Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Vacuuming and other theories of motivation

I have a vacuum that has a red light on it that turns green when the area I’m vacuuming is clean. The vacuum doesn’t seem to have a light on it that tells me when I should vacuum.  I suppose that is the responsibility of the crumbs, dirt and dust to tell me.  I’ll vacuum a spot forward and backward, side to side until the light turns green.  Now if the cord should come unplugged from the outlet, that’s it for me.  I’m not motivated to do any more vacuuming, unless, unless…I have guests coming.  Then that red light is calling me to finish.

I have a friend, Akee Parwaz, who manages a large used carand service company in Canton, Mass.  He pays his sales people a salary rather than on commission. Now commission or incentive pay is the classic way to motivate.  Every car you sell, you make more money.  His staff must not be motivated.  Instead they are motivated knowing that they have a secure future and they can help each other out to sell more cars without hurting their pay.  He is a strong supporter of Rotary. He schools them i
n the four way test:  Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendships, will it be beneficial to all concerned.  You can be motivated understanding that the goal is selling cars, but selling cars that will make you feel good at the end of the day.

I have a friend, Bruce Marquis, who runs beauty salons in Mass.  Long before Massachusetts had mandatory health insurance and even longer before Obamacare, he provided his employees with a health insurance option.  He has an employee who has been with him for 26 years.  Turnover tends to be routine in hair salons and few provide benefits.  Providing benefits that employees need can be a powerful motivation tool and as a Rotarian, he knows that it will build goodwill.

What motivates you? Do you need incentive pay to do your work? Most of us don’t have that but we keep working.

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