Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Can you really motivate association staff?

Jamie Notter posted a great piece this week on culture headlined Why Successful Companies Are Okay with People Leaving.

  • But your employees are humans, not spare parts, and that fundamentally changes asaethe equation. The potential of a human-centered organization is dependent on the humans inside the organization reaching their own potential. When your people can be themselves at work, feel a deep connection between the work they’re doing and their own development, and consistently do what they’re best at, then performance goes through the roof. We intuitively know this (and call it “high employee engagement”), yet since we continue to manage with a machine mindset, we are rarely able to achieve it.
Yesterday’s paper carried two related stories:

Miami Dolphins fire head coach “for failure to motivate players.”
  • “But doubts only grew this season regarding Philbin's inability to motivate players with his bland demeanor.”
Washington Nationals fire manager for reasons including “poor communications”
  • In describing what he will look for in a manager to replace Matt Williams, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo might have been pointing out exactly what he felt went wrong with the man he hired two years ago and fired Monday.
  • "Leadership qualities, knowledge of the game, X's and O's are all important. Communication in the clubhouse, communication within the coaching staff, is vital," Rizzo said during a telephone conference call.
The real question ... 

  • are professional staff “entities” that can be motivated? Or, are most staff self motivated?

Personally, I believe most association professionals are self motivated.

Our job as association executives is to create the culture/environment that allows self-motivated professionals to do exceptional work on behalf of association members.

We can inspire.

We can recognize and reward.

We can recruit and hire.

But, motivate, not really.

What do you think?

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