The Training Expert
on Financial Matters


Day 2 Day Business, Inc.
657 Main Street
West Haven, CT  06516

Office: 760-550-0575
Fax: 203-934-7300

Alisa@day2daybusiness.com




Send in questions to Alisa and she will post them here. If you like, she will send you a personal reply. Anyone who has input to any of the questions posted is welcomed to email the input and your responses will be included – after all, everyone is entitled to an opinion.


Q - How do you keep your staff motivated to work hard and put in the hours in an organization that is downsizing?

Q – How do you instill a good work ethic in your employees when the owner and boss have none? This is a small office with only six people. All the boss wants to do is talk about flying
when he is in and we can’t get anything done?

Q – How do you keep your staff motivated to work hard and put in the hours in an organization that is downsizing?

A – Motivation during a downsizing can be tricky, but not impossible. One of the first things you need to do is to be up front with your staff. They need to know you are not holding back any secrets. Once they feel you are not being entirely honest with them they will begin to pull back and not give you their all. Be sure to involve them in what is going on as much as possible.

Another thing you need to do is to watch your attitude. How we approach the work and the situation will set the stage for how our staff approaches things. We are the “leaders”, so lead where you want them to follow.

You can also be sure they know you are looking out for them and their best interest. If you are making sure that anyone who falls victim to the downsizing from your staff gets the best of treatment and all the assistance available your staff will see your dedication and show their appreciation by working harder for you.

It’s important to remember that your staff works hard for you, not for the company. So, how you treat them and fight for them is what’s important. Treat them right, involve them, have a good attitude, and look out for them…they will reward you with their hard work.

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Q – How do you instill a good work ethic in your employees when the owner and boss have none? This is a small office with only six people. All the boss wants to do is talk about flying when he is in and we can’t get anything done.

A – This can be a tough one. I would say that your problem isn’t your staff, it is your boss. (you probably already knew this) Certainly one of the first things I would suggest is a direct one on one approach.

Before you do that however, you need to be able to quantify what the cost is when your boss takes over the office talking about flying. How many hours are lost and at what rate per hour plus benefits? Use a number large enough to make an impact. For example if 6 people at an average cost of $20 per hour is used up you spend $120 per hour listening to the boss. This number may be acceptable to him/her. But, if you figure that on the average the boss spends an hour a day, 5 days a week, then in a month the cost is now $2,580. This may be enough to make an impact.

You then have to pick a time when you have the undivided attention of your boss. I’m a big one for feeding them, so take him/her out to breakfast or lunch where you can have their attention. Try to sit so you are facing the door, and wear something that you feel good in. Ask the boss what he/she expects from you. You can structure this so that the boss finally gets to the point where you are responsible to get the most from the people there. If you can’t get there then simply ask if getting the best from these people is part of your job. If so, state clearly and concisely what the problem is. You struggle with getting the staff to work hard because…. Try to remember to phrase things as though you need help, not as though the boss is messing up. Be sure to state exactly what you would like to see happen. If the boss really wants things to work well this will work.

But, let’s for one second assume the boss doesn’t care and would much rather spend the time chatting about flying regardless of the cost, and regardless of the trouble it causes you. If this is the case you have two choices. One choice is to go somewhere else where you can get the results you are after. The second choice is to accept the boss as he/she is and realize the boss pays the bills so if they choose to run things this way that is ok. You will need to be honest with your boss though and let him/her know that you will only be able to get so much out of folks under the circumstances.

And finally, it is important to remember that your attitude goes a long way in how your staff will react to you. Treat them well, have a positive upbeat attitude and they will work for you, even if it is at a slower pace than you would like.

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