The other day I observed a couple in a hotel with a baby in a pram crying incessantly while the parents were seemingly unconcerned and tapping away on their smartphones. A basic human need to be seen and to be heard was not being met.
A cuddle and some comforting words by one of the parents would in my mind have soon stopped the child from crying. While babies can only make their needs felt in one way it doesn’t get more complicated when we get to be adults.
It’s not a big surprise that restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality industry are having great difficulty finding staff. Customers are all too often downright rude. It has become so bad that some establishments have had to put up signs appealing to customers to treat their staff with respect.
The grievance culture
We have a grievance culture fanned by political demagogues, certain media outlets, and social media. At the receiving end are often the people who least deserve it. I have enormous admiration for staff in hotels, airlines, and restaurant businesses who remain friendly and courteous in jobs that are badly paid and receive little to no recognition from customers and management.
Lack of recognition and validation from supervisors is also one of the main reasons why highly-skilled and trained staff are quitting their jobs or going into early retirement. Leaders often lack basic soft skills. It doesn’t take much to publicly praise a staff member for work well done. A kind word or compliment will instantly make a person light up and smile.
Most employees are demotivated
It’s hardly a surprise that only 15 percent of the global workforce feel motivated in their jobs, according to a Gallup poll. This means that a staggering 85 percent of the workforce is unhappy in their job. Most employees suffer in silent misery counting the months and years when they can finally go into retirement and start living.
When an employee isn’t in agreement with a company’s mission and vision or is stifled in his creativity by micro-management the result is obvious. There will be a higher percentage of absenteeism, engagement, and work performance. It is estimated that in the United States alone over 450 billion dollars in losses are recorded annually due to unmotivated employees.
Leading by example
It doesn’t have to stay that way. Choosing the right leaders for key positions in a company can make a huge difference. Some of the key qualities of a good leader are:
- Leading by example
- The ability to express appreciation and gratitude
All too often however we have the typical narcissist chosen for leadership positions and even being elected to lead a country. With their self-centeredness, arrogance, and lack of empathy they can cause immense damage. They are simply incapable of expressing gratitude or giving recognition because they feel this might diminish their own glory.
But responsibility also starts with the individual taking responsibility. If you keep on blaming the government, your employer, your spouse, or your family for everything that has gone wrong in your life, you are not confronting the fear that is blocking you from making the necessary changes.
As Harvard professor and economist Clayton Christensen is quoted as saying: “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation.”
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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