Aug 23 2011

Who’s Your Glue?

Here’s a “glue clue” for you!



Someone in your family or on your business or advisory team is the one who most holds you and the million little pieces of your business enterprise together. Who? How? Why? What have you done for her or him lately?

Did you know that small, frequent rewards (and typically inexpensive ones) are at least twice as effective as one large one? Did you know that cash –even in this struggling economy– is not always the best reward? Have you discovered (or been reminded lately to re-visit) Maslow’s Hierarchy?

After many decades, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory continues to be business’s most effective tool for motivating employees, partners, referrers and sales personnel, among others. No need for a degree in nuclear reactor dynamics to put this classic theory to work for your small business.

It simply takes a sense of diligence 

and a little detective-type methodology.


When you make a habit of taking ongoing temperature readings of, for example, employee hot and cold buttons, you gain a sense of what makes each one tick and how various life changes impact attitudes. This gives you leverage for better motivating because you can reward someone’s performance with what that person values.

All of us are located somewhere on the Maslow Hierarchy ladder (or pyramid as many management textbooks illustrate it. At any given moment in time we are either at a level of basic physiological needs, or safety needs, or social needs, or esteem needs, or we are at a point of self-actualization.

We move fluidly back and forth between these different need levels according to our daily (sometimes hourly)changing life circumstances. A person who has achieved a state of self-actualization, who is feeling self-fulfilled could tumble back down to a basic needs level in an instant.

Consider how fast your brain snaps back to basics as the result of a family death, a bankruptcy, an accident, a job-firing . . . from really, any kind of loss.


After years of having no financial worries, putting food on the table can become a sudden challenge. Having a neighboring home or business robbed can immediately cause someone at an esteem level, who is excited about winning recognition, into a security needs frenzy, shopping for insurance, alarm systems, new locks, a fence. 

If you can be aware enough of changing need levels for individual “glue people” who help hold you and/or your business together, you can reward each –at her or his personal level– for maximum impact. An esteem-needs person will often be more receptive to a plaque, a news release feature, or a certificate than to a cash bonus.

Someone struggling with car issues will appreciate new tires, an oil change or gas allowance. One successful business owner covers the cost of braces for a low-salaried employee’s teenager. Another sends top sales people on limo trips with spouses to shows and dinner (less expensive than permanent salary and commission raises).

The point is to pick out rewards that fit the person and the circumstances instead of making across-the-board judgements about what you think will motivate best. And don’t automatically assume it’s money. In fact, by targeting rewards to individuals, you can save huge amounts of money and earn great appreciation in the process. 


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  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

   Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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May 21 2009


You’re boss for the day,


in charge of the zoo.


Whaddaya say?


Whaddaya do?


     Even when you think no one’s around or paying attention, everyone IS. It’s hard to run your own business on stage in the spotlights (especially in some of the larger more public theatres), but “on stage” is where you and every other boss perform every day.

     You may even need to drop the curtain (or close your door) every once in awhile for a few minutes privacy just to sniffle, pick, scratch or gargle without an audience. But–even then–remember you are still the chief muckity-muck and (like it or not) you’re a parental figure to those who work for you.

     You probably don’t think that your employees are anywhere near being neurotic. You may be astounded to learn that many of them (if not all) measure your every move. They all watch TV. So they all know how to observe, scope things out, size things up, and “case the joint.” It’s rare that anything you say isn’t repeated over and again both on the job, and at home, as well as to neighbors, friends, teammates and bar buddies. Your community and industry exposure is as public as a professional athlete’s is to her or his sport.

     Odds are pretty good that your people want to butter you up, or do you in, or simply not make waves. An exclusive small handful are self-actualized enough in the work they do to enjoy doing the work they do with no greater agenda. But this is a very small fraction of the total. None of them will do their jobs with the conviction and commitment that you have. None will do things exactly the same way that you would.

     But this is why you get the big bucks. It’s not your job to get things done. It’s your job to get others to get things done. Bottom line is that bosses who treat employees as underlings produce underlings. Underlings don’t sell. Underlings don’t innovate. Underlings don’t take initiative. Underlings hate their jobs.

     Bosses who treat employees like partners produce partnerships and employee teams that believe in what they are doing. These are the people who will strengthen the organization because they are granted the respect that renders them not afraid to step up to the plate, nor to challenge the status quo.  

     As Boss, the best, most productive and motivating thing you can do is to take the time and trouble to learn a little bit more than you presently know about what makes each employee who works with you “tick”…what kinds of dreams, desires, wants and needs does each have.

     You needn’t be a shrink to do this. Simply open your eyes and ears more. Tune in to the kinds of things people do and say. When you can reward behavior with rewards that really matter to each individual, you are cultivating long-term commitment, ongoing loyalty, and exemplary performance. 

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 Hal@Businessworks.US or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

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