’t see how they can control or influence those situations. For
• 10 Questions to Assess Their
example, they may start worrying about their company’s stock price. When this
happens, great managers refocus their teams by saying things like, ‘You know,
• Give Feedback that Counts…..6
we can’t control the stock price. But here are specific things we can influence
• Communications Helpers .…...6
every day as a team and as individual employees that will make us more
--Curt Coffman, co-author of the best-selling book, “First, Break All the
• 3 Leadership Qualities for
Rules.” For more from a recent Q&A with Coffman about motivating during
tough times, click here.
• Self Quiz of the Month: Check
One of the main challenges in a down economy can be a depressing
workplace where employees feel down, which can reduce overall productivity
• 6 Lessons in Leadership from
and get in the way of opportunities, teamwork and creative problem solving.
Try these simple suggestions to keep employees engaged during this
Food for Thought
1. Host informal "coffee talks". Pull an entire work team together to
• Look for Good Team Players
openly talk about what's going on in the world and how it affects business.
• Share “Crucial” Information
Encourage employees to ask questions. This decreases negative rumors
• Positive Feedback
and also gets employees focused on work rather than on griping.
• Ask Them to Rate It
2. Offer "destressor" activities. Hire a local massage school to offer free
• Bad News?........……………….2
10-minute chair massages once every couple of weeks. Look for other
distinctive and fun way to convey that your organization recognizes the
rough times and cares about your staff's well-being.
Share Your Feedback about this
3. Form "new business attack teams". The goal of these employee teams
is to investigate new business development options. By encouraging your
2-Way Compass is a publication
team to focus on the future, motivation can rise quickly.
produced each month especially
for managers and employees at
4. Support community involvement. Provide company time for teams of
Fortune 500 companies and other
employees to serve dinner at a local shelter, help build houses, adopt a
large firms. It contains practical
family for a holiday, or collect money for a common charity. It not only
suggestions for communicating
serves as a motivator in that people feel they are doing something with a
with others in the workplace.
Inside are tips and ideas to take
purpose, but also creates a positive public image.
action on, as well as a forum to get
5. Develop "individualized" motivation plans. Talk with key team
answers to your communications
members about the types of projects, training, experiences or mentors
they would like to have. Times may be tough for people to get jobs, but
L.M. Dulye & Co.
your best people are also the most marketable. One of the main reasons
52 Kain Road, Warwick, NY 10990
people leave or are unmotivated is because they don't feel valued by their
manager or company.
--Adapted from “Workforce” magazine
L.M. Dulye & Co. Presents at Measurement
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Look for Good Team Players
Your employee retention efforts should be
L.M. Dulye & Co. President Linda Dulye will present “How to
selective: Your objective is to retain the best
Use Two-Way Communications to Improve Business
people on your team. But how do you identify
Performance” to Human Resources leaders across America on
them? Lots of key traits can’t be quantified. In
July 22. The workshop -- which is part of the HR Measurement
any work group, though, the most valuable
people will share two important
Summit and sponsored by Shared Services & Outsourcing
characteristics: They are good team players,
Network (a division of IQPC) – will teach business leaders how
ready and able to support the team’s goals
to use 2-way communications practices to build organizational
above their personal objectives; and they
vitality. Click here to learn more.
make people around them look better by
teaching, coaching and supporting their work.
5 TIPS FOR MOTIVATING YOUR
--Adapted from “Keep the People Who Keep You in
Business” by Leigh Branham
Share “Crucial” Information
Research by Harvard Business Review found
More than ever before, companies are restructuring work environments
that quick, informal huddles – rather than
and downsizing because of the depressed economy. Some of our own
formal meetings – were more effective in
clients have recently experienced symptoms of low morale at their
sharing crucial information. The huddles
alerted everyone to urgent issues and
companies, such as employee health problems, leaves of absence,
concerns that would emerge over the day or
absenteeism and dips in productivity. Here are some suggestions from our
week. These quick get-togethers were most
own experience to help you motivate and enhance the performance of
effective when held at the start of the day.
your workforce in these challenging economic times:
1. Communicate goals. Communication cannot be overemphasized,
Positive Feedback: Use a Mix of
particularly in down times. Positive communication should indicate
When giving positive feedback, it’s good to
where the company is going, and begin to align employee-
mix up the style of the messages. While a
performance goals with the changing objectives of your organization.
quick “Good Job” in the hallway is effective
2. Make employees part of the solution. Employees need to be
every now and then, when this fast feedback
involved in decision making, because their buy-in is critical for
is used too often, it loses effectiveness and
can seem insincere. Once in a while, more
motivation and performance. They should be involved in even the
specific feedback is necessary. “I liked your
most difficult decisions.
write-up for the upcoming project. It gave the
3. Offer alternatives. In uncertain times, employees need more, not
important points without getting bogged down
less, structure and focus. Reviewing goals frequently is a critical
element in keeping people on track. While there may be no increases
Ask Them to Rate It “1-5”
in pay available, there may be training programs, career development,
You can’t drop everything when a team
cross training, flexible work schedules and other steps that can be
member brings a problem to your attention.
taken within budgetary constraints. Ask your team to develop goals
But urgency is in the eye of the beholder –
for professional or skills development that will help them achieve the
and sometimes people expect an issue to be
a top priority for you because it is for them.
team’s contribution to the whole.
Encourage your team members to rate the
4. Measure. Make sure employees can measure their own performance
problem’s urgency on a scale of 1 to 5 before
against the key performance factors of the business. This is a key
they approach you. It will help them determine
element of employee motivation because if they cannot measure their
how important an issue really is.
progress, it is unlikely their progress will improve.
Bad News? Focus on the Future
5. Reward. It is especially important that employees feel a sense of
When you have bad news for your team,
accomplishment in their work. By setting up the proper recognition
remember what they want to know most
and rewards, they can feel a sense of team work and be acknowledged
about is the future. Some team leaders spend
for their efforts during these difficult times. If rewards are structured
too much time explaining why a difficult
properly, your team will appreciate their involvement and stay
decision was made. Instead, let them know
what is coming next. Focusing on that will
motivated, even in the absence of monetary rewards or stock options.
help reduce their uneasiness.
Remember: It is easy to forget the importance of employee motivation
and recognition, especially in down times, but it is far more difficult to
replace a key team member who contributes in hundreds of ways that are
unseen each week and year.
3 LEADERSHIP QUALITIES FOR
Cast your vote on L.M. Dulye &
Co.’s online poll. Visit
www.lmdulye.com for the latest
FAST FACT: Forget the old stereotype of the employee who wastes time
question about communications in
at the water cooler, shooting the breeze with fellow employees. A new MIT
the workplace. While you’re there
study shows that employees who discuss work and share ideas are more
check out our practical and
productive than those who don’t.
portable 2-Way Communications
In today’s turbulent economic market, even the strongest and most powerful
Self Quiz of the Month
corporate icons are challenged to find ways to improve their efficiencies. As
they require more work from fewer numbers of people, their top priority is
having effective leaders and managers who can propel their group to
greatness. Unfortunately, many young managers and leaders have never
Do you have what it takes to
seen a tight economy, or at a minimum, have only a faint memory of what it
be a “leader?” Place a
can be like. It’s during these times that leadership skills are put to the test.
checkmark next to the abilities you
The following three leadership qualities are extremely valuable during
feel you have. Then ask a co-worker
robust times, and absolutely essential during challenging times.
to rate you and compare the results.
1. Lend an empathetic ear. While denial is the natural response when
things get tough, ignoring the emotions of your team members only
___ Communicate effectively
causes greater challenges. Create a forum for people to share their
feelings so that they can release them and move on. When people sense
___ Set priorities and action plans
that another doesn’t truly understand their emotions, they tend to stay
___ Learn and improve procedures
charged and keep whining. If you don’t want to be listening to the same
___ See how your responsibility
complaints over and over, then listen with emotion. If someone’s voice
relates to the big picture
is loud and angry, say back in a loud voice, “I feel terrible because I see
___ Analyze problems and make
you are so upset.” Then continue the conversation by dropping your
voice slowly to a normal range. Watch the magic as they defuse by
___ Adapt to changing conditions,
simply knowing you “really got it.”
influences and environments
2. Don’t buy into the “ain’t it awful” story. Everything you hear could
be true. Quarterly profits could be down, market share may be
___ Accept risk and take on difficult
shrinking, and turnover could be high. These and other measurements
are feedback that an organization isn’t doing what it should be doing.
___ Inspire excellence and
Lead your team to the understanding that even during the darkest times,
commitment in others
many do well, and you intend to be one of them. Your team needs to
___ Stand up when under fire
shift out of its doomsday view and into one with possibilities. When
___ Learn from your mistakes
people say, “We can’t because,” the response should always be, “How
can we?” With enough repetition, people will soon come to understand
___ Exhibit strong social and
that results can be achieved no matter what the circumstances.
3. Acknowledge the steps along the way. Frustration runs high when
___ Focus on the end product
things aren’t working well. Employees’ confidence is shaken. When
___ Demonstrate a high tolerance
confidence is low, performance weakens, thereby feeding into the cycle
for stress and pressure
of lower motivation and performance. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Appreciate the little steps along the way during challenging times. Let
Scoring: If you scored 8 or higher,
your team know that you appreciate not only the things they do, but also
your leadership potential is high.
who they are and the efforts they make. Build fun into your
Take corrective action on the items
appreciation. Good organizations, departments and managers thrive
you or your co-workers left
during rough times because they learn to hone their skills like never
before. They’ve discovered that it’s the bad times that make them so
--Adapted from The Center for Creative
much better during the good times.
Leadership, Greensboro, NC
--Adapted from “Motivating Employees During Tough Times” by Roxanne Emmerich,
author of “Thank God It’s Monday: How to Build a Motivating Workplace.”
6 LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP FROM THE MILITARY
“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.”
--Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
The discipline and motivation of the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces is something most managers
admire. Who wouldn’t want to lead a team of enthusiastic, energetic professionals with the courage and determination of
a U.S. Marine? Military leaders have much to offer leaders in the civilian world during both war and peacetime. Here are
six principles and practices that successful military leaders use to keep their teams focused and motivated:
1. Correct the small details. Good military leaders at all levels know that attention to detail can make the
difference between life and death. You’re more concerned with profit and loss, but the principle remains the
same. If you get into the habit of overlooking minor errors to avoid making trouble, you could end up ignoring
mistakes that spell disaster.
2. Involve your people in important decisions. The Marine Corps urges its leaders to involve their immediate
subordinates at every opportunity. You get the benefits of their knowledge and experience; they get a chance to
see how you think and to develop their own decision-making skills. This will help them get ready to move into
leadership positions later on.
3. Encourage people to ask “why.” Blind obedience may sound ideal, but it often runs people off the edge of cliffs.
The Marines expect officers and soldiers to ask about the reasons behind decisions. An employee who
understands the reasoning behind your instructions will do a better job; someone who asks a question when
confused will make fewer mistakes, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace.
4. Don’t chase problems away. Read the quote from Four-star Gen. Colin Powell above. Why does he say this? If
your team isn’t coming to you for help, they’ve probably lost confidence in your ability to solve problems, or
they’ve decided you don’t care. In either case, you’ve failed as a leader. You need to know what your people’s
challenges are. Don’t force them to hide and cover up difficult situations.
5. Consider everyone a leader. “Every soldier is a leader regardless of his rank or position,” reads Department of
the Army Pamphlet 600-65. Platoon sergeants are expected to be ready and able to take command of a platoon in
the platoon leader’s absence. Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) are expected to show initiative – to get things
done without waiting to be told by a superior. Manage your team with an eye toward their own advancement into
6. Be flexible. You think you’re overwhelmed by change? In a military operation, the environment can change
moment by moment. The Army’s tool for rapidly changing course is called a Fragmentation Order, or “Frago” for
short. Any change of plans is signaled by use of the word “Frago” in the revised orders, letting soldiers know that
previous orders have been superseded. Be willing to change direction when circumstances demand it – and be
sure to communicate your new plans so your team members know what you expect.
LESSON FROM THE FIELD: Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers founder Dave Thomas was more
than a behind-the-scenes business owner. He was also Wendy’s pitchman, setting a record for
appearing in more than 800 advertisements. Thomas had presence. More than 90 percent of the public
said they could identify with his picture. What was it about his communication style that attracted
millions to his business?
1. His low-key manner. He may have been a millionaire, but people felt free to approach him on the
2. His self-deprecating sense of humor. His ads said, “I’m serious about the quality of my business.
But I don’t take myself too seriously.”
3. His “everyman” appearance. Always dressed in plain white, short-sleeve shirt and red tie, he
actually looked like many working Americans.
Thomas never intimidated. He never condescended. His style instantly made people feel at ease with
him. Do you?
KEEP YOUR TOP PERFORMERS
“The best way to keep your stars is to know them better than they know themselves – and then use that information
to customize the careers of their dreams.”
--Timothy Butler, James Waldroop in “Harvard Business Review”
According to career experts Timothy Butler and James Waldroop, “job sculpting” can help you keep your best team
members. The concept, explained in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review, is this: Good people will stay only in jobs
that “fit their deeply embedded life interests – that is, their long-held, emotionally driven passions.”
To adapt this approach, spend a lot of time listening. For each team member, identify what life interests are dominant.
Then work together to customize assignments. “In some cases, that may mean simply adding another assignment to
existing responsibilities,” explains Butler and Waldroop. “In other cases, it may require moving that employee to a new
What kind of interests are you looking and listening for? Butler and Waldroop say these eight identifiable areas of
interest are what people are drawn to in their business careers: Application of technology; quantitative analysis; theory
development and conceptual thinking; creative production; counseling and mentoring; managing people and relationships;
enterprise control; and influence thought language and ideas.
10 QUESTIONS TO ASSESS LOYALTY
FAST FACT: In a 2002 study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 67 percent of American workers want
to change their professions. Since motivation is intrinsic, the study suggests that the majority of the workforce is
not as fully productive as they might otherwise be. The lesson? Mindful communication can help employees to
connect personal goals and values with opportunities and assignments at work.
In the aftermath of September 11, and because of today’s depressed economy, many employees are now questioning how
satisfied they are with their work. The odds are that some of your best team members may be considering pursuing
another job. Use these questions by management consultant Donald P. Crivellone to gauge your team members’
contentment. Will your team members say yes? Note: This is also a good test of your own job satisfaction. If you answer
no to two or three questions, it may be time for a pointed conversation with your own supervisor.
Do I understand what is expected of me?
Have I received proper training?
Are refresher and continuing education courses offered?
Do I have room to grow in my job?
Is there room to exercise judgment?
Have I been exposed to other functional areas?
Has my boss discussed possible routes of advancement?
Do I have good working conditions? Are they safe? Well-equipped?
Is the boss reasonable? Does he regularly ask for my feedback?
Does the boss ever tell me I’ve done a good job?
TRY THIS LEADERSHIP TIP: Do your team members simply show up for work or shine on the job? There
is a big difference. Effective managers and team leaders look for ways to keep commitment and motivation
Here is one idea that can make a difference: Spend private, one-on-one meeting time with each of your direct
reports. This can be as little as 15 to 30 minutes every two weeks. Your team members should see this as
their time to use.
Introduce this idea by asking, “What’s on your agenda today?” One team member might want to discuss a
project she wants to launch, another might need advice on how to improve a working relationship with a direct
report, and yet another might want to discuss the feasibility of increasing the training budget for people on his
team. This kind of private time is win-win. It signals that you care—which will cultivate commitment and
motivation in other. Moreover, the practice helps you stay touch with what’s going on.
GIVE FEEDBACK THAT COUNTS
Feedback is an important tool for leaders, but like all tools it can be misused. Giving the wrong kind of feedback can
damage relationships and destroy trust in your workplace. Here are four factors to consider before offering feedback::
1. Relevance and importance. Does the feedback you want to offer contribute to your employees’ abilities to do
their jobs better? Will it improve productivity, efficiency, or the bottom line? Don’t waste time on feedback that
won’t make a positive difference.
2. Accuracy. Check your facts, and check your interpretation of the facts. Are your opinions or personal feelings
clouding your perception? Is there more than one way to look at the situation? Don’t take the truth of your
information for granted.
3. Action. Does your feedback allow the employee to take action – to do something, change something, stop
something? Telling employees that they made a mistake isn’t helpful feedback; explaining what to do in the
future to avoid similar errors is.
4. Necessity. Does the employee really need to hear this? Test yourself by thinking about what would happen if you
didn’t say anything. If the answer is nothing, you may want to think twice before inflicting your feedback on the
--Adapted from: “Flooded With Feedback,” by John Brandt, on IndustryWeek.com
TRY THESE…COMMUNICATIONS HELPERS
Each issue, you will find suggested activities to help you become a better communicator. Start a file for these tips
and access them frequently. After you try them, let us know if you found success by e-mailing
email@example.com. Please also share activities that have worked for you.
1. Build morale one person at a time. One of the best ways to keep morale up starts by simply walking around
your workplace. Make a daily point of finding one person doing his or her job exceptionally well, and tell the
individual how much you appreciate this. Be sincere; don’t gush or embarrass the person. Show a genuine
interest in what he or she is doing, and then quickly move on so it doesn’t look like you are micromanaging.
2. Makeover your meetings. Recognize team accomplishments each week by having team members write down
three good things that they helped make happen. Then at the next team meeting, have each member read what
he or she wrote.
3. Think in new ways. To help your team develop a fresh approach to a problem, try this: Take a common object,
such as a door knob or frying pan. Ask: “Does this have to be this way? How could it be improved?” Tossing
around ideas can reignite the creative spark.
We’re listening! Send us your questions about 2-way communications, comments about 2-Way
Compass or any feedback. Forward them via email to 2-Way Compass editor