Motivation Matters

Being that my quasi-new magazine crush-du-jour is Entrepreneur, I happened to be eye strolling through some posts online, when I came across a feel-good, albeit spot-on post by David Javitch about the right way to motivate employees.

One of the key points relevant for workerbiatches: If you are a manager or employer, don’t assume that just because you have a smart employee that is highly self-motivated and is comfortable assuming more autonomous roles, you don’t need to be involved in nurturing and supporting that individual.

Javitch gives 10 tips to motivate (and since I can’t think of a way to better paraphrase his tips, I’m going to re-post them here):

  1. Praise the employee for a job well done–or even partially well done. (From an employee perspective, praise is always something we can afford to hear more of. It’s also especially important that this praise and thanks come from different stakeholders directly involved in your work and impacted by it and not just the boss.)
  2. If an employee is bored, involve that individual in a discussion about ways to create a more satisfying career path, including promotions based on concrete outcomes. (Eh, workerbiatch works too hard to condone this one. In fact, I like it so little I’m going to strike it out.)
  3. State your clear expectations for task accomplishment. (Paraphrase and/or regurgitate your manager or have them clearly state back to you what you just said often. Ask questions if you’re not entirely comfortable with direct route or follow via email with a, “This is what I understand the task-at-hand to be…” You’d be surprised how often miscommunications happen and can be the culprit for future tension.)
  4. Ensure that the job description involves a variety of tasks.
  5. Ensure that the employee sees that what she’s doing impacts the whole process or task that others will also be part of. (I’d also add that once said employee is at a certain level and assuming more responsibility, he/she should be owning more pieces.)
  6. Make sure that the employee feels that what he/she is doing is meaningful.
  7. Provide feedback along the way, pointing out both positive and negative aspects.
  8. Allow for an appropriate amount of autonomy for the employee based on previous and anticipated accomplishment. (This is especially apropos with regards to Millenials.)
  9. Increase the depth and breadth of what the employee is currently doing.
  10. Provide the employee with adequate opportunity to succeed.

As an aside, I feel pretty grateful to have a work environment at present that pretty much hits the mark on all of the motivational points Javitch addressed. Having worked in a lot of different environments, I realize, like true love, it’s a pretty rare thing and  requires the same level of care and effort to sustain it and keep it healthy.
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Scary as it Sounds, Susan Boyle is in Control of her Career

Susan Boyle is in complete control of her career. By all accounts, the media circus that’s engulfed the 48-year-old Britain’s Got Talent performer and overnight sensation would indicate she’s either incredibly shrewd and calculated re: her career trajectory or she’s yet another tragic victim in a long line of greedy, publicity whoring TV executives.

Her recent stay in a rehab clinic would seem to indicate the latter, but then again, it hasn’t hurt her and it’s helped to keep her in the limelight and explain away her her mini-tantrum/meltdown in front of a camera crew. (Not to mention, her rumored £9,000/minute pricetag for corporate events.)

All theatrics aside, from what I can see Ms. Boyle is doing everything right when it comes to her career:

  • Hired a Money Maker/Manager: Not sure Susan’s fame will be as long-lasting as that of U2, but she’s made sure to hire the same promotional wizzes to work on making her into a star. Now let’s hope Susan isn’t totally opposed to charity work and helping hungry kids should her manager decide that’s the side we need to be exposed to. For hers’ and our sake I hope this is not the projected route.
  • Exposed/Branded her Talents: Susan Boyle has become a global household name because she went on a stupid reality TV show and showed us what she had. Whatever this means, her Les Miserable performance on YouTube is forever embedded into 100 million peoples’ brains (if not more).  No doubt about it, Susan is not just an influencer, she’s a doer.
  • Went a Little Meshuganah for her Art: People love the vulnerable, brooding, temperamental artist, especially when they label her a “spinster.” Her nut-job act only stands to help further her career…for now.

Working in my PJs Does Appeal to Me: Home-Based Businesses Anyone?

Gear up for some tips on Home-Based Businesses

This month’s Entrepreneur has an interesting article about starting a home-based franchise business. While most of the franchises in their top 101 list seem to be cleaning businesses and overall, the list did little entice me into jump-starting my own franchise-specific savings account, it does beg the question if working in your skivvies is ultimately what we’re all after.

So what skills should a successful home-based franchisee or independent contractor/freelancer possess? Assuming we’re all into working in our skivvies afterall…

Let’s start with basics:

  • Know Your Legalese: As an independent contractor/freelancer, you set up shop under your own name, so to speak. You’re working under your own business guidelines, free of any legal ties to a franchisor. For either scenario, legal counsel will be helpful in assessing your business’ liquidity and giving you sound peace/piece of mind.
  • Keep Figures Straight (or Know What Software to Utilize): For savvy bookkeeping business owners with a penchant for Accounting, keep track of the #s might not seem daunting, but to the less skilled, it can be. Keep this in mind as you get your freelance business or franchise off the ground. You’ll want to seriously consider investing in efficient bookkeeping software.
  • Consummate the Relationship Early On: As stressful and time-consuming as a day gig can feel (Did i mention soulless and thankless too?), remember that whether it’s your side business or you’re committing to a franchise or solo contracting biz full-on, it will take the guts and guts inside the guts out of you. What distinguishes this from all other relationships you’ve had in the past is your commitment to its success so be in it for the long haul .
  • Don’t Start Every Bullet Point with a “K”: It’s ok to spice it up once in a while as I just reminded myself in the last bullet. The most interesting gigs I ever embarked on that eventually led to more serious professional relationships were started on a “trial” basis. It allows you to test the climate and the waters to know if you’re ready to jump in head first, especially relevant when going the freelancing route.

For more useful “starting your own franchise” information, go to